“During the current commissioning phase of the Thüga Group’s power-to-gas demonstration plant, the system injected the first ever electrolytically generated hydrogen into the Frankfurt am Main gas distribution network. This represents the first ever plant to convert electricity into hydrogen and subsequently inject the hydrogen into the German gas distribution network. The system worked as planned, so much so that we will go into trial operation in the very near future ahead of final commissioning at the start of 2014,” said Michael Riechel, Member of the Board of Thüga AG.
The core of the system is an ITM Power proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer that converts electrical energy into chemical energy, which in turn facilitates the storage of electricity. A gas mixing plant ensures that the proportion of hydrogen in the gas stream does not exceed two per cent by volume, the technically permissible maximum value when a natural gas filling station is situated in the local distribution network. The electrolyser supplies the hydrogen-methane mixture at the same pressure as the gas distribution network, namely 3.5 bar. We were thus able to avoid using a compressor and save costs,” added Riechel.
Overall, the partners will invest more than €1.5m. The project is financially supported by the Hessian Ministry for the Environment, Energy, Agriculture and Consumer Protection. Following the first phase of this project, the partners will consider a second project, in which hydrogen will be generated and combined with carbon dioxide to form synthetic methane to be directly injected and stored in the natural gas grid.
Source: ITM Power