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Germany: Hassfurt Successfully Commissions Hydrogen CoGeneration Plant into Operation

By September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

  • Hydrogen, cogeneration, power-to-gas, sector coupling

In Hassfurt, Germany, a new cogeneration plant was commissioned, which, in contrast to the previous practice of adding hydrogen to the natural gas network with reconversion via conventional cogeneration plants, enables operation with pure hydrogen without fossil fuel components.

In a project of the municipal enterprises Haßfurt GmbH with support by the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Development and Energy (StMWi), the existing power-to-gas plant in Haßfurt became a highly innovative hydrogen combined heat and power plant (H 2 -BHKW) for the reconversion of renewable energy expanded hydrogen.

The module has now been successfully put into operation. Project partners are Stadtwerk Haßfurt GmbH, 2G Energy AG from Heek and the Institute for Energy Technology (IfE) at the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden.

In contrast to the hitherto practiced mixture of hydrogen into the natural gas grid with reconversion via conventional cogeneration units, the new combined heat and power plant enables operation with pure hydrogen without fossil fuel components. For the first time in municipal practice, a hydrogen-based and CO 2 -free storage chain for renewable electricity was implemented, which leads from electricity generation from wind energy through conversion into hydrogen by means of electrolysis and storage in pressure tanks up to reconversion via combined heat and power.

The innovative CHP module was developed by 2G Energy AG and delivers an electrical output of up to 200 kW. Initial operating results show good efficiencies and, thanks to the hydrogen combustion process, very high dynamics of the CHP, which, in conjunction with the existing PEM electrolyzer, enables local compensation of surpluses and shortages from regenerative power generation and the provision of control energy.

The project is scientifically and technically accompanied by the Institute of Energy Technology. On the one hand, the researchers expect the project to provide practical insights and long-term experience on the hydrogen operation of combined heat and power plants. On the other hand, the module in the consortium also serves as a research platform for further development of H 2- BHP technology and was therefore equipped with special instrumentation access points.

The project is funded by the Bavarian State Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy within the framework of the Bavarian Energy Research Program over a period of three years.

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