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Techno-Economic Analysis of Photovoltaic-

Hydrogen Fuel Cell/Pumped Hydro Storage

System for Micro Grid Applications: Case Study in
Loiy Al-Ghussain Remember Samu
Department of Mechatronics Engineering/NanoLab Sustainable Environment and Energy Systems
German Jordanian University Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus
Amman, Jordan Guzelyurt, Northern Cyprus, via Mersin 10, Turkey
loui.essam@hotmail.com samu.remember@metu.edu.tr

Onur Taylan Murat Fahrioglu

Mechanical Engineering Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus
Guzelyurt, Northern Cyprus, via Mersin 10, Turkey Guzelyurt, Northern Cyprus, via Mersin 10, Turkey
ontaylan@metu.edu.tr fmurat@metu.edu.tr

Abstract— Renewable energy resources such as solar Cyprus’s climate is known for its mild winters and hot, dry
resources are suitable alternatives for the use of fossil fuels as summers. The mean ambient temperatures during winter and
they are abundant, can be harnessed in affordable ways and are summer seasons are about 11 and 28 °C, respectively. Even
considered environmentally friendly. However, renewable though Northern Cyprus has a significant potential for
energy resources fluctuate with time which decreases the renewable energy harvesting, the power network heavily
matching between the energy produced by the renewable energy depends on non-renewable energy resources which are
system and the demand and also decreases the reliability of the imported in the form of petroleum and oil because there are no
power supply. There are several potential ways to increase the gas or oil reserves. KIBTEK which is the Cyprus Turkish
matching and reliability of renewable energy systems such as the Electricity Authority is responsible for power generation and
hybridization of renewable energy resources and the integration distribution in Northern Cyprus. It has a 120 MW steam power
of energy storage. A techno-economic analysis of different
plant for meeting the base load and several diesel generators
configurations of Photovoltaic, Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) and
Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS) is carried out where Middle East
with a total capacity of 105 MW to meet the peak load. AKSA-
Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus (METU NCC) which is another power generation company- supports the
is the case study. The optimal configurations of the PV system electrical grid with a power capacity of 92 MW [2]. Lastly,
with different energy storage system configurations for the there are three solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants; one at
university are found based on maximizing the renewable energy Middle East Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus
(RES) fraction with Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) equals (METU NCC) with a capacity of 1 MW, and the other two
to the grid tariff. However, the objective of the optimization with a total capacity of 2.575 MW. Several studies in the
becomes the maximization of the RES fraction with the literature concluded that solar and wind energy systems are
minimum LCOE if there is no a feasible configuration. The viable ones [3]. However, solar and wind resources fluctuate
results show that the integration of HFC and PHS system with over time which makes it difficult to make predictions since
the PV system increases the RES fraction and the demand- they are weather-dependent. Moreover, several studies in the
supply fraction from 36.2% to 45.4% and from 23.9% to 35.1%, literature [4], [5], [6] analyzed the hybridization between
respectively. The proposed system consists of 2.57 MW PV, 1.16 solar and wind systems. They all concluded that the energy
MWh HFC and 4.14 MWh PHS where such a system has LCOE production from hybrid solar-wind systems matches the
of 0.181 USD/kWh. demand better than the energy generated from separate
Keywords— Fuel Cell, Pumped Hydro Storage System,
Photovoltaic Systems, Hybrid Systems. The new energy agreement with Turkey caused strong
dispute among the Turkish Cypriots in N. Cyprus. The
I. INTRODUCTION agreement aims to establish an undersea cable between
Fossil fuel resources are under enormous pressure due to Turkey and N. Cyprus where Turkey will provide N. Cyprus
the excessive use to supply the increasing energy demand of with cleaner and cheaper electricity. The electricity price in
the countries which is causing the depletion of these resources. Turkey is around 0.04 Euro/kWh while in N. Cyprus it is 0.17
Moreover, the excessive use of fossil fuel resources Euro/kWh and it is 0.15 Euro/kWh in Southern Cyprus [10],
contributes to the increase in greenhouse gases emissions in [11]. Turkish Cypriots will gain significant advantages by
the atmosphere causing the global warming phenomena. entering the Turkish electricity market and dispensing the use
Furthermore, the fluctuations in the fossil fuel prices affect the of inefficient steam and diesel generators. However, it is of
economy of the countries significantly and threaten their paramount importance for N. Cyprus to be connected to the
energy security. Therefore, governments seek to find European grid which will enhance the reliability and the
affordable alternatives that can ensure energy security and the quality of the power grid. Moreover, the interconnections
affordability of energy resources and contribute to the allow the installation of bigger capacities of different
mitigation of global warming. renewable energy systems such as solar, hydropower and
wind. Such diversity in the power systems ensures smooth
Cyprus, located at 35°N and 33°E and it is ranked as the access for bulk and cheap energy for the countries where the
third largest island in the Mediterranean. Northern Cyprus has energy cost is decreased by trading excess energy.
a population of about 300,000 and an area of 3354 km2 [1].

