Assessment of a portable RES-based H2 production-storage system towards a zero-emission cycling based transportation

During the last decade the electric vehicle industry has been developed rapidly due to the associated environmental impacts arising from the use of conventional fossil fuel-based internal combustion engines (ICE). If someone take into account that the transportation sector comprises more than 33% of the EU-28 final energy consumption, and in 2015 was responsible for the annual emissions of at least 1182Mt CO2 equivalent (EC, 2017), this turn to sustainable mobility will present several positive effects for the environment including air quality improvement, noise reduction, and fuel independency in the case of renewable sources (RES) utilisation.
One of the most promising technologies for promoting “green” mobility comprises hydrogen based systems via the utilisation of fuel cells (FC). Especially, hydrogen production via water electrolysis supplied from RES results to much lower Life Cycle (LC) emissions and will contribute to an enhanced sustainability of the future transportation sector.
As it is mentioned above, production of H2 via RES consists a very promising method for portable applications. Denmark is a country where RES energy and particularly wind-based electricity is considered essential to the electrical network as it contributes nowadays more than 40% in the national gross electricity generation.  However, wind energy exhibits a stochastic and variable availability, enhancing the mitigation of the RES maximum penetration during the daily and seasonal electricity demand fluctuations. So, it is obvious that even in the case of high wind potential, the produced energy may not be integrated into the electrical network, resulting in a waste of energy and monetary losses for the RES investors. Hence, one may notice that it would be beneficial to combine the potential of hydrogen mobility with the wind energy curtailments in order to deploy a new market including hydrogen powered vehicles and production of hydrogen from the otherwise curtailed power from wind farms.
The main objective of this project focuses on the investigation of a portable hydrogen production and storage unit supplied from the power curtailments of wind farms located in central Denmark in order to produce store and deliver hydrogen to fuel cell based low duty vehicles such as FC bicycles.
More precisely this study will aim at:
Investigation of the viability of a small scale portable H2 production/storage device by comparing CAPEX, O&M cost, energy cost, range of the vehicle.
Study and analysis of the emerging market regarding the cost benefit of both wind farm and hydrogen portable refuelling infrastructure investors.
Design of the pricing mechanism of the real-time emerging market.
Investigation of the best scenario in terms of high absorption of wind rejected power and hydrogen demand of FC bicycles in the city of Herning. This investigation will take into account the assumption that the residents of Herning would use for short distances (up to 50km) only FC bicycles, avoiding car and public transportation. In this context, analysis of CO2 emissions avoidance is going to be performed.

Codirector : 
George Xydis
PhD name: 
APOSTOLOU, Dimitrios
Start date: 
End date: 
Institution : 
Aarhus University