Wind-to-gas integration

In August 2012, global power and gas company E.ON AG started construction of a pilot plant that will allow storage of wind-generated energy on Germany’s natural-gas grid. The forward-looking initiative represents an option for handling large energy-storage demands in the future.

10/26/2012


E.ON AG’s pilot plant at Falkenhagen in northeast Germany will convert excess wind power first into hydrogen—which will be piped to and stored on the country's natural-gas grid. The plant is expected to produce approximately 360 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour through electrolysis, starting in 2013. Approximately 2 megawatts (MW) of wind power will be supplied to the plant. (This is Online Ref. 1 in the Nov. CE article, “Integrated energy storage systems.”)

Hydrogen fed into the gas pipeline system will be used like normal natural gas, according to E.ON. Presently, regulations allow adding up to 5% hydrogen to the natural-gas grid. For wider energy-storage potential, the next step will be to convert hydrogen into synthetic gas. This initiative would make the gas grid a power storage system for weather-dependent renewable energy sources, the company noted.

Demand for large-scale storage capacity will arise over the coming decades, when most generated power comes from renewable energy, according to E.ON. "We need new storage capacities so that we can further increase the share of weather-dependent wind power in our generation portfolio in coming years,” said Klaus-Dieter Maubach, member of the E.ON AG board of management. “E.ON is, therefore, investing in the development of technologies to store large energy volumes. In this respect, power-to-gas is a promising solution for the future energy supply system.”

Operating experience to be gained at the storage plant should provide valuable input for further initiatives in this technology sector. The Falkenhagen plant represents an investment of €5 million for E.ON AG.

www.eon.com 

- Edited by Frank J. Bartos, PE, a Control Engineering contributing content specialist. Reach him at braunbart@sbcglobal.net

ONLINE

See related articles, linked below.



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again