The theme of this year’s International Conference on Applied Energy (ICAE 2018) in Hong Kong, “Innovative Solutions for Energy Transitions”, provided the ideal platform for BURN to promote the work of GenComm. As a joint research group of the ‘Université Libre of Brussels’ and ‘Vrije Universiteit Brussels’, BURN presented their work during the conference’s second session on hydrogen energy. The conference attributed six oral presentations sessions to fuel cells and two sessions to hydrogen energy - a demonstration of the importance placed internationally, on hydrogen as an innovative energy storage solution.
Diederik Coppitters, PHD researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, BURN, Brussels, outlines their presentation:
The work we presented considered a range of real life uncertainties, which can impact the hydrogen system performance during real-life operation. The uncertain behaviour of eighteen technical and economic parameters (e.g. solar irradiance, operating temperature, operating cost, discount rate, lifetime…) were taken into account to determine their effect on the design of a photovoltaic-electrolyser system, an electrolsyer system similar to the one being developed by our GenComm partner IZES in Saarbrucken, Germany for their solar-powered hydrogen refuelling station.
It became clear that the uncertainties affected hydrogen production and the levelised cost of hydrogen, therefore consideration of design modifications was essential, to reduce the volatility of the system under varying conditions. Our work and presentation was very well received, and resulted in a recommendation by the Conference Chairs to publish our work in the Special Issue of the Applied Energy journal. Applied Energy is a high-quality international peer reviewed journal, ranked 8th out of 97 journals on energy and fuels, and ranked 4th out of 137 journals on chemical engineering. The recommendation for publication in this highly regarded journal reflects the importance of the work for the GenComm project, and demonstrates how central hydrogen has become to the future energy mix.
Diederik Coppitters, PHD Researcher, BURN