Hydrogen Energy Storage

CymruH2Wales - Work Package 2

Baglan Centre 5

Optimising the interface between intermittent renewable electricity and hydrogen as an energy store

[For more information on the Hydrogen Storage and Materials Science work, led by Prof David Antonelli at the University of South Wales click here]

Increasing renewable input to the electricity grid brings CO2 reductions, but the inherent variability of renewable generation represents a challenge to grid operation and raises the requirement for energy storage . The focus of the University of South Wales' research in this area is the exploitation of hydrogen as a viable energy storage mechanism. Work includes investigation, using dynamic modelling techniques, into the optimisation and enhancement of hydrogen energy storage systems for use as an effective balance for  intermittent renewable electricity feeds. The workpackage also concentrates on electrolyser, hydrogen storage and fuel cell system development, including development of the overall system interaction.

Based at the University's Hydrogen Centre in Baglan, the research builds on the existing renewable hydrogen equipment, including electrolysis, storage and stationary fuel cell systems. The intention is to develop new, optimal system process control and the development of novel equipment as part of this hydrogen energy storage process. Part of this R&D is internal, but the emphasis is on working with industrial partners.

The Centre currently includes existing electricity production from the installed photovoltaic arrays, but to enable consideration of wind, marine, or other renewable electricity profiles, a power emulation system is being developed. Different hydrogen electrolysers will be developed and tested with partners to enhance the operability with variable power feed. As well as the existing compressed storage, alternative hydrogen storage systems will be investigated, with a longer term intention of developing a full hydrogen storage development and test facility. Stationary PEM fuel cell operation and product development will also be part of the activity.

This work package is anticipated to derive significant new  intellectual property, which can be developed in Wales.

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