Gas and fuel from wind
Can wind be stored? Siemens, Linde, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences and the Mainz municipal utility company want to enable that during periods with no wind at “Energiepark Mainz” (Mainz Energy Park). For this purpose the researchers are producing hydrogen from wind energy. From 2015, it is intended to produce hydrogen using a Power-to-Gas plant at the newly developed Mainz Energy Park.
|Project status||Scientifitic monitoring|
|Project duration||Ocotber 2012 until December 2017|
The constantly growing use of renewable electricity generation is placing increasing strain on the German power grid. More and more frequently, solar and wind energy in particular will deliver power at times when it cannot be used. Four prominent partners from the fields of industry, technology and research are planning to collaborate on an innovative solution to this core challenge in German energy policy: over the last one and a half years, Siemens, the Linde Group, the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences and Stadtwerke Mainz have been developing a project funded by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology – from 2015 on, the new "Energiepark Mainz" will produce hydrogen with the help of electricity which has been ecologically generated from wind energy.
Hydrogen can be easily stored and used as an energy carrier in a wide variety of ways. For example, the gas produced in Mainz is to be delivered by tanker to special hydrogen filling stations and used as environmentally–friendly fuel for emission-free fuel-cell vehicles. It is also planned to feed hydrogen into the natural gas grid, where it will be available for gas heating or modern gas and combined heat and power plants. The research project will also examine whether the hydrogen produced in Hechtsheim can be utilized as a fuel for energy recirculation at Kraftwerke Mainz-Wiesbaden AG's Ingelheimer Aue combined cycle power plant to ensure the supply of renewable electricity when no wind is blowing. Aim of the project is the development of a storage plant with the scale to manage bottlenecks in the distribution network (peak-shaving, avoided grid expansion) on one hand, and to function as link between today's small scale (100 kW) and tomorrow's large scale (100 MW) electrolysis plants on the other hand.
The "Energiepark Mainz" will be built in the Mainz-Hechtsheim business park. The electrolysis hall will form the heart of the research plant and will feature a hydrogen electrolysis system developed by Siemens in which water will be broken down into its constituents of hydrogen and oxygen. All the basic components of energy storage (wind power, electrolysis, gas line feed-in, hydrogen compressor, pressurized tank, trailer filling) will be tested at the energy park and explained to further potential users and other interested parties. At an info center on the site, visitors will be able to see how hydrogen electrolysis works and learn about the place of storage technologies in the energy system of the future.
Central aim of the project is the development, testing and operation of innovative technologies for the production of hydrogen via water electrolysis using renewable energies. Even today there are times when wind power plants have to be cut from the power grid, due to lacking capacities. In the following years renewable energies will deliver more power than demanded. The “Energiepark Mainz” can be one part of the solution: it can store this surplus environmentally-friendly energy through the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen and therefore provide energy time independent. Thus, renewable energies will become 100% flexible and are available when they are needed.