A greenhouse containing an integrated system of photovoltaic panels, a water electrolyzer, fuel cells and a geothermal heat pump was set up to investigate suitable solutions for a power system based on solar energy and hydrogen, feeding a self-sufficient, geothermal-heated greenhouse. The electricity produced by the photovoltaic source supplies the electrolyzer; the manufactured hydrogen gas is held in a pressure tank. In these systems, the electrolyzer is a crucial component; the technical challenge is to make it work regularly despite the irregularity of the solar source. The focus of this paper is to study the performance and the real energy efficiency of the electrolyzer, analyzing its operational data collected under different operating conditions affected by the changeable solar radiant energy characterizing the site where the experimental plant was located. The analysis of the measured values allowed evaluation of its suitability for the agricultural requirements such as greenhouse heating. On the strength of the obtained result, a new layout of the battery bank has been designed and exemplified to improve the performance of the electrolyzer. The evaluations resulting from this case study may have a genuine value, therefore assisting in further studies to better understand these devices and their associated technologies.
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