The decentralized production of hydrogen from eco-power – whether used to stabilize the grid or utilize excess capacities – will play an increasingly larger role in future energy systems. The created hydrogen can either be stored locally, converted to methane by adding carbon monoxide or fed directly into the natural gas network. The HylyPure project supported by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund was the first opportunity
Although the aviation industry was the starting point for hydrogen developments, commercial applications in that industry have been few and far between. 1783 marked the launch of the first hydrogen-filled hot-air balloon; later, hydrogen-powered airships crossed the Atlantic. But since the Hindenburg disaster in Lakehurst in 1937, the most lightweight element of all has fallen out of favor in every field except for the space industry.
The aviation industry is aiming for carbon-neutral growth starting in 2020 and a CO2 reduction of 50 per cent by 2050 compared to 2005 . There are currently two options under discussion to achieve these goals: Emission certificates and biofuels. Both are not immune to criticism because of their direct and indirect impact on the environment.
Hydrogen has the potential to assume an especially important role during the technological shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable and alternative sources of energy. Plans for using renewably sourced hydrogen as an energy carrier (e.g., power-to-gas) to deal with periods of excess power have posed special challenges for the energy industry. In addition to environmental and economic considerations, the increase in the amount of hydrogen creates hurdles for material use, as the hydrogen may cause spontaneous failures of metallic components
During the HYACINTH project supported by the EU, the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI based in Karlsruhe, Germany, and its partners have studied how well-accepted hydrogen technologies are by the general public as well as industry and governmental stakeholders. The result was that overall, there was a more positive attitude toward those technologies in Germany
A new study that claims battery-only vehicles to be cheaper and more economical than fuel cell vehicles has caused quite a stir in the electric transportation industry. On Nov. 14, 2016, the website of Stanford University showed a press release that made the headlines on several online portals. Reportedly, the main conclusions were that battery-driven vehicles could become cheaper than gasoline-powered cars from 2025 and that the ones running on fuel cells would require more than twice as much electrical energy. It was also noted that battery-powered engines reduced CO2 emissions at lower costs than fuel cell versions – particularly because of the infrastructure needed to produce hydrogen.
Like Germany, Austria offers government funding and many public-private demonstration projects in support of the introduction of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Where potential applications are concerned, the country’s focus is on transportation, albeit interest in energy supply seems to be on the rise
The Battery Production steering committee of the VDMA, the German Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, has had two new spokespersons since early September 2016. Both work for KUKA Industries, an Augsburg-based provider of fully automated battery production systems. The votes for Paul Merz, sales director of technology solutions EMEA, and Joachim Döhner, vice president of technology solutions, were unanimous.
Professor Andreas Grzemba about which direction electric transportation will or could take in the future: “We won’t need any cords or our hands to charge electric vehicles.” Today, many experts believe the cord is the best solution to charge car batteries. But as technical manager of the German E-WALD research project, Grzemba thinks that autonomous driving and inductive charging will become two sides of the same coin and the standard over time.
In June 2016, Dunod Verlag published a book in French about power-to-gas. The 192-page paperback edition “Le Power-to-Gas – Stockage de l’électricité d’origine renouvelable” (ISBN 13: 978-2-10-074137-3; price: EUR 32) describes the state of the art of P2G technology. Author Méziane Boudellal answers question such as: Where does the power come from? How does an electrolyzer work? Which types of systems have been available so far?