Modeling and thermo-economic evaluation of a power-to-gas demonstration system [paid project]

Assistant: Jakob Rager (CREM), Ligang Wang (IPESE)

 

This master project is part of a global demonstration and pilot project financed by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), lead by the Laboratory of Physical and Analytical Electrochemistry (LEPA) of EPFL in collaboration with the City of Martigny, Sinergy SA and the Center for Energy and Municipality Research (CREM).

The overall goal of the project is to develop an electrochemical electricity storage platform by intimately connecting a redox flow battery and two types of electrolyzers having as objective to recharge both electrical vehicles (EV) by fast DC charge and fuel cell vehicles (FCEV) with the hydrogen produced by the electrolyzers. The redox flow battery plays a dual role in the project. It acts as a buffer helping to regulate the grid and when required, it delivers DC current for the fast charge of EV. The electricity stored in the redox flow battery is also used to feed the electrolyzers for local production of hydrogen. This hydrogen is compressed at a refilling station to be distributed at either 350 bar or 700 bar.

Through modelizations and simulations, CREM studies economic and technical relevance of setting up such an installation within Martigny’s territory in order to assess in which conditions it could be profitable.

Objectives of the Master Project

A specific study has to be done in the context of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) where such an installation seems to have the best chance to be profitable. In this part, the entire installation will be modeled (python/Modelica) using and adapting already existing models developed in previous works of this project or creating new models.

Then simulations will be run on study cases of SMEs having photovoltaic power station and an electric/H2 vehicles fleet. The goal of this study is to evaluate the impact of different services that such an installation could provide to increase its profitability:

  peak shaving for reduction of costs related to grid usage
  flexible strategies for electricity purchase/selling
  direct use of generated electricity from photovoltaic power station
  electric/H2 car energy generation
  participation to reserve pool for grid regulation through an ancillary service (AS) provider

Tasks

  Literature review on the topic

  Collect and analyze load profiles from SMEs in the region of Martigny (case studies)
  Adapt and implement new models of the installation
  Calibrate installation models with measurement data coming from LEPA: converters, battery, electrolyzer, boosters and air compressors efficiencies
  Assemble all the models together
  Run simulations over a whole year (2015) for several SMEs with photovoltaic power station and electric/H2 vehicles fleet (base case) in terms of power flow, environmental impacts and associated costs for different scenarios in order to determine the advantage of such an installation:
o Base case without battery and without H2 generation
o Base case with battery for:
  Peak shaving and electricity purchase deferring
  Direct use of PV generated electricity
  Participation to reserve pool for frequency regulation through an AS provider
  Electric vehicle recharge
o Base case with battery and H2 generation and H2 charging station
  Results analysis
  Make all the models available and reusable for future studies
  If time permits, optimization of these services

Requirements

Desired hard skills are:
  Energy conversion systems knowledge
  Programming skills: ideally Python and Modelica
  Optimization might be a plus
 
Other skills appreciated:
  Autonomy and self-organization
  Ability to communicate results
  Good English writing skills
  Good comprehension of French