Competence and points of contact
Hydrogen will be an important supplement to electricity as an energy carrier in future sustainable energy systems. In addition to being fuel for the transport sector, hydrogen will contribute to increased utilization of renewable energy sources. The need for energy storage will increase dramatically, and hydrogen will be the preferred option for large amounts of energy, and storage over longer periods. Relevant aspects of research related to hydrogen are:
Green hydrogen from electrolysers
Electrolysis is the process of converting water to oxygen and hydrogen using electricity. Hydrogen from electrolysers is ideal for storage of renewable energy, in small and large scale power plants.
Electrolysers connected directly to wind farms
In remote areas, islands and offshore installations, renewable energy is not always directly and fully exploitable. By connecting solar or wind power to electrolysers, the energy can be stored for later use, or exported for use elsewhere.
Fuel cells convert hydrogen (back) into electricity and heat. They are used in a large range of applications, from small drones, car, buses, trucks, off-grid power supply, ships and large scale stationary power plants.
Techno-economic optimisation and feasibility studies
Quantitative methods and models are required to do economic analysis, techno-economic comparisons, and market-potential projections. Analyses can be performed on different time horizons, from long-term investment analysis to short-term profitability analysis, while focusing on handling of uncertainty and risk in the economic analyses.
Modelling and analysis of sustainable energy systems
Analysis and assessment of socio-economic, environmental and sustainability impacts of changing or new policies or technology or other factors, along regional as well as global value chains. Analyses are typically done by means of multi-regional-input-output models and other econometrics methods.
System control, diagnostics and prognostics
Well designed control systems can increase the efficiency, lifetime and reliability of fuel cells and electrolysers by means of novel diagnostic and prognostic approaches. The modular nature of these technologies gives a flexibility in design and operation of such systems, allowing for tailored optimisation on a case-by-case basis.
Gas quality measurements
The quality of hydrogen can be crucial for use in some applications, such as fuel cells, where certain impurities from hydrogen production or processing may influence the performance and lifetime. Advanced gas analysis instruments and methodologies are being used to monitor the quality.
Hydrogen impacts materials
The mechanical properties of materials are affected in the presence of hydrogen and may cause degradation, so-called hydrogen embrittlement. In areas like hydrogen storage and transport, it is therefore important to contain the harmful influence of atomic hydrogen entering the materials.
Hydrogen transport in pipelines
Large amounts of hydrogen can be transported in pipelines and gas networks. Existing infrastructure for natural gas can be refurbished and qualified for hydrogen, or new pipelines may be built.
Hydrogen has been handled safely in vast quantities as an industrial chemical for more than 40 years. Now it's increasingly being used in new applications and new environments, thus requiring continuous focus on consequence analysis and risk assessment, to maintain the safety of the users and 3rd parties.
Regulations, codes and standards
Codes and standards provide the information needed in administrative processes for deployment of hydrogen technologies. They help ensure uniformity of requirements and give authorities and safety officials the information they need to approve systems and installations.
For testing and validation of systems for fuel cells and electrolysers, advanced laboratories with required instrumentation and personnel are required to facilitate high quality research and development of hydrogen technologies.