An Optimal Design Methodology for Hydrogen Energy Storage to Support Wind Power at the University of Bath

  • Shuang Yu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Fossil fuel will eventually become exhausted. Also, fossil fuels produce largeamounts of carbon dioxide, which cannot only bring environment pollution, butcan also cause global warming. Therefore, clean and renewable energy sourcesshould be investigated.In this project, renewable wind power was considered. Wind energy is free, cleanand available in large quantities, although it is difficult to use due to its stochastic variability. Energy storage can reduce this variability allowing energy production to match energy demand.In this study, different kinds of energy storage approaches were introduced,compared, and simulated by using half hourly wind data from the Met Office,UK, and half hourly load data from the University of Bath, UK. Hydrogen hashigher mass energy density than all other energy storage methods. It is seen as aversatile energy carrier of the future, complementary to electricity and with thepotential to replace fossil fuels due to its zero carbon emissions and abundance in nature.On the other hand, because hydrogen is the lightest element under normalconditions; the same amount of hydrogen must occupy a huge volume comparedto other elements. The mature technology for converting hydrogen intoelectricity has high cost and low efficiency. These are big issues that limit theusage of hydrogen energy storage methods.Using wind and load data, a new algorithm was developed and used for sizingthe wind turbine, and energy storage requirements. The traditional way to supplyenergy is distributing electricity, but in this PhD research, there are somediscussions about a new method, hydrogen transport-hydrogen pipeline.From the results of the comparison and algorithm, a practical hydrogen energystorage system for the University of Bath network was proposed and designed. Inthe proposed design the energy from a wind turbine was directed to the load andthe remaining excess power was used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis.The hydrogen was stored in a high pressure compressed tank, and finally ahydrogen fuelled combined cycle gas turbine was used to convert the hydrogento electricity.In this thesis, the dynamics of the complete hydrogen cycle energy storage andrecovery mechanism are discussed, identifying potential applications such aspower smoothing, peak lopping and extending power system controller ranges.The results of calculations of the payback time and revenue verify the feasibilityof the designed hydrogen energy storage system.The main objective of the PhD was to design a practical hydrogen energy storagesystem for micro-grid applications. During this research, hydrogen energystorage was investigated to show that it does solve the problems arising fromrenewable energy.
Date of Award31 Dec 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRoderick Dunn (Supervisor)


  • wind power
  • hydrogen energy storage

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