Dynamic hydrogen production from PV & wind direct electricity supply – Modeling and techno-economic assessment

Christian Schnuelle, Timo Wassermann*, David Fuhrlaender, Edwin Zondervan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)
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Renewable hydrogen from water electrolysis could contribute to the defossilization of various energy intensive sectors but continues to suffer from unfavorable economics. Attention is being paid to the direct supply of renewable electricity to electrolyzers; in particular from photovoltaic (PV) and wind units, whose fixed remuneration period has expired. However, detailed analysis of such operating strategies via modeling and simulation of the dynamic behavior of alkaline electrolysis (AEL) and polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis (PEMEL) is lacking. In this work, an electrolyzer model is developed for both AEL and PEMEL and analyzed for PV and wind power input data sets from the region of northwest Germany. It is shown that key performance indicators (KPI) such as hydrogen production efficiency, electricity utilization rate, product output and net production costs are highly reliant on the shape of transient power input signals as well as the electrolyzers ability to cope with them. PEMEL technology generally has higher electricity utilization rates than AEL, while AEL still achieves relatively large hydrogen production quantities due to its higher efficiency. Thus, the better operational flexibility of PEMEL cannot generally be considered advantageous in terms of hydrogen production quantities – the same applies for economics. The most competitive hydrogen production costs were 4.33 € per kg for the AEL technology with direct electricity supply from old wind farms, which no longer receive fixed remuneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29938-29952
Number of pages15
JournalInternational journal of hydrogen energy
Issue number55
Early online date1 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Direct electricity supply
  • Energy storage
  • Hydrogen
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Water electrolysis


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