The wind/hydrogen demonstration system at Utsira in Norway: Evaluation of system performance using operational data and updated hydrogen energy system modeling tools

Ulleberg, Ø. , Nakken, T. , Eté, A.
International journal of hydrogen energy, Vol. 35, no. 5 (March 2010), 1841-1852
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An autonomous wind/hydrogen energy demonstration system located at the island of Utsira in Norway was officially launched by Norsk Hydro (now StatoilHydro) and Enercon in July 2004. The main components in the system installed are a wind turbine (600 kW), water electrolyzer (10 Nm3/h), hydrogen gas storage (2400 Nm3, 200 bar), hydrogen engine (55 kW), and a PEM fuel cell (10 kW). The system gives 2–3 days of full energy autonomy for 10 households on the island, and is the first of its kind in the world. A significant amount of operational experience and data has been collected over the past 4 years. The main objective with this study was to evaluate the operation of the Utsira plant using a set of updated hydrogen energy system modeling tools (HYDROGEMS). Operational data (10-min data) was used to calibrate the model parameters and fine-tune the set-up of a system simulation. The hourly operation of the plant was simulated for a representative month (March 2007), using only measured wind speed (m/s) and average power demand (kW) as the input variables, and the results compared well to measured data. The operation for a specific year (2005) was also simulated, and the performance of several alternative system designs was evaluated. A thorough discussion on issues related to the design and operation of wind/hydrogen energy systems is also provided, including specific recommendations for improvements to the Utsira plant. This paper shows how important it is to improve the hydrogen system efficiency in order to achieve a fully (100%) autonomous wind/hydrogen power system.
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