Hydrogen storage plant goes commercial

July 20, 2018 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Researchers at the Mainz Energy Park in Germany are developing systems based on polymer electrolyte membranes (PEM) for electrolysis to produce hydrogen at a commercial scale. In the research phase, systems with peak loads of up to 2 MW were used for the first time.

The park has world's largest power-to-gas research facility producing hydrogen by electrolysis using wind power, stored and fed into the natural gas grid. The aim is to test the processes and innovative components on an industrial scale.

At the beginning of the project, the typical output of PEM electrolysers was around 100 kW. The advantage of this membrane electrolysis is that the hydrogen is very pure, the process requires little maintenance and can react well to fluctuations in the power grid. In the project, the gas is then compressed with ionic compressors, stored and fed into the natural gas network or delivered to hydrogen filling stations and industrial plants. Hydrogen is a versatile chemical energy store and raw material. Up to 10% of the gas can be added to the natural gas, can be used directly in industrial production processes and can be easily stored.

The electrolysis plant generates up to 1,000 Nm³ of hydrogen per hour, which is fed into the natural gas grid. The energy park completed the research phase in 2017 and has meanwhile gone into regular commercial operation.

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