Multi-criteria evaluation of hydrogen and natural gas fuelled power plant technologies

Department of Engineering and Management of Energy Resources, University of Western Macedonia, 50100 Kozani, Greece
Applied Thermal Engineering (Impact Factor: 2.74). 08/2009; 29(11-12):2228-2234. DOI: 10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2008.11.014


This paper evaluates nine types of electrical energy generation options with regard to seven criteria. The options use natural gas or hydrogen as a fuel. The Analytic Hierarchy Process was used to perform the evaluation, which allows decision-making when single or multiple criteria are considered.The options that were evaluated are the hydrogen combustion turbine, the hydrogen internal combustion engine, the hydrogen fuelled phosphoric acid fuel cell, the hydrogen fuelled solid oxide fuel cell, the natural gas fuelled phosphoric acid fuel cell, the natural gas fuelled solid oxide fuel cell, the natural gas turbine, the natural gas combined cycle and the natural gas internal combustion engine.The criteria used for the evaluation are CO2 emissions, NOX emissions, efficiency, capital cost, operation and maintenance costs, service life and produced electricity cost.A total of 19 scenarios were studied. In 15 of these scenarios, the hydrogen turbine ranked first and proved to be the most preferred electricity production technology. However since the hydrogen combustion turbine is still under research, the most preferred power generation technology which is available nowadays proved to be the natural gas combined cycle which ranked first in five scenarios and second in eight. The last in ranking electricity production technology proved to be the natural gas fuelled phosphoric acid fuel cell, which ranked in the last position in 13 scenarios.

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    • "In Refs. [10] and [11], AHP was applied to evaluate hydrogen fueling systems and hydrogen and natural gas fuelled power plant technologies. AHP has standard steps: 1) Building problem as a hierarchical model based on specific criterion that is broken down from the final target; 2) deciding the weights of criterions through pairwise comparison; 3) estimating each criteria and synthesizing them to the overall goal. "
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    • "Single used or combination of AHP and the Delphi technique can be found in literatures [19] [20] [21]. Firstly, Delphi is used to identify important factors or criteria from specialists. "
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    • "The stored hydrogen is mixed with compressed air and burned in a expansion/ combustion turbine. Assuming 70% efficiency from the stored hydrogen to the product electricity for the hydrogen combustion turbine [25], [27] means that 1.68 e6 kJ of output energy is obtained from each m 3 of storage volume. Hence, the required storage volume is 5.95 km 3 . "
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