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The Economic Feasibility Study of Renewable-Based Fuel Cells with Grid Connection for a Commercial Application

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: Due to their high cost, limited life cycle, low efficiency, and restricted operating conditions, batteries may not be the most cost-effective method for large scale energy storage. On the other hand, hydrogen-based energy storage, such as in a microgrid system, is incessantly gaining more appreciation as a viable and sustainable alternative. This paper presents the economic feasibility study of renewablebased fuel cells with a grid connection for a commercial application. The Hybrid Optimization Model for Electric Renewable (HOMER Pro) software is used as a platform for simulation given the multidimensional nature in an optimization problem. The proposed model is constrained around financial and technical indicators. The optimal system architecture consists of high penetration of the solar photovoltaic system, a grid power, fuel cell generator, electrolyzer, hydrogen tank, and converter. The Net Present Cost (NPC) is impacted directly by the sensitive analysis of the present and projected costs of components of the optimized system; also, the annual purchase capacity at the grid if scheduled rates option is considered. Considering a purchase capacity of 200 kW, the Photovoltaic system, fuel cells (FC), electrolyzer, hydrogen tank, and the converter are sized respectively for 311 kW, 200 kW, 200 kW, 400 kg and 243 kW. Therefore, resulting in an NPC value of $3 337 185,69; a Levelized Cost of Energy (COE) of $0,1095 per kWh and operating cost of $43 402,38 of the optimized system.

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