The Regional Resource Center (RRC) provides online information, models, and other tools to assist local and state officials to quantify the costs and benefits of renewable and conventional technologies, including hydrogen and fuel cell technology at potential sites, including microgrids. The information in the RCC ensures that municipal officials and other stakeholders have the information needed to match a potential application with the most appropriate technology.
By ensuring appropriate application of the hydrogen and fuel cell technology, it is expected that the success rate of these early market applications will be high, which will, through case studies and information sharing, promote additional applications.
Models & Tools
The environmental model assesses the emissions characteristics of hydrogen and fuel cell technology compared with other conventional distributed generation technologies (such as microturbines and reciprocating engines) and the New England grid. The model can also be used to assess the tailpipe emissions of fuel cell vehicles compared to gasoline, compressed natural gas, or diesel powered vehicles. Use the interface in the model to select either generator or vehicle comparison, then choose the power output or vehicle type and mileage to find out the potential emissions characteristics.
Environmental Model – Training Module
The economic model evaluates the potential yearly heating and electricity cost savings when using a fuel cell or solar photovoltaics for baseload power. The fuel cell component of this model is based upon commercial available fuel cell technologies. The electrical output from fuel cells used for baseload power should typically not exceed 85% of a facility’s load in order to utilize 100% of the fuel cell’s heat and energy, making a fuel cell an economically viable option with the potential to realize significant energy and cost savings. The model is not intended to be a substitute for a comprehensive life-cycle analysis of the costs of conventional energy sources or fuel cells. A more detailed economic analysis may be obtained through the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT).
Economic Model – Training Module
Technology Comparison Table
The distributed technology comparison allows a user to compare fuel cell technology to other distributed technologies including microturbines, reciprocating engines, solar photovoltaic systems, and wind turbines. Fuel cells feature the highest capacity and superior efficiency (when used in combined heat and power applications), exceptional heat rates, flexible fuel sources, and low to no emissions. Fuel cells using hydrogen generated from renewable resources are emission free.
Technology Comparison Table – Training Module
Renewable technologies such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric technologies are increasingly becoming integrated into electricity networks. As these technologies establish a place in the market their associated costs of producing energy is expected to decline. This model contains information on the cost of electricity from these renewable technologies and their potential cost to produce hydrogen. Currently, hydrogen is most commonly produced by steam reformation of natural gas and has proven to be the most cost effective source of hydrogen generation. Hydrogen generation from renewable technologies has the potential for becoming the best choice for producing hydrogen given a reduced cost of electricity with zero emissions.
Renewables to H2 Model – Training Module
Economic Model for Solar PV with Battery Storage
This model evaluates the potential electricity cost savings when using solar PV with or without battery storage. This model is not intended to be a substitute for a comprehensive life-cycle analysis of the costs of solar PV and battery storage. A more detailed economic analysis with different unit costs may be obtained through the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT).
Economic Model for Solar PV with Battery Storage – Training Module
Ensuring a safe and reliable energy supply is critical for the provision of essential services to residents and businesses. Incorporating energy assurance strategies into municipal plans of development or energy assurance plans will enhance energy system resiliency and reliability through the identification of critical community facilities, assessment of energy demand and energy supply, and thoughtful implementation for energy delivery.
This material was initially based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number DE-FG36-08GO18116.
Updates to these models were supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.