978-1-5386-7538-0/18/$31.00 ©2018 IEEE

Several studies in the literature considered the assumed to be on-grid. In the absence of an energy storage
hybridization of PV system with other renewable energy system (ESS), the energy deficit will be supplied by the
systems such as biomass, wind and hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) electrical grid with local electricity price rate, and any surplus
with and without batteries as in [12]–[19]. However, none of will be fed into the grid where unidirectional metering policy
the studies in the literature considered the hybridization of PV is applied which means that the surplus energy is given to the
and HFC and the integration of long-term energy storage like grid for free [25]. While with the storage system, the storage
Pumped Hydro Storage System (PHS). In this study, a will be charged by the surplus energy from the renewable
feasibility analysis of several configurations of PV-HFC energy systems where in the case of hybrid ESS (HFC and
system with PHS is performed where METU NCC is the case
PHS) the HFC will be charged first. The amount of surplus
energy ( ), the demand met by the PV ( ) and the
II. THEORY AND METHODOLOGY demand covered by the utility grid ( ) can be found as in
the energy flow chart in Fig. 1 for all scenarios.
A. Energy Production from the Photovoltaic Power Plant
The temperature of the PV module and the energy The PHS lacks fast response with four minutes delay [25]
production from it have an inverse relationship where the which means that the PHS cannot meet the demand during
increase in the module’s temperature causes a drop in the these four minutes. If PHS is integrated along with the PV,
module’s efficiency which decreases the amount of energy the utility grid supplies the demand during these four
generated while the opposite occurs when the temperature minutes; whereby assuming that the demand does not change
decreases. Therefore, the estimation of the PV module’s throughout the hour, the supplied energy by the grid is
efficiency is vital for the estimation of the energy generated calculated by dividing the hourly demand by 15. The
by the PV power plant. The efficiency of the PV module and hybridization between PHS and short-term ESSs is proposed
the amount of energy produced by the PV module can be to increase the autonomy of the power system where the short
estimated using (1) & (2), respectively [18]. term ESS will supply the demand during the lag time of the
η =η × (1 − |β |× − ) (1) PHS.
, ,
HFC is employed in this study as a short-term storage
=η × × A × N × PR (2)
system to supply the energy demand during the deficiency
where is the PV energy production [kWh], η is the periods of PHS as it has a fast response time as reported in
PV module efficiency [%], is the global insolation incident [26]. HFC is assumed to have a constant lifetime of 20 years
on the PV surface [kWh/m2] which was estimated using the where the HFC has an efficiency of 50% while the
methodology of Duffie and Beckman as in [21], A is the electrolyzer has an efficiency of 74%. The electrolyzer uses
area of the surface module [m2], PR is assumed to be 85% the excess energy from the PV system to produce hydrogen
[22]–[24] where the 15% accounts includes shading, wiring, then it is stored in hydrogen storage tanks to be used in the
dust and inverter losses. η , is the module's reference deficiency periods where the hydrogen is entered to HFC to
efficiency [%], β is the temperature coefficient of the PV produce electricity [17]. The PHS is assumed to have a
module [1/oC], is the module's temperature [oC] which constant lifetime of 20 years to simplify the analysis where
can be estimated using (3) [20] and , is the module's the location of METU NCC has a good potential to establish
temperature at standard conditions [oC]. such ESS with 100m elevation difference with the sea which
is used as a lower reservoir [25]. PHS is assumed to have a
= + − , × (3) round-trip efficiency of 85% with Depth of Discharge (DOD)
of 89% as reported in [27].
where is the ambient temperature [oC], is the
nominal operation PV module's temperature [oC], , is C. Performance Assessment of the Energy System
the reference module's temperature at nominal conditions The fraction of demand covered by the PV system which
[oC] and is the reference insolation at nominal conditions is known as the RES fraction ( ) is used to inspect the
[kWh/m2]. Meteonorm v7.1 software is used to generate the matching between the demand and the energy produced by
hourly beam and diffuse insolation on a horizontal surface the PV system. Moreover, the fraction of the annual number
and the hourly ambient temperature for METU NCC. The of hours in which the demand is totally covered by RES
specifications of CS6K-285M PV modules from Canadian which is known as the Demand Supply Fraction ( ) is
Solar company are used in this study. used to inspect the autonomy of the system.
B. Energy Storage System Model and Electrical Energy and can be calculated as,
Demand ∑
Coupling energy storages with RESs increases the = ∑
reliability of the power system and decreases the mismatch

