In this paper, an off-grid hybrid power plant with multiple storage systems for an artificial island is designed and two possible strategies for the management of the stored energy are proposed. Renewable power sources (wind/solar technologies) are used as primary power suppliers. A lead-acid battery pack (BAT) and a reversible polymer electrolyte fuel cell are employed to fulfill the power demand and to absorb extra power. The reversible fuel cell allows reducing costs and occupied space and the fuel cell can be fed by the pure hydrogen produced by means of its reversible operation as an electrolyzer. A diesel engine is employed as backup system. While HOMER Pro®
has been employed for a full-factorial-based optimization of the sizes of the renewable sources and the BAT, Matlab/Simulink®
has been later used for simulating the plant operation and compare two possible power management control strategies. For the reversible fuel cell sizing, a sensitivity analysis has been carried out varying stack and hydrogen tank sizes. The final choice for plant configuration and power management control strategy has been made on the basis of a comparative analysis of the results, aimed at minimizing fossil fuel consumption and CO2
emissions, battery aging rate and at maximizing the power plant overall efficiency. The obtained results demonstrate the possibility of realizing a renewable power plant, able to match the needs of electrical power in a remote area, by achieving a good integration of different energy sources and facing the intermittent nature of renewable power sources, with very low use of fossil fuels.
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