Active Load Management of Hydrogen Refuelling Stations for Increasing the Grid Integration of Renewable Generation

Wei Sun*, Gareth Harrison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) can help reduce carbon emissions, air pollution and dependency on fossil fuels in the transport sector. Clean hydrogen fuel can be generated by a power-to-gas process at refuelling stations equipped with water electrolysers, especially in renewable rich areas. Coupled with onsite hydrogen tanks, the fast response capability of electrolysis, could potentially turn the station demand into a flexible electricity load since the hydrogen can be stored and used when needed. This paper presents a novel real-time load management scheme that actively operates a hydrogen refuelling station to relieve thermal network constraints, handles the fluctuations from renewables, and releases network headroom for connecting renewable generation. The key components involved in the refuelling station and their operational characteristics are explicitly modelled in the analysis. The economic impact of the different operational strategies is also examined. In the case study, the effectiveness of the proposed control strategy to avoid overloading and save curtailment in the local distribution network is verified by running the real-time network simulation at 1 minute steps over a 1 hour window and 5 day window respectively. Moreover, a whole year simulation of the station operation shows that the proposed active control strategy enables wind farms in the local network to avoid 9.5 times more curtailment than under passive control strategy. The station’s net cost of electricity consumption thus can be reduced by 7.5%., by making use of excess electricity that would otherwise be curtailed. A further 5% reduction on the cost would be possible if the incentive rewards for offering network constraint management services are in place.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101681-101694
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date19 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2021


  • Power-to-gas
  • hydrogen vehicle
  • flexible demands
  • active network management
  • Renewable energy
  • multi-energy integration
  • hydrogen
  • Biological system modeling
  • Real-time systems
  • Compressors
  • Production
  • Load modeling
  • Electrochemical processes


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