Virtual inertia response and frequency control ancillary services from hydrogen electrolyzers

Mehdi Ghazavi Dozein, Antonella Maria De Corato, Pierluigi Mancarella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents the modeling foundations to study the capabilities of hydrogen electrolyzers (HEs) to provide frequency control ancillary services (FCAS), including virtual inertia and primary and secondary frequency response. To do so, we propose a general, unified HE dynamic model for the electrolyzer stack circuit, power-electronics interface (PEI), and relevant converter-level control loops. The equivalent circuit of the stack is derived from its current transfer function, with poles and zero obtained from its step response characteristics (e.g., rise/settling time). The stack model also considers relevant physical nonlinearities and downstream hydrogen buffer/process operational constraints. The PEI control loops account for stack model parameters, hydrogen production operational constraints, stack temperature dynamics, and active power reference generation strategy for contingency and regulation frequency support services. Further, we propose a virtual synchronous machine (VSM) control approach to study the VSM HE capabilities to also provide virtual inertia response. We apply the modeling to both alkaline and proton exchange membrane (PEM) technologies, including design of appropriate control schemes. Finally, we assess the FCAS performance of alkaline and PEM HEs via dynamic simulation of the Australian south-east interconnection in a 50%-renewable scenario, also discussing comparison and cooperation with battery energy storage systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2447-2459
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Power Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkaline electrolyzer
  • frequency control ancillary services (FCAS)
  • hydrogen
  • PEM electrolyzer
  • virtual inertia
  • virtual synchronous machine

Cite this