Fuel cell company PowerCell Sweden AB—a spinout from the Volvo Group—is partnering with Wallenstam AB, Midroc Automation AB and Hydrogen Sweden to launch a pilot study on developing a system in which surplus energy from wind and solar energy can be temporarily stored as hydrogen which then together with fuel cells provides electricity on cloudy and windless days.
The study is intended to lead to a joint demonstration project in 2016 next to PowerCell’s premises in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Västra Götalandsregionen is financing the feasibility study.
Hydrogen is produced via electrolysis using the excess renewable electricity; the hydrogen can then be used in a fuel cell to generate new electricity and heat when needed.
Byproducts of the process are heat and oxygen; these can be used. The heating is in a temperature range suitable for the district heating system and heating of premises. The oxygen is very clean and has a high value if the right customer (e.g. hospitals) and a distribution method can be found. Hydrogen that is not needed for power into the grid can be sold as vehicle fuel.