Modeling, analysis and control system development for the Italian hydrogen house

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Mechanical Engineering

Conference Title

17th World Hydrogen Energy Conference 2008, WHEC 2008


Brisbane, Australia

Conference Dates

June 15-18, 2008

Date of Presentation



This paper provides an analysis of the "Hydrogen from the Sun" project at the "Ecological House" in Northern Italy. The modeling and analysis work is being performed in conjunction with the International Energy Agency Hydrogen Implementing Agreement Annex 18: Integrated Systems Evaluation. A customized library of Matlab/Simulink component models is used to simulate the system and evaluate the hydrogen project economics and production efficiencies. Control algorithms are developed for the house using both fuzzy logic and also an adaptive control strategy. The economic and dynamic effects of these two strategies on the energy supplied to the house are presented and their effectiveness is compared. The hydrogen production system consists of an electrolyzer, a photo-voltaic collector, and a battery, linked to both a metal hydride and high pressure gas storage system. The hydrogen fuels a fuel cell, which powers an estate. The analysis shows the contribution of the different system components on the overall efficiency and cost of hydrogen. However the control systems presented also have a significant effect on the hydrogen and electricity cost. Reduction of these costs and an increase in system efficiency require optimal use of the hydrogen stored, as well as optimized distribution of power supply from the generating components. The analysis shows the initial cost of hydrogen to be 9.36 $/kg, with electricity produced at 0.65 $/kWh using a fuzzy logic control system. The electrical efficiency of the electrolyzer and fuel cell was 50%, based on the lower heating value of hydrogen. The comparative results of using an adaptive control strategy are presented.



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