Using SAM for modeling of wind power-to-gas systems

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Using SAM for modeling of wind power-to-gas systems


I am completing my MSc thesis on the topic of converting wind power to hydrogen and synthetic natural gas as a form of storage and regulation. I will be conducting a financial analysis of alternatives, including selling wind power directly via a PPA, versus storing power during peak production and/or low demand and selling it on the spot energy market during high spot market prices.

I was wondering if SAM can be used as a tool for this application? My original proposal was to use Matlab/Simulink for all of the analyses, however, it seems that reading about SAM, this model approach may already exist.

I would appreciate any feedback on this issue. Basically what I have at the moment is 10-minute met mast wind data for 2 years, 15-minute energy spot market data for the same period of time, and a Matlab/Simulink model of a power-to-gas system that converts wind power to hydrogen and methane. From that I would like to compare different financial alternatives for economic viability as a possible justification for investment, even when subsidies (e.g. CDM and PPA) are not available.

Many thanks in advance, Daniella

Paul Gilman

Dear Daniella,

SAM's wind power model has several limitations that I think make it not suitable for your analysis:

  • SAM's wind model is based on an hourly simulation model, so will not run with the 10-minute meteorological data.
  • SAM uses a single year of resource data to estimate the system's cost and performance over a multi-year period.
  • SAM does not include models for storage, or for conversion of electricity to gas.
  • SAM's PPA financing models do not have inputs for spot market prices. They do allow for time-of-delivery adjustments of the PPA price using an hour-by-month (24-by-12) matrix, but not for price adjustments at the subhourly level.

You may be able to use SAM for some initial simulations to develop baseline metrics for the wind farm without gas generation, and then develop your model in MATLAB.

Best regards,


Ok, many thanks for your feedback it was worth a try :-)

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