In addition to refueling fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), the H2BER project also anticipates operation of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant with regeneratively produced hydrogen, and its supply into the public gas network. It thus offers an opportunity to conduct research into the 'energy transition'n as a single system.
By 2016, the H2BER partners – Total Deutschland, Linde, McPhy Energy, Enertrag, and 2G Energy – will have invested more than €10 million (US$13.7 million), with a further €5 million in public funding from the federal government, coordinated by NOW GmbH.
Clean Energy Partnership
More than 50 cars and buses in Berlin are already being refueled with hydrogen in the context of the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) between industry and the federal ministry of transport.
CEP is Europe’s largest demonstration of hydrogen mobility, and a flagship project of the German National Innovation Programme (NIP) for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology in the transport sector. CEP will create a network of 50 hydrogen fueling stations across Germany by the end of 2015.
'After seven years of research and development, applications in the transport sector are extensively suitable for everyday use and technologically market-ready,' says Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure. 'It is now a matter of introducing this technology to the market, which we will continue to support with suitable measures.'
Producing hydrogen using wind and solar
H2BER’s operating principle is based on applying hydrogen as an energy source produced using wind power and solar energy. Initially the electricity required will be provided by a nearby wind park. Hydrogen production at high wind speeds will also be tested and observed by scientists in a dedicated research campus.
Total is operating two hydrogen fueling pumps at the site, one for cars and one for buses, as well as offering natural gas (CNG) and LPG fueling, and even charging points for battery electric vehicles. The company is also integrating a rooftop solar installation, developed by its photovoltaic subsidiary SunPower.
The CO2-neutral hydrogen will be produced onsite in a McPhy 45 bar (650 psi) electrolyser, which will be operated by Enertrag. The optimised and extendable 500 kW alkaline electrolyser can produce more than 200 kg/day of hydrogen, enough to refuel around 50 FCEVs.
Hydrogen storage and dispensing
McPhy is also operating a solid-state hydrogen storage system with a capacity of 100 kg, which is aligned to fluctuating hydrogen production, to complement the onsite compressed gaseous storage.
Linde is responsible for the overall hydrogen handling process, from production in the electrolyser to dispensing from the pumps. This includes storing gaseous hydrogen in a 45 bar high-level tank, compression to 900 bar (13 000 psi), storage in high-pressure tanks, and refueling of cars and buses. The company will also supply industrial clients with a proportion of the hydrogen produced onsite.
Combined heat and power
2G has installed a CHP plant which converts the green hydrogen into electricity and heat, or can alternatively be operated with natural gas (10% biomethane). This supplies all of the fueling station buildings, including the H2BER control room, shop, and vehicle washing area.