In a first-ever development, China has started using solid hydrogen for electricity generation as two hydrogen power stations operated by China Southern Power Grid were connected to the grid on Saturday.
One of the stations, Nansha Smart Hydrogen Station, is located in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province, and contains seven advanced solid hydrogen storage facilities.
“The facility can store 200 cubic meters of hydrogen with high density. The volume would be 20 times larger if we use the normal 3 MPa hydrogen tanks,” said Zheng Xin, a senior researcher at Nansha Power Station of China Southern Power Grid.
Highly efficient and easy to use, solid hydrogen storage is a form of chemical storage for storing power generated by photovoltaic, wind or other new energy sources. The energy can later be released as needed and used as electricity through fuel cells.
“By integrating hydrogen power production, storage, generation and refueling, the power station can achieve conversion between green electricity and green hydrogen. This can solve the problem of unreliability and seasonal fluctuations in new energy power generation,” said Lei Jinyong, the general manager of Hydrogen Energy Research Center of China Southern Power Grid.
The other hydrogen power station, located in Kunming City, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, has already stored 165 kilograms of hydrogen power. The hydrogen storage can supply 2,300 kilowatt-hours of electricity during peak hours and generate power constantly for 23 hours.
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“In the future, hydrogen power will account for an increasingly larger proportion in the power grid, while the proportion of green hydrogen will go up as well. The electro-hydrogen coupling technology will be one of the revolutionary technologies that drives the evolution of power system,” said Wang Chengshan, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.