Where is the power to gas?
06 Feb 2019
Visit to Energy Park Mainz (Germany)
Wherever the power to gas is there will always be a restless engineer trying to learn and in our team we have several.
As you surely know, we are immersed in a project called H2-Smart where we studied the feasibility of using H2 along with our renewable engerias.
With the intention of learning the secrets of this technology we embarked on a technical visit to the facilities of Energy Park Mainz located just outside Mainz near Frankfurt (Germany).
These facilities have been designed and commissioned by a consortium composed of Siemens, The Linde Group, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences and Stadtwerke Mainz in 2017.
Can renewable energies help us become more independent from natural gas imports and produce more environmentally friendly electricity and heat?
This is the question that motivates the construction of this plant, which is now fully operational and which has inspired others that also focus on power to gas.
The main objective is the development, testing and application of this innovative technology for the production of hydrogen through electrolysis driven by renewable energy sources.
Even in 2019, wind turbines must be shut down when the grid lacks sufficient capacity. In the coming years, renewable energy sources will temporarily deliver more energy than is really needed and Spain will be no exception.
Energiepark Mainz is part of the solution to this problem: it can help store excess green electricity by dividing water into hydrogen and oxygen and thus deliver energy that can be used at any time. So, renewable energy can be used extremely flexibly and is available when needed.
Some technical data about de process
The electrolysis process requires demineralized water. To produce water with this high degree of purity, the water purification plant extracts all the dissolved minerals that are included in the usual tap water in several stages.
Three SILYZER 200 electrolyzers equipped with the innovative Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology divide water into hydrogen and oxygen using direct current electricity. The proton conductive membranes used in the electrolyzer cells reliably keep the gases separate and offer a high level of safety, also thanks to the innovative cell design.
The hydrogen produced in the energy park can be injected into the Stadtwerke Mainz high-pressure natural gas network. The mixture is produced on a heel line, which supplies the Mainz-Ebersheim district. This process replaces fossil natural gas.
All applications connected to the natural gas grid, such as heating systems, gas burners, thermal power plants and gas-fired power plants can be partially supplied with the generated hydrogen. In addition, the enormous storage capacity of the natural gas network can be used for the energy of the energy system.