Applications
  • Storing Renewable Energy
    Storing Renewable Energy

    In a bid to step away from dependence on fossil fuels, more and more renewable energy is being added to the energy mix. Some renewable energy, such as electricity generated by wind turbines, is produced in an unpredictable and intermittent cycle, when the wind blows. This energy supply does not always match the energy demands, and therefore, very often wind turbines are turned down (this is called wind curtailment). In times when there is a peak in electricity demand, grid operators will ramp up fossil fuel power plants to ensure the electricity supply, but these cause substantial emissions. The ability to store underground large amounts of hydrogen generated by rapid response electrolysers, provides the necessary means for both capturing surplus renewable energy and generating peak power without causing emissions when there’s a deficit in renewable energy. The associated storage capacity far exceeds that achievable via conventional methods (e.g. pumped storage and batteries) and so geological hydrogen storage is the key option for buffering our future energy system.

  • Backup Power
    Backup Power

    Hydrogen offers a reliable and immediate solution for off-grid electricity supply. Today, we rely heavily on an electricity supply to power many applications, including very important transport and emergency systems.  There are several off-grid work situations that require electricity and sometimes situations arise, such as natural disasters, when the grid electricity supply fails. In some cases this can be catastrophic and back up power has become a necessity of emergency planning. Back up power can be provided at a range of scales, but conventional solutions cause substantial atmospheric emissions (eg. diesel generators). Hydrogen can be used with fuel cells to provide a zero-emission electricity source which can start up within seconds and has the added benefit of being silent. In addition, off-grid electrolysers are under development to absorb the variable and intermittent outputs of solar and wind power sources.

  • Hydrogen Tube Trailer Filling
    Hydrogen Tube Trailer Filling

    Decarbonising the production of hydrogen Green hydrogen can be generated in regions of high renewable resource, including remote areas with little or no hydrogen demand, and transported by tube trailer to demand centres. This approach allows a supply of green hydrogen to be available wherever it is required. Shipping hydrogen stored in pressure vessels by road is a long established practice for conveying hydrogen to small industrial users and refuelling stations.

  • Power-to-Gas Energy Storage
    Power-to-Gas Energy Storage

    The gas network has the capacity to store energy at scale and Power to Gas has the potential to store MW to GW for durations that extend from hours to many months. ZXD has played a leading role in Power-to-Gas, Power-to-gas allows energy from electricity to be stored and transported in the form of compressed gas, often using existing infrastructure for long-term transport and storage of natural gas. P2G is often considered the most promising technology for seasonal renewable energy storage.

  • Hydrogen Islands
    Hydrogen Islands

    Islands tend to have abundant renewable resources yet they rely heavily upon importing fossil fuels, often at relatively high cost. The integration of renewables into an island’s power grid soon creates substantial balancing and curtailment problems. These can be overcome by deploying controllable rapid response electrolysers to produce green hydrogen for the island’s transport, heat and power sectors. Projects such as BigHit are demonstrating how this may be achieved.

  • Grid Balancing
    Grid Balancing

    Decarbonising the production of hydrogen The ongoing trend to deploy more renewable power sources is a positive step towards reducing dependency on fossil fuels, but it causes some big issues for electricity grid operators. Balancing the grid is becoming more challenging, because renewables are increasing the temporal mismatch between supply and demand on all timescales. Conventional grid balancing techniques cause CO2 emissions (ramping up a gas or coal power plant), so a new approach is needed for managing the emerging low-carbon power system. Rapid response PEM electrolysers can be used to absorb additional renewable energy on the electricity network and to provide up/down response to help stabilise frequency and voltage variations. The hydrogen that the electrolyser generates can also be stored in underground caverns, then used to generate renewable power at times when the wind isn’t blowing or the sun shining back (via a fuel cell or hydrogen gas turbine).

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