Standard Article

Solar and wind energy coupled with electrolysis and fuel cells

Fuel Cell Technology and Applications

Sustainable energy supply

  1. R. Wurster,
  2. J. Schindler

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470974001.f301006

Handbook of Fuel Cells

Handbook of Fuel Cells

How to Cite

Wurster, R. and Schindler, J. 2010. Solar and wind energy coupled with electrolysis and fuel cells. Handbook of Fuel Cells. .

Author Information

  1. L-B-Systemtechnik, Ottobrunn, Germany

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


The types and typical capacity ranges of photovoltaic energy conversion, solar thermal electric power generation and wind power generation are outlined, including their respective energy generation costs. Energy potentials for solar and wind power generation suitable for renewable hydrogen production are presented for selected world key areas (North America, Europe and Asia) and illustrated in various tables.

All technologies directly and indirectly necessary for the generation of hydrogen from renewable electricity based energy sources are presented. This includes electricity transmission and conditioning; hydrogen production via electrolysis; hydrogen compression and compressed storage, respectively; its liquefaction and cryogenic storage; hydrogen transportation, either in compressed gaseous form through pipelines or in liquid form via tanker ship and trailers, and finally hydrogen use in fuel cells.

Centralized and distributed settings of renewable hydrogen generation and utilization are described with the focus on distributed settings. Wind/hydrogen energy systems in the 1 kWe–5 MWe capacity range are used as an example to explain the implications of system layouts for system availability, investment cost reduction and target markets.

Strategies for the build-up of renewable electricity/hydrogen systems for power generation and fuel supply are developed, outlining in particular hydrogen's unique capability of facilitating the widespread introduction of a vehicle fuel of defined quality derived from renewable sources into future vehicle fuel markets. The requirements for a coordinated approach will be outlined.


  • compressed gaseous hydrogen;
  • proton exchange membrane fuel cells;
  • hydrogen production;
  • liquid hydrogen;
  • photovoltaic energy conversion;
  • photovoltaics;
  • renewable electricity production;
  • renewable hydrogen;
  • solar thermal electricity generation;
  • wind energy;
  • wind/hydrogen system;
  • wind power