IEA HIA Task 24

IEA HIA Annex 24 - Wind Energy and Hydrogen Integration

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Operating Agents:  Dr. Luis Correas, Fundacio n Para el Desarollo Tecnologas del Hidrogeno in Aragon (lcorreas@hidrogenoaragon.org) and Mr. Fernando Carpintero, Gamesa Energa

Term:  Task 24 was approved in 2006 with a four year term of operation.

 Purpose and Objectives:   

  • To explore in detail all possible issues (technical, economic, social, environmental, market and legal) related to hydrogen production using electrolysis with wind energy.
  • To explore in detail possible applications for this hydrogen, with special emphasis on wind and hydrogen integration by means of hydrogen storage and electrical conversation that balances the original wind energy production

Background:  There is broad interest in hydrogen production by means of renewable energy sources, as hydrogen is expected to be one of the main energy carriers in the near future.  From the perspective of technical and economic feasibility, water electrolysis by wind energy ranks high among renewable energy sources for hydrogen production as a competitor to fossil fuel. However, water electrolysis technologies were not conceived for the variable input conditions inherent to wind resources. Therefore, the current state of the art must be upgraded, largely to avoid redundant electronics.

The fully integrated wind and hydrogen application connects wind technology with various hydrogen related technologies such as electrolyzers (for production), hydrogen to electricity converters (for utilization) and storage systems. If wind farms can be coupled to energy storage systems, wind energy will become available to offset the growth in network capacity. Furthermore, wind farms would become multi-purpose, decentralized producers of either electricity or hydrogen for fuel when the automotive industry enters mass production of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles. Off-grid systems relying solely on renewable energy sources constitute an important niche market.

Description: Task 24 has four subtasks, which are listed and described below:

Subtask A - State of the Art

Subtask A will conduct an in-depth review of the current state of the art in wind turbines, electrolysers, and intermediate equipment, as well as a survey of market and electrical system regulation.

Subtask B - Needed Improvements & System Integration Technology Development on Main Equipment and System Integration Concepts

This subtask is focused on two main components for hydrogen production?the wind turbine and the electrolyzer, including the intermediate components.  The subtask goal is to develop proper specifications.  To do so, it must consider the following issues:

  • The dynamics of power electronics and control (system integration) equipment.
  • Electrolyzer durability under a very dynamic workload
  • Development of specific wind turbines adapted for hydrogen production

 Subtask C -  Business Concept Development

Subtask C will deal with the following issues:

  • Economic assessment and forecast of market potential with a detailed hydrogen production cost study of different concepts within representative market
  • Conceptual development and validation of site plans that incorporates logistics and hydrogen use differentiated by applications. Two applications will receive special consideration: hydrogen as a transportation fuel and on-site conversion of hydrogen to electricity for grid balancing.
  • Cross-cutting issues, including social and environmental acceptability of increasing wind power capacity devoted to hydrogen production; and market regulations affecting hydrogen production using wind power.

Subtask D:  Applications, Emphasis on Wind Energy Management

This subtask will consider near-term applications for the wind-generated hydrogen with a special focus on one of the main application specified in Subtask C, wind energy management within the wind and hydrogen full integration concept.  An analysis similar to those undertaken in tasks A to C will be performed for relevant components not previously taken into account. These components include hydrogen to electricity converters such as fuel cells, internal combustion engines and gas turbines. 

Participants

The current task participant list includes:

Member

Organization

Canada

CANMET-NRCan

Denmark

Risoe National Laboratories

EU

DG JRC

France

Air Liquide

Germany

Planet-energie

Greece

CRES

Japan

ENAA

Spain

ITC, CIEMAT / IEA WIA

Spain

Gamesa Energ?a and Fundaci?n Hidrogeno Aragon

Switzerland

IHT

UK

H2NET, Bryte-energy, Sigen

USA

NREL

Progress

The kickoff meeting for this task was in April, 2007 in Walqa Technology Park, Huesca, Spain. The work plan for each subtask is on schedule.