This study investigates and compares the economic analysis of renewable energy-based systems incorporating photovoltaic (PV) panels, electrolyzer, fuel cell (FC), and a hydrogen tank for single houses in North America. Three systems consisting of PV/battery bank, PV/hydrogen, and PV/battery bank/hydrogen are simulated and optimized using the software HOMER. In this study, the electrolyzer produces green hydrogen using to the power obtained by the PV array; the generated hydrogen is stored in a hydrogen tank and powers the FC. Based on the results, the integration of 12 kW PV panels, 2.50 kW FC, 10 kW electrolyzer, 50 kg hydrogen tank, 2 kW converter, and 24 kWh of batteries is found to be the best configuration in Toronto, as it leads to the minimum net present cost (NPC) and levelized cost of energy (COE). Results show that while the battery bank can be used instead of the electrolyzer, FC, and hydrogen tank, the large batteries resulted in the highest NPC due to their high investment cost. Finally, the study is extended to Miami and Washington in the U.S., to check the validity of the conclusions with higher average annual solar radiation and to find their cost-effective configurations.
Keywords Renewable energy, solar energy, hydrogen, electrolyzer, fuel cell