Brian Innes (Starling Energy Group)
Households are taking control of their energy supply through solar PV systems and increasingly, battery storage and EVs. This places pressure on the grid networks to provide reliable and affordable energy for consumers when these systems cannot supply 100% of household energy demand. This occurs at a diurnal level during early morning or in the late evening, and at a seasonal level during winter when there has not been enough sunlight for a number of days. Contributing to winter energy demand is the prevalence of poorly insulated homes where residents are reliant on heaters to stay comfortable.
An option to supplement household renewable energy is portable hydrogen provided through small scale storage solutions. The solar-generated hydrogen is well-suited for small-scale distribution with low operational greenhouse gas emissions and is compatible with current household energy systems.
The research questions for this project would investigate the technical, regulatory and social aspects of deploying this energy source in households:
- What are the technical and regulatory considerations for producing and deploying small scale hydrogen storage for households? This may include algorithms to manage demand and network loads, conversion process for producing the hydrogen, and regulatory measures that will influence their use. This will be answered by the rapid review focusing on international examples, that will then be applied to a WA case study.
- What is the optimal size of small scale hydrogen storage systems for households with varying energy and practice systems and considerations for the portable nature of the small scale hydrogen storage to be used outside the home? How will the small scale hydrogen storage work with current non-grid sources of energy in the home and how will this be integrated with other local DER network solutions? What are the safety considerations for these systems?
- Is there an acceptance of small scale hydrogen storage as an alternative non-grid source of energy by households? What factors could influence this?
- What are the emission reductions associated with small scale hydrogen storage as a household energy source?
- Is small scale hydrogen storage a commercially viable energy source for households in the case study regions and what regulatory considerations are there?