“All-rounder hydrogen" - Heat storage unit starts demonstration operation

June 28, 2022

Hydrogen plays a key role in our future energy supply, which is to be based on renewable energies. Everyone is talking about hydrogen - but there are also challenges yet to be solved on the way to a hydrogen infrastructure. For example, heat storage is a key issue that needs to be addressed. A team from the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (MPI), together with other partners, has developed a promising approach here, which is now entering demonstration operation.

The team of Dr. Michael Felderhoff focuses on the synthesis and characterization of new materials for the storage of hydrogen and heat. The hydrogen expert knows about the challenges that lie ahead for research and industry in order to distribute the energy carrier safely and with good availability to households and industrial companies. A key element for a future energy supply is the storage of heat. As part of the HyHeatStore project (co-funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the European Union), a heat storage reactor with an expected capacity of 250 kWhth was recently put into operation at the Hydrogen Competence Center in Herten. Michael Felderhoff explains the mode of operation: “Heat is stored or extracted through a reversible reaction of commercially available magnesium metal powder with hydrogen. The hydrogen is not burned in the process, but used as a working gas during hydrogenation and de-hydrogenation of magnesium. This means that such devices can also be used as intermediate hydrogen storage units in a hydrogen infrastructure.” The project is meant to demonstrate the technical feasibility of metal hydride-based thermal storage systems. Stable release and storage of heat and hydrogen over hundreds of cycles have already been achieved on laboratory scale since the start of the project in 2019. After an intense phase of planning and construction, the plant in Herten was filled at the beginning of the year. Future work will address the optimal conversion of the stored heat back into electricity and thus tackle another challenge on the way to the energy transition.

The HyHeatStore project is a cooperation between the IUTA e.V. in Duisburg, the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences in Gelsenkirchen, the company Martin Busch & Sohn GmbH in Schermbeck and the MPI für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

More information: : MPI and partners build Heat Storage Systems.

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