This paper describes the status of a photovoltaic hydrogen energy system development project at Helsinki University of Technology at the end of June 1992. The objective of the project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility of a 100% self-sufficient energy system based on solar photovoltaics (PV) and hydrogen technology. Basically, PV electricity is used to produce electrolytic hydrogen, which is stored over the season to be converted back to electricity in a fuel cell. The pilot plant has been designed for a 1-2 kWh day-1 constant electric load in the climate of Helsinki (60-degrees-N). The work so far has included component and subsystem testing, as well as optimization of the total system and its control through comprehensive numerical modelling. Experimental results are given for the electrolyser performance as well as for a 1 month operation of the hydrogen production subsystem. The numerical simulation shows excellent agreement with measurements and is used to predict the pilot plant performance over a 1 year time period.
- energy storage
- energy system