UK funds 100MW Power-to-Gas energy storage project

Posted: September 30, 2018 by oldbrew in Energy, innovation
Tags: ,

Industrial Runcorn [image credit: Ineos]

We’re told Project Centurion ‘will be the largest water to hydrogen electrolyzer system in the world’. But as a percentage of the volume, how much hydrogen could safely be injected into the existing gas supply, and would it be worth the bother? This looks like the press release.

ITM Power announced funding from Innovate UK for a feasibility study to deploy a 100MW Power-to-Gas (P2G) energy storage project, “Project Centurion” at Runcorn, Cheshire, UK, reports Green Car Congress.

This project explores the electrolytic production, pipeline transmission, salt cavern storage and gas grid injection of green hydrogen at an industrial scale.

The feasibility study will explore the system design and costs and will assess the business case for deployment.

The vision for Project Centurion is to demonstrate a 100MW P2G energy storage system which can produce low carbon hydrogen for heat, decarbonization of industry, and transport fuel.

Once successfully demonstrated, such systems can make a significant contribution to the decarbonization of the electricity and gas networks, and by coupling these two networks together provide energy storage, allowing the UK energy system to accommodate increasing amounts of renewable energy, reducing curtailment and constraints.

As well as contributing to decarbonization, P2G systems can improve security of energy supply and improve the UK balance of payments by producing indigenous fuel offsetting the need to import fuel.

Continued here.

  1. ivan says:

    Simple question. WHY.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Why? Energy storage for wind or solar power, is the idea. What process to use is another question.

    Hydrogen has over twice the heat value of domestic gas.
    – – –
    Report: Potential Role of Hydrogen in the UK Energy System

    Producing large volumes of low-carbon hydrogen from UK renewables, at an acceptable social and economic cost, will present challenges.

  3. Curious George says:

    Oldbrew, hydrogen has a high heat value per kilogram. A low heat value per liter.

    An interesting question is an overall efficiency of the process. Electrolysis is usually highly inefficient. How to get the energy back? A fuel cell is an expensive possibility. Or a combustion engine with a 50% efficiency at best.

    Right now there is no good solution for an energy storage.

  4. BoyfromTottenham says:

    Not to mention the risk of leaks and potentially catastrophic explosions, due to the small size of hydrogen molecules. Yet another cockamamie scheme to waste taxpayers hard-earned money.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Hydrogen-enriched natural gas could slash domestic carbon emissions claim Swansea researchers
    11th June 2018

    Dr Charles Dunnill of the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University said: “Up to 30 per cent of the UK’s gas supply can be replaced with hydrogen, without needing to modify people’s appliances. Hydrogen-enrichment can make a difference now. But it could also prove a valuable stepping-stone towards a future, pure hydrogen, zero carbon gas network.”

    Current UK legal limit for hydrogen in gas supply is 0.1%.

  6. oldbrew says:

    Coal’s Fortunes Rise as Energy Reality Hits Climate “Leaders”

    Japan and the European Union (EU) are increasing, rather than decreasing coal use despite claiming leadership in the battle against purported human caused climate change. Because, of the fossil fuels, coal emits more carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than oil or natural gas, Japan (1997 Kyoto protocol) and the European Union (2015 Paris climate agreement) targeted coal use for a steep, rapid reduction. Evidence suggests they are having second thoughts about the virtues of coal as a source of electric power.

    Japan and Germany are backing out of nuclear, and EU countries generally stopped most nuclear projects years ago. If they don’t like coal, that only leaves more expensive gas and biomass as credible options for reliable fuel-burning power.

  7. Graeme No.3 says:

    The cheapest way currently to producing hydrogen is the steam reforming of natural gas. With the major by-product being CO2 I assume they have something else in mind. Electrolysis is inefficient especially when intermittent, but is the fantasy of those who support wind farms.
    A question though…if 30% hydrogen is added to the gas supply, how is it charged for? Will the cost to the consumer be based of the volume supplied? Or the supposed extra heat content?

    And as BoyfromTottenham alludes to…how do they know that the hydrogen won’t selectively segregate out of the gas supply and into hazardous areas?

  8. pochas94 says:

    Oh, some people will benefit. Those who will collect rent from the massive flow of government money to come.

  9. dai davies says:

    Let’s hope “zero carbon” looks foolish long before significant money is wasted on schemes like this.
    And as BfT says, hydrogen leaks. Totally new supply systems needed for home and transport.

    Nothing more to this than a morale booster for the troops.

  10. Phi32 says:

    Claims that hydrogen has a higher heat value than natural gas or even the old Towns Gas are pure nonsense. In the old numbers of BThU per cubic foot, hydrogen is 320, Towns Gas 500 and natural gas (methane) 1000. The whole project is utter nonsense.

    Phil BSc BEcon and former gas industry engineer

  11. oldbrew says:

    Another idea for using up surplus night-time cheap rate power…

    CO2 capture with radiofrequency heating

    Project description

    Since all the UK’s industrial activities need to reduce carbon emissions 57 % by 2030 on 1990 levels as part of the “fifth carbon budget”, decreasing the cost of carbon capture technologies is an important concern for all energy intensive sectors. Particularly power generation plants could divert the extra electricity during night-time for CO2 capture at high emitter industrial sites, assisted with radiofrequency heating using the lower nocturnal price rates.
    . . .
    Radiofrequency heating is a greener and innovative technology which can contribute to the heating needed for the adsorption-desorption cycles of solid, low cost CO2 sorbents which require high temperatures of 600 and 800 oC respectively, considering a magnetic material as the heating source. This material could be the own reactor or the catalyst support in the energy intensive chemical industries (refineries, hydrogen and ammonia plants, steel and cement plants).
    [bold added]

    Read more:
    – – –
    And some of ‘the extra electricity during night-time’ could be used to make more hydrogen? Assuming it wasn’t all used up on CO2 capture 😦

  12. oldbrew says:

    Report: Blending Hydrogen into Natural Gas Pipeline Networks: A Review of Key Issues [2013]

    Blending hydrogen into the existing natural gas pipeline network has been proposed as a means of increasing the output of renewable energy systems such as large wind farms. If implemented with relatively low concentrations, less than 5%–15% hydrogen by volume, this strategy of storing and delivering renewable energy to markets appears to be viable without significantly increasing risks associated with utilization of the gas blend in end-use devices (such as household appliances), overall public safety, or the durability and integrity of the existing natural gas pipeline network.

    However, the appropriate blend concentration may vary significantly between pipeline network systems and natural gas compositions and must therefore be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Any introduction of a hydrogen blend concentration would require extensive study, testing, and modifications to existing pipeline monitoring and maintenance practices (e.g., integrity management systems). Additional cost would be incurred as a result, and this cost must be weighed against the benefit of providing a more sustainable and low-carbon gas product to consumers. [bold added]

  13. ivan says:

    If they really want ‘zero carbon’ they should be putting that money into small scale nuclear plants amd molten salt reactor research.

    The problem with doing that is the ‘old boys, I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine, network wouldn’t make money out of it whereas with this project and all the unreliable ‘renewables’ they do.

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