Hydrogen Energy Storage Plant

With the increasing share of renewable energies in electric power grids, the need for energy storage systems grows. Electrolysis and fuel cell plants provide a promising technology as energy storage for power-to-gas applications, as well as frequency control and ancillary services to the power grid. In order to study the performance of hydrogen energy storage plants and their integration into the grid, real-time modeling on system level plays an important role. Furthermore, operating a real system allows the exact validation of modeling results and further research on the impact of a hydrogen energy storage plant.

In order to follow the Power Hardware-in-the-Loop philosophy, we are currently building a modular 50 kW hydrogen storage facility. It will be easily reconfigurable in terms of power range and used technologies: The first development stage comprises a state-of-the-art 50 kW alkaline electrolyzer, a 400 bar hydrogen compressor and tank, as well as a 10 kW PEM fuel cell system. In the second step, the system will be extended by a liquefication plant to produce LH2. The interface to the PHIL system is designed for a maximum power of 1 MW, so even a multiplication of the system’s power range is easily possible.

Due to the flexibility of the plant itself and the Power Hardware-in-the-Loop system, coupling with other energy storage systems, such as batteries, supercapacitors or flywheels is handily possible. With this approach, hybrid storage systems can combine the advantage of two different technologies, for example to establish an energy storage that is fast in terms of power delivery while still having a high storage capacity at low cost.