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Air Liquide inaugurates HyBalance pilot site in Denmark for production of carbon-free hydrogen

In Denmark, Air Liquide inaugurated HyBalance, a pilot site for the production of carbon-free hydrogen. The facility uses electrolysis technology to balance the electricity grid and to store surplus electricity in the form of hydrogen that will be used in industry and transportation.

HYbalance-Inaguration-1024x695

This project, initiated in 2016, is led by Air Liquide with funding from the European public-private partnership Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and the support of the Danish EUDP (Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program).

As part of this project, Air Liquide developed, built, and is operating the facility that produces hydrogen from water electrolysis as well as the filling center for its customers delivered by trailers.

The electrolyzer, with a capacity of 1.2 MW, enables the production of around 500 kg of hydrogen a day without releasing CO2. Besides industrial customers, the hydrogen that is produced is used to supply the network of five hydrogen stations installed and operated by the Copenhagen Hydrogen Network (CHN), a subsidiary of Air Liquide in Denmark.

Denmark is a pioneer in the integration of renewable energies into the national energy mix, with 40% of the country’s electricity produced from wind turbines. By compensating for renewable energy intermittency, hydrogen offers a solution for storing surplus electricity to meet the challenges posed by the energy transition.

The HyBalance project. Under the coordination of Air Liquide, the HyBalance project brings together a group of partners—Hydrogenics, LBST, Neas Energy, and Hydrogen Valley—for the construction of one of the largest carbon-free hydrogen production units in Europe.

The project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement Nº 671384. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The HyBalance project has furthermore received funding from the Danish EUDP program.

Comments

HarveyD

Most grids run below capacity about 18 hours/day on working days and 24 hours/day on weekends and holidays.

Many TWh are available to produce clean hydrogen.

Engineer-Poet

1200 kW * 24 hr / 500 kg = 57.6 kWh/kg at 100% capacity factor.  This compares poorly with the 33.7 kWh theoretical and reports as low as 43 kWh that we've seen in these pages.

Obviously the CF is considerably lower than 100%, but it appears to be much higher than the CF of Danish wind farms.  It appears that the electrolyzer is not "balancing" but consumes a fair amount of base-load power.  If this power is imported Norwegian hydro it's one thing (just expensive), but if it's coal-fired electric it's very much another one.  Regardless, that would make it unfit as an example for future energy systems.

Lad

E-P:
Agree. If the hydrogen is the result of burning FF. They are bamboozling people into thinking it's green energy.

SJC

Some renewable energy may not be allowed on the grid.
Utilities want to pay off their fossil fueled production.

Engineer-Poet
They are bamboozling people into thinking it's green energy.

<nods>  That's the problem with electrons, they don't come with manufacturer's labels on them.

ai_vin

No worries of them using FFs here. A quick look at their 'group of partners—Hydrogenics, LBST, Neas Energy, and Hydrogen Valley' shows a strong investment in renewables.

HarveyD

REs, (mainly large Solar and Wind farms) can benefit/fight climate changes in most overly dry areas and supply enough clean low cost energy to replace most polluting CPPs. The positive effect from large REs farms could greatly benefit California, Nevada, New Mexico and other places with expanding dry lands. Could become a good way to reduce forest fires.

Current/latest Wind energy sells as low as $0.03 CAN/kWh. Excess REs could sell even much lower to generate clean H2 at a much lower cost.

Davemart

The rather poor wording of the statement is that:

'The electrolyzer, with a capacity of 1.2 MW, enables the production of around 500 kg of hydrogen a day without releasing CO2.'

Which is an entirely different matter to a claim that they are actually producing 500 kg a day.

The point of the project is to store renewables as hydrogen when they are in surplus, they are not so desperate for the hydrogen that they will be using grid energy to do so.

Most days it won't produce anything like the 500 kg, which will only happen when it is windy all day and night or whatever.

Engineer-Poet

The numbers don't really work out for that either, Davemart.  Picking 43 kWh/kg from recent performance claims,

1200 kW * 24 hr / 43 kWh/kg = 668.8 kg.  Producing 500 kg/day means a capacity factor on the order of 75%, which is way higher than the CF of Danish wind.  Maybe the "up to" weasel word gets around this because it's meant to state performance only during the windiest periods, but if the actual average performance is closer to 200-300 kg/day then this press release is misleading and might constitute securities fraud if it's intended to influence stock prices.

Davemart

Picking what is clearly a press release and only intended for that purpose as though it were either a document intended for investment purposes or engineering data makes no sense.

They have made no attempt at false precision, and what it is all about should be clear enough from:
'enables the production of around 500 kg a day'

It is ludicrous to read out either utilisation or efficiency figures from that, let alone financial metrics for investment.

And this is obviously a pilot project, so there is no question of substantial investment on the back of it, even if one were daft enough to imagine that this provides financial data for that.

After a couple of years of running the pilot project, then they may make proposals for more substantial installations, and will have from this data on capacity factors, efficiency in real world operation, and so on.

Arnold

Steady increase in R.E. will necessarily see increasing surplus that when combined with the need for load dumping should provide an increasing quantity of unallocated power.
The Hydrogen electrolysis efficiency depends on non energy requirements for industrial and chemical process and secondly transport use.
As grid services options are many from pumped hydro to battery and other storages which may have better efficiencies surplus energy will be economically viable at even marginal efficiency

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