Hydrogen Engine Center (HEC) has sold a 50kW hydrogen-fueled generator set to Xcel Energy for use in a wind-to-hydrogen research, development and demonstration project. Researchers will analyze and compare hydrogen production directly from wind power versus using the electric grid. The hydrogen will be produced from electrolysis using an electrolyzer.
In May, Natural Resources Canada ordered a 250kW hydrogen-fueled genset from HEC for use in a wind/hydrogen project on Ramea Island off the southern coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Wind energy will generate electric power and hydrogen. Under slack wind conditions, the stored hydrogen will fuel the genset to produce electric power. (Earlier post.)
Wind-generated electricity is not constant. The conversion of excess electrical output from the wind generator to hydrogen allows for the storing of energy to be used at times of no wind and thus solves the time-of-use problem.—Ted Hollinger, president of Hydrogen Engine Center
The Xcel Energy application is part of a joint venture between the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Xcel Energy. The generator will be shipped to NREL’s National Wind Technology Center in Boulder, Colorado. HEC is currently working with several other utility companies nationwide with similar interests in producing renewable power.
HEC’s basic product is a rebuilt Ford 4.98-liter six-cylinder engine that is hydrogen-ready and can also run—after minor adjustments—propane, methane, ethanol (and gasoline). (Earlier post.)