Network planning of fuelling service stations in a near-term competitive scenario of the hydrogen economy
Hydrogen can be viewed as the flexible automotive fuel of the future. However, many issues related to its use have not been sufficiently investigated. One such issue concerns hydrogen logistics and distribution throughout a territory. One near-term scenario over the next decade is likely to include distribution procedures that are similar to those currently used for petrol products. In this scenario, the conversion of petrol service stations into hydrogen distribution points will progressively be implemented. Petrol companies will then represent one of the major categories of hydrogen producers. They will thus have to select, from a cost/benefit standpoint that accounts for competing companies expected to offer the same service throughout a territory, the most convenient and effective locations for hydrogen distribution. The current paper presents a model for planning a network of service stations of a given company within a competitive framework. A case study of a specific territory in northern Italy is presented and discussed.
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