Solar Hydrogen Production System Simulation Using PSCAD
Hydrogen is a potential future energy storage medium to supplement a variety of renewable energy sources. It can be regarded as an environmentally -friendly fuel, especially when it is extracted from water using electricity obtained from solar panels or wind turbines. One of the challenges in producing hydrogen by using solar energy is to reduce the overall costs. It is therefore important that the system operates at maximum power. In this paper a PSCAD computer simulation based on a water-splitting, hydrogen-production system is presented. The hydrogen production system was powered by a photovoltaic (PV) array using a proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser. Optimal matching between the PV system and the electrolyser is essential to maximise the transfer of electrical energy and the rate of hydrogen production. A DC/DC buck converter is used for power matching by shifting the PEM electrolyser IV curve as closely as possible toward the maximum power the PV can deliver. The simulation shows that the hydrogen production of the PV-electrolyser system can be optimised by adjusting the converter duty cycle generated by PWM circuit.
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