Modeling, analysis and control system development for the italian hydrogen house

E.M. Stewart, A. Lutz, S. Schoenung, M. Chiesa, J. Keller, J.E. Fletcher, G.W. Ault, J.R. McDonald, A.J. Cruden, Sandia National Laboratories (Funder), Department of Energy Hydrogen Program (Funder)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides an analysis of the "Hydrogen from the Sun" project at the "Ecological House" in northern Italy. The modeling and analysis work is being performed in conjunction with the international Energy Agency Hydrogen implementing Agreement Annex 18: Integrated Systems Evaluation. A customized library of Matlab/Simulink component models is used to simulate the system and evaluate the hydrogen economics and energy production efficiencies. Two control algorithms are developed for the house using a fuzzy logic and an adaptive control strategy. The economic and steady state effects of these two strategies are compared as are the energy sources used to supply the energy demand of the house. The hydrogen production system consists of an electrolyzer, a photo-voltaic collector, and a battery, linked to both a metal hydride and high pressure gas storage system. The hydrogen supplies a fuel cell, which powers a residential estate. The analysis shows the contribution of the different system components to the overall efficiency and cost of hydrogen. However, the control systems presented also have a significant effect on the hydrogen and electricity cost. Reduction of these costs and an increase in system efficiency require optimal use of the hydrogen stored, as well as the optimized distribution of power supply from the generating components. The analysis shows the initial cost of hydrogen to be 9.36 $/kg, with electricity produced at 0.65 $/kWh using a fuzzy logic control system at an electrical efficiency of 50% (of the full hydrogen house system), based on the lower heating value of hydrogen. The result of using an active control strategy is presented. (C) 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1638-1646
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • PEM fuel cell
  • control
  • fuzzy logic
  • IEA
  • hydrogen demonstration


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