Nuclear hybrid energy systems, Flexible load following, Renewable energy, Large-scale hydrogen storage, Hydrogen gas turbine


In this study, a nuclear hybrid energy system (NHES) with large-scale hydrogen storage integrated with a gas turbine cycle is proposed as a flexible system for load following. The proposed system consists of a nuclear reactor, a steam Rankine cycle, a hydrogen electrolyzer, a storage system for hydrogen in an underground salt cavern, and a Brayton cycle that uses hydrogen as fuel to generate additional electricity to meet peak demand. A dynamic mathematical model is developed for each subsystem of the NHES. To evaluate the potential benefits of the system, a one-year study is conducted, using scaled grid demand data from ISO New England. The dynamic simulation results show that the system is capable of meeting the demand of the grid without additional electricity from outside sources for 93% of the year, while decreasing the number of ramping cycles of the nuclear reactor by 92.7%. There is also potential for economic benefits as the system only had to ramp up and down 7.4% of the year, which increased the nuclear capacity factor from 86.3% to 98.3%. The simulation results show that the proposed hybrid system improves the flexibility of nuclear power plants, provides more electricity, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering


Chemical Engineering

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor