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A. Del Corno, M. Scagliotti*, C. Valli CESI RICERCA SpA, Milano (Italy) Hydrogen represents an important option to store energy in a long term scenario of fluctuating power generation from renewable sources (solar and wind). Independently from the primary energy sources used for its production (fossil fuel with carbon dioxide sequestration, nuclear, renewable), R&D efforts must be focused henceforward on hydrogen related technologies, like fuel cells and advanced storage systems. Fuel cells represent the ideal system to efficiently and cleanly convert the hydrogen chemical energy into electricity. In this presentation the experience on a PEFC power system fuelled with hydrogen stored in metal hydrides is outlined. The power system is connected to a low voltage grid with distributed generators, power quality, energy storage systems and several kind of electrical loads, realised at CESI in the frame of the 5FP UE project DISPOWER. The PEFC power system consists of three ReliOn Independence 1000 PEFC units, a battery bank and a 3.3 kW DC-AC converter (inverter). A 6.5 Nm3 capacity hydrogen storage was developed starting from commercial metal hydride powders. The heat transfer during the charge – discharge cycles and the useful hydrogen output were optimised in view of the coupling with PEFC units. The power system responses to external electric loads were investigated both in steady state conditions, with gradually increasing load, and during steep load changes. The actual hydrogen consumption was measured and component efficiencies were obtained as a function of the power output. A control system was set up in a LabVIEW™ environment to manage the automatic hydrogen storage charge and discharge cycles. Experimental results on the integrated system are presented and discussed. This work was carried out in the frame of the research on the Italian Electrical System "Ricerca di Sistema", Ministerial Decrees of January 26, 2000 and April 17, 2001. Keywords: PEFC, metal hydrides, hydrogen, distributed power generation. PUBBLICATO 06004677 (PAD – 739205)PUBBLICATO 06004677 (PAD – 739205)PUBBLICATO 06004677 (PAD – 739205)PUBBLICATO 06004677 (PAD – 739205)
31 Dicembre 2006
Generazione Distribuita (WP 1.1 (USI))