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GKN Hydrogen, SoCalGas and NREL to collaborate on solid-state hydrogen storage project; HY2MEGA

GKN Hydrogen and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) will work with the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on an innovative green hydrogen storage solution. GKN Hydrogen’s HY2MEGA can enable safe, long duration clean energy storage without the need for compression.

At scale, this combined technology could provide resilient power in case of widespread outages. It also highlights the technologies needed to reach carbon neutrality and accelerate clean fuel initiatives.

Supported by $1.7 million in DOE funding, two HY2MEGA hydrogen storage subsystems will connect to an electrolyzer and fuel cell at the ARIES facility on NREL’s Flatirons Campus near Boulder, Colorado. The electrolyzer will use renewable sources and produce green hydrogen to be stored in the HY2MEGA.

ARIES (Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems) is a platform that conducts integrated research to support the development of groundbreaking new energy technologies.



The HY2MEGA stores the hydrogen in a solid state (metal hydrides), under low pressure in a compact footprint. According to GKN Hydrogen, its one of the safest ways to store hydrogen. The fuel cell will then convert the green hydrogen to produce renewable electricity. The two HY2MEGA’s will add an additional 500 kg of hydrogen storage on site. The three-year project is set to launch at the end of this year.

SoCalGas will leverage the large-scale hydrogen storage capabilities of GKN Hydrogen’s HY2MEGA from this project to help accelerate the commercialization and deployment of green hydrogen projects. Ultimately, green hydrogen generation and storage will help decarbonize the energy system while assuring stability of the electrical grid to enable even higher penetrations of renewable sources of electricity.

—Neil Navin, vice president of clean energy innovations at SoCalGas



The first question which came to my mind is of course efficiency.
I have dug out their figures on their website:

' Generating hydrogen for energy storage with elec-
tricity is about 50% efficient. Converting the stored
hydrogen back into electricity is about the same.
Therefore, the electric efficiency for a hydrogen
system is only 25%.
Fortunately, our engineers are cr eative. They consi-
dered tha t the main energy demand of a house is not
only electric, but also thermal. Heating accounts for
nearly double the amount of energy compared to elec-
tricity. Generating thermal energy with a hydrogen
system increases its efficiency to 90%.
This is comparable to the efficiency of a battery
system and is more cost-effective'

As they note, this ties in very well with power demands for electricity and heat.

My view is that hydrides appear to be the way to go for seasonal storage, without the need for deep caverns etc which liquid and supercooled CO2 has.


Im interrested to buy a car before 2030 with one of this tank. The future is clearly hydrogen cars at lower cost than bevs.


GKN Hydrogen storage is not for mobility use. A tank holding just 5 kg of Hydrogen would weigh 577 kg. The Toyota Mirai Hydrogen tank weighs 87.5 kg.


Actually the Energy Dome CO2 Storage sounds better for seasonal storage and it would be above ground.
Found an interesting H2 battery/storage concept that could be used for mobility applications having slightly better energy density than Compressed H2.
“ A system for the reversible hydrogenation of carbon dioxide into formic acid”,
One of writers on the technical paper, Peter Sponholz is CTO for the Apex Group that builds these storage systems.


Interesting, Gryf.  I wonder if the affinity of the lysine/Mn-pincer group for CO2 is sufficient to allow air capture?

BTW, doing copy-edits on a book right now.  I should be done with my first pass sometime Saturday.  I can't say who for but I'll let you know when it comes out.


Hi Gryf
Interesting comments as always.

I'm not sure where you get your figure of less than 1% by weight for on board hydride storage, although of course the GKN Hydrogen system is not designed for that use.
But anyway, if the rest of the tech pans out Kubas Manganese Hydride can certainly do way, way better than that:

' The material—KMH-1 (Kubas Manganese Hydride-1)—demonstrates a reversible excess adsorption performance of 10.5 wt% and 197 kgH2 m−3 at 120 bar at ambient temperature with no loss of activity after 54 cycles. It could enable the design of tanks that are smaller, cheaper, more convenient and energy dense than existing hydrogen fuel technologies, and significantly out-perform battery-powered vehicles. A paper on their work is published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science. '


the formic acid CO2 cycle is pretty good, with fairly high efficiency.
From your link:

' When they used potassium lysinate, the researchers achieved an H2 evolution efficiency above 80% and a CO2 retention of over 99.9% over ten charge and discharge cycles, without having to re-load CO2 between these cycles. The team also found that this reversible hydrogenation process could be scaled up considerably, without significantly reducing the system's productivity.'

Your comment:
' Actually the Energy Dome CO2 Storage sounds better for seasonal storage and it would be above ground.'

On re-reading subsequent to your comment it seems this is correct.
I had thought that for longer term they intended to use caverns for storage, as here:

This has the advantage of higher efficiency than the very respectable RTE of 75-80% claimed by energy dome:

' Subsurface energy storage can solve the drawbacks of many other energy storage approaches, as it can be large scale in capacity and
time, environmentally benign, and highly efficient. When CO2 is used as the (pressure) energy storage medium in reservoirs underneath
caprocks at depths of at least ~1 km (to ensure the CO2 is in its supercritical state), the energy generated after the energy storage
operation can be greater than the energy stored. This is possible if reservoir temperatures and CO2 storage durations combine to result in
more geothermal energy input into the CO2 at depth than what the CO2 pumps at the surface (and other machinery) consume. Such
subsurface energy storage is typically also large scale in capacity (due to typical reservoir sizes, potentially enabling storing excess
power from a substantial portion of the power grid) and in time (even enabling seasonal energy storage).'


The GKN reference: GKNHydrogen_HY2Mega_ProductSheet.pdf.
The weight is 30,000 kg for 260kg H2, less than 1%. Lavo of Australia has a commercial hydride system with higher H2 % storage (10 kWh for 32kg of hydride).



Top stuff, as always.
I really do think we have the bones of 'good enough' zero net carbon technologically and economically more or less in place.


Can't wait for the details on your book!


This book isn't mine, I'm just copy-editing and fact-checking.

I think the author was impressed by how fast I did it, though.

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