We would like to congratulate one of our staff members Emma Eriksson who has just successfully completed her confirmation Seminar in her PhD in the topic Hybrid Renewable Energy systems for buildings.
This is a very interesting field which will no doubt have a significant impact on all infrastructure and energy sources in Australia in the short to medium term.
According to the International Energy Agency, hydrogen energy technology will play a key role in limiting the rise in global average temperature owing to climate change to 2C. The reason is the flexibility of hydrogen as a fuel. Fuel-cell vehicles are already being sold commercially in Japan, the US and Europe. Fuel-cell buses operate in many cities worldwide.
Emma Eriksson’s PhD concerns less developed application of hydrogen energy technology, to energy supply for buildings using renewable energy sources, specifically by means of fuel cells generation electricity from solar hydrogen.
The complexity of hybrid systems makes the design process challenging and extensive testing of prototypes may be unaffordable. The overall goal must be to design a system that works in reality and meets the design requirements related to performance and cost. The most crucial task is to size the components (solar capture, hydrogen, generator, energy storage, fuel cell…) correctly. Hence system modelling needs to be heavily relied on to ensure that the energy system actually works without being over-engineered and unnecessarily costly. The main challenge when modelling hybrid systems in a simplified but sufficiently realistic model.