CEMS researchers win CACE Best Paper Award 2020

Matthew J. Palys (who recently defended his PhD thesis) and Professor Prodromos Daoutidis won the Computers and Chemical Engineering (CACE) Best Paper Award 2020 for their paper: “Using hydrogen and ammonia for renewable energy storage: A geographically comprehensive techno-economic study.” Computers & Chemical Engineering136, 106785, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compchemeng.2020.106785.

Hydrogen and, more recently, ammonia have received worldwide attention as energy storage media. In this paper, the economics of 100% renewable energy supply systems which use each of these chemicals as well as the two in combination are investigated. Specifically, optimal energy storage systems are designed to minimize the levelized cost of energy storage in 15 American cities which encapsulate a broad spectrum of climate and power demand profiles throughout the United States. This is the first paper to perform such a geographically comprehensive optimization-based study. System scheduling (e.g., chemical production, power generation, storage inventory) for each period of a representative operating horizon is optimized simultaneously with system design to ensure that time-varying power demands are met reliably without oversizing system components.  Through this combined design and scheduling optimization, ammonia is found to be generally more economical than hydrogen as a single method of energy storage, but systems which use hydrogen and ammonia synergistically outperform those which use only one storage option. Using hydrogen and ammonia together allows for the optimal trade-off between hydrogen’s higher roundtrip efficiency for short-term storage and ammonia’s lower storage cost for seasonal storage.