Electrolysis can react to fluctuations in the supply generated by renewable energy in a matter of milliseconds - much faster than previous methods. The prototype of a storage facility equipped with PEM technology produces between two and six kilograms of hydrogen per hour.
One such facility, which is rated at 0.3 megawatts at peak capacity, went into operation at the Coal Innovation Centre at the RWE power plant in Niederaußem as part of the CO2RRECT (CO2‑Reaction using Regenerative Energies and Catalytic Technologies) project.
It will simulate operational situations resulting from conditions that could be caused by fluctuations in the amount of electricity fed into the grid. Siemens and its partners in the project, including RWE, Bayer, and ten academic institutions, aim to use electrolytically harvested hydrogen to convert carbon dioxide into a raw material that can be used in the industrial production of chemicals.
Energy storage facilities for electricity from renewable sources are important components of the energy transition. Compressed hydrogen gas has a high energy density and could be stored in underground salt caverns, for example. When desired, the hydrogen can be converted to electricity, and it can also be used as a fuel and as a raw material for industry. Until now, electrolysis facilities were not conceived or designed to be able to react flexibly to large energy fluctuations.
At Siemens' Industry Sector a new low-maintenance electrolysis technology has been developed based on research from Corporate Technology. In the electrolyzer a proton exchange membrane (PEM) separates the electrodes on which hydrogen and oxygen form. One reason this electrolyzer can react so quickly is that the membrane is very stable in response to pressure differences in the two gas chambers. Because it is equipped with internal cooling and is designed for high current densities, it can easily handle three times its rated capacity for some time and needs almost no electricity at all when in standby mode.
Smaller versions of this system could soon be installed at filling stations to produce hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles. Modular systems with outputs of up to ten megawatts should be available in a few years. These would be appropriate for industrial and other applications.
In the long term, systems using PEM electrolysis should be able to operate in the triple-digit megawatt range that would be necessary to handle the output of offshore wind farms and/or provide load balancing capacity for primary and secondary control reserves. Siemens will continue to develop the design, materials, and manufacturing processes for PEM electrolysis.
Dr. Norbert Aschenbrenner | Siemens InnovationNews
Did you know that the wrapping of Easter eggs benefits from specialty light sources?
13.04.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH
To e-, or not to e-, the question for the exotic 'Si-III' phase of silicon
05.04.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences