This paper examines the prospect of PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) electrolyzers and fuel cells to partake in European electrical ancillary services markets. First, the current framework of ancillary services is reviewed and discussed, emphasizing the ongoing European harmonization plans for future frequency balancing markets. Next, the technical characteristics of PEM hydrogen technologies and their potential uses within the electrical power system are discussed to evaluate their adequacy to the requirements of ancillary services markets. Last, a case study based on a realistic representation of the transmission grid in the north of the Netherlands for the year 2030 is presented. The main goal of this case study is to ascertain the effectiveness of PEM electrolyzers and fuel cells for the provision of primary frequency reserves. Dynamic generic models suitable for grid simulations are developed for both technologies, including the required controllers to enable participation in ancillary services markets. The obtained results show that PEM hydrogen technologies can improve the frequency response when compared to the procurement with synchronous generators of the same reserve value. Moreover, the fast dynamics of PEM electrolyzers and fuel cells can help mitigate the negative effects attributed to the reduction of inertia in the system.
Keywords: Electrical engineering.