Renewable Hydrogen Production and Distribution Options for Fuel Cells Use 2007-01-0014
A long term solution to pollution and resource depletion problems requires addressing at least three issues: increasing the efficiency of energy conversion systems, optimizing the use of currently available energy sources and expanding the use of clean energy vectors. The use of fuel cells and hydrogen as energy vectors for automobile and residential applications are promising alternatives for clean energy production and a great security in energy needs. Fuel cells using hydrogen as reactant are in consideration in most research groups and R&D activities. To deal with this hydrogen need, the most interesting hydrogen production means have to be explored. In this work, promising hydrogen production and distribution options are analyzed; the advantages/disadvantages of large centralized stations versus distributed production systems are pointed out. Onsite small scale renewable photovoltaic/wind water electrolysis, a promising production option, is studied. We present hydrogen production options based on Hydrogen Research Institute (HRI)'s renewable energy systems plant. The results provide performance information on the electrolysis-based refueling systems.