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Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:36 PM

Bibendum 2014: ITM Power wants to make nearly free hydrogen. No, really

Electrolyzers, Natural Gas And Grid Balancing Are The Keys

Sebastian Blanco | Green Autoblog.com | Nov 14, 2014



There's a problem that need solving when it comes to renewable energy. Where do you put it when it's not needed? Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power, has what he says is the best answer: you turn it into hydrogen. Speaking at the 2014 Michelin Challenge Bibendum in Chengdu, China this week, Cooley explained how ITM's electrolyzer system, when connected to the electric grid and the local natural gas pipeline, can basically get you zero-cost hydrogen fuel for your fuel cell vehicle. It's not a completely new idea, but here's how it works.



Cooley started by noting that the UK has tremendous wind power potential, especially in the north, in Ireland and Scotland. Cooley said it was, "the richest wind resource in Europe, which would be fantastic if we could harness it properly." That's a catch, though: the grid doesn't have enough storage capacity to hold on to a lot of renewable energy if it happens to be generated when you don't need it. If it's windy when people are sleeping, for example, the energy is likely to be wasted. Some utilities have plans to use giant battery banks, especially those that have served time in plug-in vehicles, to store this electricity, but ITM thinks its hydrogen electrolyzers are a better solution for the massive amounts of power that a city or national grid needs. "There's a threshold that you get to, which is about 20 percent by capacity by renewable power," Cooley said, after which "you start to turn down considerable amounts of that power." The UK hit that threshold last year,



That makes storing or using that temperamental wind energy the better choice.
The reason for it is a little complicated, but stay with us. Let's say that you're a utility and your total grid capacity includes 20 percent wind power. One day, everyone is using all of your electricity, and then all of a sudden, the wind starts raging and you'd like to send your customers that emissions-free power instead of burning your fossil fuels. To do that, you have two options: you can quickly reduce your fossil fuel power generation by 20 percent, or you can find a way to store that wind energy for the future. Slowing down and then restarting giant coal- or oil-fired generators can take 12 or 6 hours, respectively and shutting down a nuclear plant can take up to 48 hours so those aren't reasonable options. Thus, storing or using all that temperamental wind energy becomes the better choice, at least over the short term.

As stated, you could save the energy for later use in big battery packs, but Cooley and ITM Power say that their hydrogen electrolyzers offer a far superior solution because of something called grid balancing, which is the obligation by the transmission operator to achieve 50 Hz on average every hour. Grid balancing "is about frequency and it's about balancing the supply side with the demand side," Cooley said. Different countries require different outputs (in the US, it is 60 Hz; in China and the UK, 50 Hz), so the following numbers aren't applicable everywhere, but we'll let Cooley explain it from here and you'll get the gist (Wikipedia can also explain it)...

MORE: http://green.autoblog.com/2014/11/14/bibendum-2014-itm-power-make-free-hydrogen/


Related: Hydrogen fuel becomes a practical reality.
"The launch of the UKs first commercial-scale hydrogen production and refuelling facility powered by solar energy heralds the dawn of an era of true carbon-free fuel."

http://www.shdlogistics.com/news/view/hydrogen-fuel-becomes-a-practical-reality

Hydrogen energy storage: power ramp-up at the MYRTE test platform.
"Since 1/2012, this platform has connected photovoltaic solar panels to a hydrogen-based storage system. By joining the power grid, this provides a solution to the problem of intermittency & makes it one of the rare installations.." http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2014/05/hydrogen-energy-storage-power-ramp-up-at-the-myrte-test-platform.html

Siemens plans electrolyzer system to store wind power as hydrogen.
The system, equipped with an electrolyzer from Siemens, will convert surplus electricity from wind farms to hydrogen. The hydrogen will then be stored locally in tankers or fed directly into the natural gas grid or used for fuel cell vehicles. http://www.elp.com/articles/2014/05/siemens-plans-electrolyzer-system-to-store-wind-power-as-hydrogen.html

Green Hydrogen facility opens at Berlin airport, with first refueling of a fuel cell Electric Vehicle.
"The 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."
http://www.renewableenergyfocus.com/view/38624/green-hydrogen-facility-opens-at-berlin-airport-with-first-refueling-of-fuel-cell-vehicle/

The US (who went to the moon on Fuel Cells) could have led this energy revolution, instead it can sit back and watch the rest of the world. When it's not bombing and invading other countries. Nice work, Boomers.

