Finnish and German researchers have evaluated the role of seasonal hydrogen storage in the “cheapest” model of households using solar electricity at the global level until 2050. They have found that seasonal hydrogen storage can only be expected in a niche, off-grid environment. market.
The team conducted a global analysis of 145 regions from 2020 to 2050 every five years, using a “least cost” model. Together with SHS, they simulated a photovoltaic system on the roof of a residential building using the LUT-Prosume software. The analysis included detailed forecasts of SHS system component costs from various sources. The SHS components included a water electrolyser, a hydrogen compressor, a storage tank and a fuel cell.
The study considers whether SHS is cost-optimized either in the network or outside the network in eight residential uses. Some include electric vehicles, lithium-ion battery storage and geothermal heat pumps for space and water heating.
The results show that SHS can only be expected in narrow off-grid markets in areas limited to North America, Northern Europe and Northwest Eurasia. Lebanon, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar could also see small amounts of SHS capacity, according to the study. In the southern regions of Canada, Scandinavia or the Baltics, the SHS capacity is relatively small, less than 1,000 kWh.
“We hypothesize that regions with such low hydrogen energy storage capacity are slightly above the threshold where SHS with minimum capacity is more cost-effective than a separate PV and battery system,” the researchers said.
In particular, SHS is not the cheapest option in any of the areas studied in the network scenarios.
“The high investment costs and low efficiency of electricity-to-hydrogen electricity conversion using a water electrolyzer and fuel cell are major drawbacks for successful deployment as a seasonal storage option in solar prosumer systems,” the researchers said.
They shared their findings “Seasonal hydrogen storage for residential and off-grid solar applications: a revolutionary solution or a niche market for the energy transition until 2050?”, which was published recently Applied energy.