Electrolyzers Enhancing Flexibility in Electric Grids

Daniel Terlip, Kevin Harrison, Kevin Harrison, Jennifer Kurtz, Manish Mohanpurkar, Yusheng Luo, Fernando Dias, Rob Hovsapian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus Citations


This paper presents a real-time simulation with a hardware-in-the-loop (HIL)-based approach for verifying the performance of electrolyzer systems in providing grid support. Hydrogen refueling stations may use electrolyzer systems to generate hydrogen and are proposed to have the potential of becoming smarter loads that can proactively provide grid services. On the basis of experimental findings, electrolyzer systems with balance of plant are observed to have a high level of controllability and hence can add flexibility to the grid from the demand side. A generic front end controller (FEC) is proposed, which enables an optimal operation of the load on the basis of market and grid conditions. This controller has been simulated and tested in a real-time environment with electrolyzer hardware for a performance assessment. It can optimize the operation of electrolyzer systems on the basis of the information collected by a communication module. Real-time simulation tests are performed to verify the performance of the FEC-driven electrolyzers to provide grid support that enables flexibility, greater economic revenue, and grid support for hydrogen producers under dynamic conditions. The FEC proposed in this paper is tested with electrolyzers, however, it is proposed as a generic control topology that is applicable to any load.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number1836
Pages (from-to)1DUMMU
Number of pages17
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5400-70720


  • Front end controller
  • Grid services
  • Hydrogen
  • Smarter load


Dive into the research topics of 'Electrolyzers Enhancing Flexibility in Electric Grids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this