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Reply Bibendum 2014: ITM Power wants to make nearly free hydrogen. No, really (Original post)
nationalize the fed Nov 2014 OP
NickB79 Nov 2014 #1
nationalize the fed Nov 2014 #3
Nihil Nov 2014 #6
dumbcat Nov 2014 #7
djean111 Nov 2014 #2
nationalize the fed Nov 2014 #4
hunter Nov 2014 #5
cprise Nov 2014 #8

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:48 PM

1. Hey look, more hydrogen from natural gas!

Cooley explained how ITM's electrolyzer system, when connected to the electric grid and the local natural gas pipeline


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Response to NickB79 (Reply #1)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:56 PM

3. First of all

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are Fracking Friendly (to say the least).



How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World
A trove of secret documents details the US government's global push for shale gas.

By Mariah Blake | September/October 2014 Issue
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/09/hillary-clinton-fracking-shale-state-department-chevron


If you voted for Obama you are a friend of fracking. It's the basis of his Energy policy.

Second, apparently you didn't see the bottom 4 excerpts and links in the post. Try to pay attention.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 19, 2014, 05:33 AM

6. Not trying to speak for Nick but your reply isn't a valid response.

 

> Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are Fracking Friendly (to say the least).

I doubt many people around here are not aware that both Obama & Clinton are
fossil fuel boosters so the first half of your post is merely a diversion from Nick's
point, not a response to it.


> Second, apparently you didn't see the bottom 4 excerpts and links in the post.

Again, most people around E/E have seen your "bottom 4 excerpts" many, many
times as you apparently spam them (alternating with the Swindon photos and the
German airport ones) on so many of your pro-Hydrogen posts that I wondered if
they were in your sig.

Again, they have nothing to do with the OP article which is, as stated, reliant
on being connected to both the natural gas pipeline and the electric grid.


> Try to pay attention.

Same to you.

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Response to Nihil (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 19, 2014, 10:49 AM

7. I haven't seen many valid responses

from the poster that involve math or logic. Whenever anyone questions the math or logic in his links we get a deflection and another set of propaganda links. But still, at least there is some information in the links, though sometimes misleading.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:54 PM

2. Too bad you had to ruin a really good article with a cheap shot.

 

"Nice work, Boomers" - it is not the Boomers, it is the 1% who make money by not allowing research and development like this to get very far. If you think the 1% are all "Boomers", you are sadly mistaken.
Age or geographical blame is a major failure of logic. Granted, it is cheap and easy.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 14, 2014, 05:59 PM

4. The Boomers are leading the descent into

whatever you call what we have today.

It's a fact. Deal with it. Boomers may be the most spoiled and gullible people that have ever walked the earth. What have they actually DONE to improve anything?

Edit to add: Their offspring are even worse. The US is full of less than impressive people. I'm leaving as fast as I can. I am not the only one. Have fun with the drone bombing, surveillance and Bush v. Clinton in 2016

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 15, 2014, 01:47 PM

5. Heh. We created the internet.



And many of us rejected fascist fuel-based versions of utopia a long time ago, myself in the early 'eighties. I loathe the automobile culture as much as I loathe militaristic culture. Automobiles are tools of fascists and have killed and maimed as many people as some very serious wars.

Question: Is there anyplace on earth that's NOT "full of less than impressive people?"

If so, I've never been there, and it seems many of the "more impressive" people our culture celebrates are twisted sociopaths and ethical midgets.

The only thing that will pull humanity through this mess we've created is sharing a sense of community with every last one of our fellow human beings and what's left of the natural environment.

Nationalism and racism blow chunks:




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Response to hunter (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 22, 2014, 07:47 PM

8. I think he has a point about Boomers, though

In general, that is.

They put Reagan in office (and kept him there) almost as soon as they came of age.

They took the benefits of higher education (which was not structured into a financial scam) and used them to spread greed and consumption around the world. Now they are into reverse mortgages and being free of estate tax and pension funds that reap them benefits from pollution and offshoring.

All of this, they tell themselves, is an 'antidote' to the kind of government evil that sent their friends to Vietnam.

I say what's good for the goose is good for the gander: While the Millennials still have some vital years left, they should look back at the politics of their parents when they were young, and also engage in some inter-generational conflict. Part of the reason we're so screwed is that Millennials were conditioned to think of their elders as "your groovy friends with a few wrinkles, continuing to live a vital existence into old age".

Above all, they are used to being catered to -- in spades -- whenever a new phase of their lives sets in. Its like a cultural and economic stampede.

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