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Exploiting Synergies Between End Use Sectors

When developing an infrastructure to support these applications, it would make sense to exploit any synergies between the sectors - transport, stationary and portable.

One such example is the concept of an energy station, combining power generation and hydrogen refueling at the same location. This could provide the means to manage the utilization rate of refueling sites, particularly in the early stages of vehicle introduction when demand will be limited. Such an energy station could help to establish local stationary hydrogen energy clusters for small industrial or residential use.

Hydrogen can also play a role in managing the intermittence of renewable power generation from technologies such as wind and PV (both in grid connected and off-grid schemes). One example is the demonstration project at the Norwegian Iceland Utsira, where 10 households receives electricity solely from wind turbines and hydrogen. This is conceptually similar to energy storage schemes for managing peak and off-peak supply/demand imbalances, using compressed air plants or pumped-hydro-storage. However, these current installations are insufficient for load-managing large amounts of future renewable generation. It has therefore been proposed to use the surplus electricity to generate hydrogen via electrolysis and use the hydrogen as daily and/or seasonal storage. In addition, this hydrogen could also be employed as a vehicle fuel.

One can also envisage that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could be used to supply electricity (and heat) to residential, office buildings or recreational areas, while parked during working hours. Another option could be the establishment of cylinder-filling points at refuelling stations. Such filling points would serve as an infrastructure for portable fuel cell applications in industrial, household and recreational use.

The convergence of the sectors to a common fuel provides the opportunity to improve the economics of hydrogen distribution and supply by developing such innovative approaches to optimise the use of these novel energy conversion devices.


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Page last modified on December 19, 2008, at 12:15 PM