between the energy generated by the RES and the demand. In = (5)
this study, four scenarios are considered to analyze the effect
of the use of storage systems; the first scenario is the PV
where is the hourly demand cover by RES [kWh], is
system alone, the second one is the PV system with Hydrogen
the hourly demand of METU NCC [kWh] and is the annual
Fuel Cell (HFC), the third one is the PV system with Pumped
number of hours in which the demand is totally covered by
Hydro Storage (PHS) and the fourth one is the PV system
with HFC and PHS wherein all the scenarios the system is
Fig. 1. The system’s energy flow chart, where is the energy stored in the ESS at hour n [kWh], E is the capacity of
the ESS [kWh], is the available energy in the ESS at hour n [kWh] and DOC is the depth of charge of the ESS [%] where l
and s refer to the long and short term ESSs, respectively.

D. Economic Assessment of the Energy System III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS

The Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) is employed in RESs such as solar systems have the ability to cover a
this study to evaluate the economic feasibility of the PV significant part of the demand of the communities and the
system configurations. In the LCOE formula, the PV energy cities. However, because of the variation in both the
production is replaced with the demand covered by the PV renewable energy resources and demand, these systems
system to incorporate the effect of the mismatch between the cannot fully cover the electrical demand. The integration of
demand and the supply. Moreover, since the surplus energy ESSs is one of the suggested solutions that have significant
from the PV is fed to the grid without any economic benefits potential in resolving the fluctuation issue; the excess energy
[25] and the deficit is supplied by the grid with the local from RES will be stored in ESS and allocate it to cover the
electricity tariff (GT), the formula of the LCOE is modified to electrical load in the deficiency periods. Such integration can
account for these conditions as shown in (6). The economic increase the economic and technical feasibility of RES
parameters used in the analysis are summarized in TABLE I. depending mainly on the technical specification and the
capital cost of ESS. One of the technologies that can be used


as an ESS is HFC; however, due to the high capital cost of
× × this technology in addition to its low efficiency (total

