What sets the PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village Project apart from most other wind-hydrogen projects is the innovative power supply configuration that enables the wind turbines to serve as the sole source of power to the hydrogen production system. The common approach in other community scale wind-hydrogen projects is to connect the wind turbines and the hydrogen production system to a larger local or regional grid to ensure a stable and constant power supply to the electrolyser. To operate as a grid independent wind-hydrogen facility, challenges related to variability in both quantity and quality of power from the wind turbines must be addressed using a combination controls and equipment.
For the high penetration PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village system, it was essential that the harmonics content of the electrolyser power supply be limited to ensure the electrical stability of the system. Additionally, the induction generator equipped wind turbines required a source of reactive power to maintain system voltage. A novel ‘zero harmonics power supply’ was designed and constructed for the application to provide a synchronous condenser for voltage regulation and an isolated synchronous generator to control the current flow to the electrolyser.
Diesel generators are ubiquitous throughout Canada’s north and in isolated communities around the world. The genset installed at the PEI Wind-Hydrogen Village utilizes common diesel technology modified to allow hydrogen to be injected into the inlet air at low and medium power levels to displace diesel fuel. Diesels converted to bi-fuel service, can obtain up to 50% of their energy from hydrogen. This technology has the advantage of being able to consume all of the hydrogen generated as well as provide a robust diesel only platform that is familiar to the utilities operating in isolated environments.