Turquoise hydrogen: A game changer?

pyrolysis
Methane pyrolysis, © Leon Kühner, KIT

The German government has announced it is planning to pass a national hydrogen strategy this year, with the aim of establishing a regulatory framework for the sector. The transportation, heat, energy storage and transfer, and chemical manufacturing markets could benefit from its implementation very quickly.

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Hydrogen pipeline network

Today, most stationary power systems run on natural gas. The idea of blending hydrogen into the gas pipeline network, however, has been under discussion for a while, and there have already been some tests conducted on its feasibility. Heating manufacturers have assured clients that current-generation systems can run on low-level 10 percent hydrogen blends and announced that the next generation could manage up to 30 percent. They said in the long term, it would also be possible to use hydrogen only. For example, Viessmann has announced that all of its new gas boilers would be “hydrogen-ready” starting in 2023 or 2024.

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Stationary hydrogen combustion engine

Stationary hydrogen combustion engine

H2 DI Zero
H2 DI Zero, © WTZ

The WTZ engine and machinery research center in Roßlau chose a different path to developing a new stationary zero-emission system. It designed an air-independent propulsion engine called H2 DI Zero. The name stems from the fact that some of the combustion gases are recovered so the engine emits nothing but steam. Instead of air, it uses argon, an inert gas that can be retrieved multiple times over, and pure oxygen, mixed with hydrogen.

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Multi-energy residential systems

bottles
Hydrogen storage module, © Hörmann Solartechnik

Besides replacing old devices to put in newer, more efficient ones, there also seems to be a trend toward more complex solutions. For example, Sunfire expects that at some point, entire neighborhoods will be supplied with energy through a combination of solar PV, heat pump and large fuel cell devices. These multi-energy residential systems will no longer produce heat and power for individual buildings but several residential units at once.

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New gas boilers run on hydrogen

Sunfire-Home
Sunfire-Home

German consumers in need of a new heating system have expressed growing interest in home fuel cells, an assessment shared by the public hydrogen and fuel cell agency. Although there are few systems on the market these days, and pretty expensive ones at that, their numbers are rising. As it looks now, the government will continue to fund the sector for a while. The following paragraphs offer a summary of what is currently available for sale.

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No more diesel fuel on board

Examples
Selected Examples

A study called ShipFuel has analyzed how technically and economically feasible it is to use fuel cell systems running on electricity-derived fuels aboard inland waterway vessels by comparing them with conventional diesel engines used for ship propulsion.

The study, commissioned by the German transportation ministry, was coordinated by NOW under the auspices of the German NIP program.

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HZwei turns 20

may

It’s been over 20 years since the “Magazin für Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellen” started covering the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. H2Tec, as it was called at the time, was launched by Hanover-based SunMedia Verlags GmbH at the turn of this century. In 2005, the company decided to cease publication and transfer the rights to the trade magazine to Hydrogeit Verlag, then and now Germany’s premier source for books about hydrogen and fuel cells.

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Handelsblatt Energy Summit in Berlin

Johannes Teyssen
Johannes Teyssen, © Dietmar Gust / Euroforum

The Handelsblatt Energy Summit, which took place in Berlin from Jan. 20 to 22, was the right kind of event to take the pulse of the energy industry. Attendees typically discuss issues that have far-reaching implications for the German market. This year, it seemed as if over 80 percent of all presentations, speeches, panel discussions and shared opinions included, at the very least, …

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