Northern Germany is well on its way to becoming a power-to-gas El Dorado. The past years have seen citizens’ initiatives and businesses initiate projects to explore new avenues in this wind-rich region. Most of their activities have yet to hit the mainstream news and some weren’t even known to many professionals in the industry. But recently, an increasing number of publications have been focusing on ongoing projects, so we thought it was time to take a closer look at what’s happening.
The hope for future power plants has a name: BlueStep. A prototype at the Technical University of Berlin burns hydrogen and oxygen with the help of wet air – or, in other words, with the help of wet steam. The project’s predecessor, Greenest, which was launched with the same intention of advancing the development of low-emission plants, also injected steam into the combustor of a gas turbine. This so-called “wet combustion”
Since the end of last May, the Center for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT) in Duisburg has had a phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) in operation, which supplies the research institute with power and heat. The 100-kW unit even took on three additional tasks: It reduces energy costs, it serves as the basis for scientific studies in combined heat and power and it helps to produce air low on oxygen.