The suitability of hydrogen as an energy management solution in a run-of-river hydro-power plant in Central Italy is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective. Hydrogen production at off-peak hours via electrolysis is considered, as well as potential hydrogen storage in metal hydrides followed by hydrogen use at peak hours for power generation using fuel cell technology. Hydropower generation and hydrogen production are identified as the sub-systems contributing most to the nine evaluated impact categories (e.g., global warming, abiotic depletion and cumulative energy demand). The renewable hydrogen produced shows a more favourable life-cycle environmental and energy performance than conventional hydrogen generated via steam methane reforming. Furthermore, when enlarging the system with hydrogen use for power generation, the renewable electricity product shows a better life-cycle profile than conventional electricity for the Italian electrical grid. Overall, under life-cycle aspects, hydrogen is found to be a suitable energy solution in hydropower both as a hydrogen product itself (e.g., for transportation) and as a feedstock for subsequent power generation at peak hours.

Life-cycle performance of hydrogen as an energy management solution in hydropower plants: A case study in Central Italy

SPAZZAFUMO, Giuseppe
2015

Abstract

The suitability of hydrogen as an energy management solution in a run-of-river hydro-power plant in Central Italy is evaluated from a life-cycle perspective. Hydrogen production at off-peak hours via electrolysis is considered, as well as potential hydrogen storage in metal hydrides followed by hydrogen use at peak hours for power generation using fuel cell technology. Hydropower generation and hydrogen production are identified as the sub-systems contributing most to the nine evaluated impact categories (e.g., global warming, abiotic depletion and cumulative energy demand). The renewable hydrogen produced shows a more favourable life-cycle environmental and energy performance than conventional hydrogen generated via steam methane reforming. Furthermore, when enlarging the system with hydrogen use for power generation, the renewable electricity product shows a better life-cycle profile than conventional electricity for the Italian electrical grid. Overall, under life-cycle aspects, hydrogen is found to be a suitable energy solution in hydropower both as a hydrogen product itself (e.g., for transportation) and as a feedstock for subsequent power generation at peak hours.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11580/53062
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