Optimized Hydrogen and Electricity Generation from Wind

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


Several optimizations can be employed to create hydrogen or hydrogen and electricity from a wind energy source. The key element in hydrogen production from any electrical source is an electrolyzer to convert water and electricity into hydrogen and oxygen. Modern wind turbines employ a control system used in conjunction with power electronics in order to connect to the grid. It may be possible touse the turbine's controller and power electronics system to operate the electrolyzer as well, thereby eliminating component duplication. Such a coupled system would reduce the overall cost of independent stand-alone systems. Electrical power provided to the electrolyzer in such a system would be controllable with excess power provided to the grid. Thus, a combined system would have moredispatchability than a wind-electric turbine alone. Such dispatchability might be used to provide the utility with a measure of control over the wind farm's total output that does not exist in current wind farms. Produced hydrogen needs to be stored, transported, and/or regenerated into electricity offering additional synergies. This paper examines several coupled systems that offer enhancedcapability, efficiency, and cost reduction opportunities over stand-alone component systems.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2003

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-500-34364


  • electricity generation
  • electrolyzers
  • hydrogen
  • wind energy
  • wind farm
  • wind turbine


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