Robust batteries are an important component in optimizing all hydrogen systems. First and foremost, they are always used as buffers between fuel cells and electrical appliances and other loads. For example, hydrogen cars require small battery packs to interface between the fuel cells to the electric motors. Stone Edge Farm has a fleet of hydrogen cars that are charged daily, utilizing excess solar generation from the existing arrays to generate hydrogen production, thereby generating another fuel source for transportation and eliminating fossil fuel and greenhouse gases.
The savings in terms of fuel offset and maximizing solar generation for a secondary fuel source will be highlighted. In addition, because highly efficient lithium ferrous phosphate batteries have inherently different characteristics than fuel cells, combining the two different technologies and performance profiles creates an opportunity to achieve a wide range of applications within a microgrid, critical to both functionality and the economics.
For example, batteries have a faster reaction time than fuel cells, so that fuel cells can take on a base-load function while batteries take on peaks. Hydrogen tanks have longer storage time, so that they can shift consumption by weeks or even months, while batteries take on day to day shifts, which serves to streamline the electrical load profile across assets in the microgrid. Finally, hydrogen as a fuel is easy to transport between locations, opening even more applications.
Building a microgrid in a remote location where there isn’t sufficient power in a neighboring hospital or business, it is possible to produce hydrogen to transport to a different location to provide fuel for an entirely different enterprise. This can also represent a revenue stream and added benefit of the hydrogen production combined with batteries.