A Comparative Study on Hydrogen Production and Storage Using an Offshore Wind Farm in The Netherlands.
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Producing energy with conventional resources like coal, oil, and gas has come under a lot of scrutiny and criticism because of the greenhouse gas that they emit while producing energy. One of the most hazardous ways of producing Hydrogen is by using natural gas. In this process, extreme amounts of carbon dioxide are released. Countries all around the world are pushing for the production of energy using renewable resources. Energy can be easily produced by using non-conventional resources but storing that energy for future purposes poses a challenge as it has to be sent to the electrical grid or stored in batteries. Hydrogen, in that case, proves to be beneficial as it can be stored for comparatively longer durations and as and when required it can be used for combustion, heat generation, and chemical industry. The focus of this research is to analyse the combination of the wind farm, electrolyser, and hydrogen storage which results in the lowest LCOH and LCOS, and the sensitive factors that affect the LCOH result in the most. One of the preferred processes for electrolysis is the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) process due to its intermittent nature in the balancing of renewable energy sources that makes it alluring for industrial applications. As hydrogen production on offshore as well as onshore is the first part then now storage of the hydrogen produced is the second part of this research. The ways to store hydrogen which are considered in this study are pressurised tanks and underground caverns. By far, storing hydrogen in underground caverns has proven to be advantageous worldwide. In this study, three different scenarios for production and storage of hydrogen are created namely On-Site Centralized Electrolyser with onshore storage, Off-site Electrolyser with onshore storage, and On-Site Distributed Electrolyser with onshore storage. Comparisons are made between these three scenarios based on various parameters like CAPEX, OPEX, increase in cost with distance, and amount of hydrogen produced. By using these parameters, the LCOH is calculated. After developing a base model for all three scenarios, the scenario with the most cost-effective and practical solution is chosen. This scenario is then subjected to a sensitivity analysis wherein various parameters under consideration are subject to varying load conditions. Sensitivity analysis is necessary to be performed as the supply and production of hydrogen will never be uniform at all times and the chosen system must be able to handle different kinds of situations such as more losses in conversion or transmission, the electrolyser efficiency, and the amount of water needed to ensure optimal performance throughout its commissioned life. Results are drawn from this analysis and a conclusion regarding the best-case scenario for the hydrogen-producing offshore wind farm has been made.