( )
(6) efficiency of 37%), only small capacities of HFC can be
integrated with RES systems in most of the cases and so
cannot significantly contribute much to the renewable energy
where is the capital cost of the system [USD], is the fraction and the autonomy of the system. On the other hand,
annual maintenance cost of the system [USD], is the annual PHS even though it is geographically-dependent is one of the
discount rate [%], is the lifespan of the system [years]. cheapest ESS with high round-trip efficiency which makes it
an attractive option. Nevertheless, PHS has a lag time of four
minutes which prevents it from increasing the autonomy of
GRID TARIFF FOR METU NCC. RES. Therefore, this study suggests the hybridization
between HFC and PHS to overcome the lag issue of PHS. The
Parameter Value Ref. optimal configurations of the PV system with several storage
PV capital cost (USD/kW) 1533 [28]
PV annual maintenance cost (USD/kW) 24.68 [29]
system configurations in METU NCC is found based on
HFC capital cost (USD/kWh) 660 [30] maximizing the RES fraction with LCOE equals to the grid
PHS capital cost (USD/kWh) 68 [25], [30] tariff. However, if there is no a feasible configuration, the
System expected lifetime (year) 20 [25], [30], [31] objective of the optimization becomes the maximization of
Utility tariff (USD/kWh) 0.175 [22] the RES fraction with the lowest LCOE. TABLE II shows the
Discount rate (%) 9 [32]
optimal configurations of the PV system with and without IV. CONCLUSIONS
ESSs in METU NCC. The fluctuation and the intermittency of the solar
TABLE II. THE OPTIMAL CONFIGURATIONS OF THE PV SYSTEM resources cause the mismatch between the demand and the
WITH AND WITHOUT ENERGY STORAGE IN METU NCC. energy generated by the PV system. The integration of an
Parameter PV PV/HFC PV/PHS PV/PHS/HFC optimized storage system with a PV power plant can curb this
PV Capacity
2.68 1.74 4.73 2.57 mismatch. In this study, a techno-economic analysis of
PHS Capacity several configurations of PV, Pumped Hydro Storage (PHS)
- - 7.62 4.14 and Hydrogen Fuel Cell (HFC) is performed for Middle East
HFC Capacity
- 0.59 - 1.16 Technical University Northern Cyprus Campus as a case
(MWh) study. The scenarios considered in this study are: 1) PV alone,
0.175 0.175 0.175 0.181 2) PV with PHS, 3) PV with HFC, and 4) PV with PHS and
Annual RES HFC. In the fourth scenario, HFC is integrated to compensate
36.2 29.7 67.9 45.4 for the deficiency in the demand during the lag time of the
Fraction (%)
Annual DSF (%) 23.9 14.7 34.9 35.1 PHS. The results show that the use of HFC and PHS with PV
system improves the matching between the supply and the
Notice that in TABLE II the integration of HFC alone demand where it increases the RES fraction and the DSF from
reduces the RES fraction and DSF from 36.2% to 29.7% and 36.2% to 45.4% and from 23.9% to 35.1%, respectively.
from 23.9% to 14.7%, respectively. The reason behind this is However, the proposed system- 2.57 MW PV, 1.16 MWh
that the integration of HFC reduces the feasible PV capacity HFC and 4.14 MWh PHS- has LCOE of 0.181 USD/kWh
from 2.68 MW to 1.74 MW due to the high capital cost of which is higher than the local utility cost. Therefore, it can be
HFC with lower revenues from such integration. Moreover, concluded that the integration of HFC with PV/PHS is not
notice that coupling PHS alone with PV increases the feasible in METU NCC.
renewable energy fraction by increasing the revenues from
RES which allows higher PV capacity to be installed in a
feasible way. Moreover, DSF of the PV system with PHS is
increased; however, this increase is because of the increase in
the capacity of the PV system and not because of the PHS due
to its lag time.
On the other hand, the use of the hybrid storage system
(HFC and PHS) increases DSF and the RES fraction even
though the integration reduces the feasible PV capacity where
these ESSs store the excess energy and allocated it to cover
the deficit. However, due to the high overnight (capital) cost
and low efficiency of HFC compared with other short-term
ESSs the integration of hybrid ESS in METU NCC is not
feasible as LCOE of such system is higher than the local grid
tariff. The ESSs play a significant role in enhancing the
matching profile between the demand and the supply, Fig. 2
shows the average demand covered by the optimal PV
configurations with the four ESS scenarios in METU NCC.
Notice that in Fig. 2, on average the PV system alone and
the PV system with PHS can daily meet up to 7 hours of the
demand while in the case of PV with HFC it cannot meet on
average the hourly demand. On the other hand, the hybrid
ESS increases the average daily number of hours to 8 hours
on average. Furthermore, notice the corporative performance
of the PV system with PHS where the excess energy from the
PV system during the day is stored in PHS and allocated to
meet the demand in the night. The RES fraction and the
demand-supply fraction vary throughout the year depending
on the renewable energy resources as well as the demand, Fig.
3 shows the monthly RES fraction and DSF of the optimal
PV configurations in METU NCC.
Notice that in Fig. 3 the maximum RES fraction and DSF
occur in April where the minimum demand is in April while
the lowest RES fraction and DSF occur in October where the
maximum demand occurs in October. Moreover, notice that
in May, June, July and October the PV system with PHS
achieves almost the same DSF of the PV system with hybrid
ESS where the profile of the energy production from the PV
system capacity in these months matches the demand profile.
Fig. 2. The average hourly demand in METU NCC in addition to the demand met by the optimal PV systems' components in
the four scenarios: a) PV alone, b) PV with HFC, c) PV with PHS and d) PV with hybrid ESS.

Fig. 3. The monthly technical parameters of the optimal configurations of the PV system in METU NCC: a) the RES fraction
and b) the DSF.
[4] Y. Sawle, S. C. Gupta, A. Kumar Bohre, and W.
Meng, “PV-wind hybrid system: A review with case
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