Analysis of an improved solar-powered hydrogen generation system for sustained renewable energy production
Yu, Sen Feng
Hobson, Garth V.
Holmes, Andrea D.
Gannon, Anthony J.
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The purpose of this thesis was to implement a data collection method to measure and characterize the performance of a renewable hydrogen generation system and improve the system reliability for continuous operation. While the power consumption for the dehumidifiers was constant, the amount of water produced depended on the ambient condition. To produce enough water to meet electrolyzer demand, more dehumidifiers should be added. Water production using dehumidification accounted for the majority of the energy consumption. The electrolyzer demonstrated great flexibility in operating with intermittent power. As the power available increased, the amount of hydrogen produced increased, while the efficiency of the electrolyzer decreased. The fuel cell supplied power to a wide range of loads that were less than 100 W. Similar to the electrolyzer, as the fuel cell power output increased, efficiency decreased. Hydrogen production using renewable energy has proved effective. Hydrogen produced was only used to generate electric power using a fuel cell, but other hydrogen-powered applications should also be considered to broaden the use of hydrogen within the Department of Defense. Lastly, other means of producing water should also be investigated to improve the overall efficiency of the hydrogen production system.
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