Wind Power Makes Hydrogen for German Gas Grid  

Posted by Big Gav in , , , ,

Proposals to generate hydrogen using excess wind power have been blowing around for quite a few years now, with the hydrogen being a form of "energy storage" that can be subsequently burnt for heat and/or power.

Some systems are now appearing in the wild in countries as diverse as Morocco, Turkey, Argentina and Norway.

Greentech media reports that the Germans are getting in on the act as well, converting excess wind power to hydrogen and feeding it into the natural gas grid (perhaps the combination of hydrogen derived gas and biogas will eventually eliminate European dependence on gas from Russia and the middle east) - Wind Power Makes Hydrogen for German Gas Grid

For the first time on an industrial scale, hydrogen produced using wind power is being injected into the natural gas grid in Germany. It’s a development that could enhance the value of wind power by making it useful no matter when it is produced.

E.ON said the P2G unit in Falkenhagen in eastern Germany, operated in a partnership with Swissgas AG, has a capacity of 2 megawatts and can pump out 360 cubic meters of hydrogen every hour. In a sign of the potential of the technology, its inauguration drew a crowd that included the German economics minister, members of the European parliament and high officials of Brandenburg state.

“One of the biggest challenges of transforming Germany’s energy system is finding ways to integrate the increasing share of intermittent, renewable-source energy,” Economics Minister Philipp Rösler said in the E.ON news release. “To ensure that Germany’s power system remains stable and that our economy continues to have the energy it needs, we not only have to rapidly expand energy networks. We also need innovative solutions like the P2G unit here in Falkenhagen.”

The Falkenhagen facility is essentially a way to store wind power. Instead of turning off the turbines at a nearby wind farm when demand is low (as it can be at night, when the wind tends to blow strongest), or using the power to move water up a hill (effective but site-specific and expensive pumped hydro) or charge a battery (expensive), or try to find a buyer for the power far away (requiring costly transmission), the power is used to turn water into hydrogen by electrolysis. The hydrogen is then shot straight into the area’s natural gas system, displacing a fossil fuel.

What’s especially interesting here is that last step: the use of the hydrogen in the natural gas pipeline. We recently reported on a study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Energy, “Blending Hydrogen Into Natural Gas Pipeline Networks: A Review of Key Issues,” in which the authors sound a fairly optimistic note about the possibility of putting the country’s extensive gas pipeline system to work for clean hydrogen’s benefit. They don’t give a 100 percent endorsement of the idea -- because of the nature of hydrogen, the natural gas system can only take small percentages without extensive reworking -- but their review of the issues says that the pluses appeared significant enough to warrant further study. So while the E.ON project in Germany is fairly small, it should provide valuable insight that will help guide subsequent approaches with the technology.

Other similar approaches include putting hydrogen produced from excess renewables to work in fuel cells, and reacting it with CO2 from bioenergy plants to produce a carbon neutral methane, sometimes known as “renewable methane” or synthetic methane. This synthetic methane could go directly into the natural gas pipeline without the limitations of hydrogen. A 25-kilowatt demonstration plant using just such a system is operating in Germany.

1 comments

At least they mentioned that there are problems with just adding hydrogen to the natural gas mix. Embrittlement of the pipes and much higher BTU content at the same pressures are two of those.

Post a Comment

Statistics

Locations of visitors to this page

blogspot visitor
Stat Counter

Total Pageviews

Ads

Books

Followers

Blog Archive

Labels

australia (614) global warming (415) solar power (388) peak oil (349) renewable energy (282) electric vehicles (238) wind power (190) ocean energy (164) csp (158) geothermal energy (144) solar thermal power (144) smart grids (140) tidal power (137) oil (136) solar pv (132) coal seam gas (131) energy storage (131) nuclear power (127) lng (116) china (115) iraq (113) geothermal power (112) green buildings (110) natural gas (110) agriculture (90) oil price (80) biofuel (78) smart meters (72) wave power (72) uk (68) electricity grid (67) coal (66) energy efficiency (64) google (58) bicycle (51) internet (51) shale gas (49) surveillance (49) big brother (48) food prices (48) thin film solar (42) tesla (41) biomimicry (40) canada (40) scotland (38) ocean power (37) politics (37) shale oil (37) new zealand (35) air transport (34) algae (34) water (34) concentrating solar power (33) arctic ice (32) queensland (32) saudi arabia (32) california (31) credit crunch (31) bioplastic (30) offshore wind power (30) population (30) cogeneration (28) geoengineering (28) batteries (26) drought (26) resource wars (26) woodside (26) bruce sterling (25) censorship (25) cleantech (25) ctl (23) carbon tax (22) economics (22) exxon (22) limits to growth (22) buckminster fuller (21) distributed manufacturing (21) iraq oil law (21) coal to liquids (20) indonesia (20) lithium (20) origin energy (20) brightsource (19) rail transport (19) ultracapacitor (19) santos (18) ausra (17) electric bikes (17) michael klare (17) atlantis (16) cellulosic ethanol (16) collapse (16) iceland (16) mapping (16) ucg (16) bees (15) concentrating solar thermal power (15) ethanol (15) geodynamics (15) lithium ion batteries (15) psychology (15) al gore (14) brazil (14) bucky fuller (14) fertiliser (14) ambient energy (13) biodiesel (13) carbon emissions (13) cities (13) investment (13) kenya (13) matthew simmons (13) public transport (13) biochar (12) chile (12) desertec (12) internet of things (12) otec (12) texas (12) victoria (12) big oil (11) cradle to cradle (11) energy policy (11) hybrid car (11) terra preta (11) tinfoil (11) toyota (11) amory lovins (10) antarctica (10) fabber (10) gazprom (10) goldman sachs (10) gtl (10) severn estuary (10) volt (10) afghanistan (9) alaska (9) biomass (9) carbon trading (9) distributed generation (9) esolar (9) four day week (9) fuel cells (9) jeremy leggett (9) pge (9) sweden (9) arrow energy (8) eroei (8) fish (8) floating offshore wind power (8) guerilla gardening (8) linc energy (8) methane (8) methane hydrates (8) nanosolar (8) natural gas pipelines (8) pentland firth (8) relocalisation (8) saul griffith (8) stirling engine (8) us elections (8) western australia (8) airborne wind turbines (7) bloom energy (7) boeing (7) bolivia (7) chp (7) climategate (7) copenhagen (7) vinod khosla (7) apocaphilia (6) ceramic fuel cells (6) cigs (6) futurism (6) jatropha (6) local currencies (6) nigeria (6) ocean acidification (6) scenario planning (6) somalia (6) t boone pickens (6) space based solar power (5) varanus island (5) garbage (4) global energy grid (4) kevin kelly (4) low temperature geothermal power (4) oled (4) tim flannery (4) v2g (4) club of rome (3) norman borlaug (2) peak oil portfolio (1)