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Carbon-free hydrogen from low-cost wind power, stored for use on demand

Part of Today in the Lab - Tomorrow in Energy?

Today in the Lab – Tomorrow in Energy? shines a spotlight on research projects under development in the Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCPs). Learn more about the initiative, read the launch commentary, or explore the TCPs.


What is the aim of the project?

The HyBalance project aims to demonstrate the production and use of hydrogen – for storage, deployment and grid balancing – in decarbonised energy systems. Through performance testing, HyBalance shows the potential for power-to-hydrogen technologies while validating the innovative proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyser and delivery processes.

How could this technology be explained to a high school student? 

The HyBalance facility takes electricity from the grid – in Denmark 50% of electricity consumption derives from wind power - into the plant to power and test an advanced electrolyser that splits water into oxygen and hydrogen. The hydrogen is stored for later delivery (via pipelines and trailers) for use by customers for clean transport and industrial purposes.

What is the value for society?

  • integrates hydrogen into the energy system, increasing system versatility, resilience and efficiency
  • enables storage of excess and/or low-cost renewable electricity
  • accelerates development and deployment of clean technologies for transport, industry and power

At what stage of development is this project?

The project began in 2015 and the technical facility was completed in 2017. Hydrogen delivery began in 2018 and electrolyser performance testing is continuing, with the project due to conclude in September 2020. Key business results include the production and sale of hydrogen molecules, provision of grid services since 2020, and real-world grid-interconnected use of PEM electrolyser.

What government policies could bring this from the lab to the market?

  • include hydrogen use in national decarbonisation plans (including grid and Power-to-X)
  • public RD&D funding
  • adopt transmission system tariff exemptions for electrolysers


The HyBalance facility in Hobro, Denmark

The HyBalance facility in Hobro, Denmark


Partners

  • Air Liquide
  •  Hydrogenics
  • Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik
  • Centrica
  • Hydrogen Valley    

Funders

  • Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking
  • Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP), Denmark



About the Hydrogen TCP

Established in 1977, the Technology Collaboration Programme on Hydrogen (Hydrogen TCP) works to accelerate hydrogen implementation and widespread utilisation in the areas of production, storage, distribution, power, heating, mobility and industry. Members benefit from the TCP’s global research outreach and robust industry participation. Contact: marina.holgado@ieahydrogen.org

This article was updated on 25 September 2020 to clarify that the HyBalance facility takes electricity directly from the grid.