07 Nov 2019

Imagine a system that can capture excess electricity on windy days and store it to be available later, on demand. Or perhaps the ability to generate green fuel for a fleet of vehicles that also works towards your carbon objectives. TP Group has been generating hydrogen for many years, and now these systems can be turned to new uses in the world of clean, renewable energy.

Delivering a greener world

The focus on delivering a cleaner and low carbon planet has never been more intense. Legislation and public opinion, backed up with scientific research, is driving a seismic shift in the development and adoption of new technologies that will help to deliver energy systems no longer reliant on fossil fuels.

Hydrogen is often regarded as the ‘perfect’ green fuel. A clean energy source, its only byproducts are water and heat and it can be made from a number of sources that include water, methane and coal - even garbage. Resource-poor Japan sees hydrogen as a way to greater energy security and Asia, as a whole, has ambitious targets to put millions of hydrogen powered vehicles on the road by 2030 - their driving ranges and fueling capability being much closer to gasoline vehicles than electric ones.

Developing a solution

While hydrogen is an abundant element in the universe, it doesn't naturally occur in large quantities as a gas on our planet and requires a solution that not only generates and stores the gas – but is cheap, efficient and non-polluting to make it viable.

The knowledge and experience to create system level Electrolyser Hydrogen generation solutions, with relatively low barriers to entry, is limited worldwide to a small number of companies - many of which don’t have 40 years’ of experience of manufacturing and supporting these types of systems in extreme locations.

TP Group brings significant systems engineering capability within the energy sector.

As one of these companies, TP Group’s capability provides a high level of confidence with its unique understanding of integrating these systems and over
40-years of delivering hydrogen in extreme environments with ultra-high reliability and class leading safety. This capability has been developed through its thermal business and current energy customer contacts, as well as its industrial links to key enabling technologies such as PEM electrolysis cell stacks.

TP Group’s solution seeks to utilise ‘green’ renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar panels, to power onsite large-scale systems which generate hydrogen and store the gas for conversion into other energy sources. This modular approach means it can be tailored to specific requirements as well as to the environment.

The proposed solution developed by TP Group is outlined below. From this you can see the balance of the plant and electrolyser cell stack. Included in the TP Group solution is the ability to deliver up to 700 Bar high pressure pure H2 (not shown is extra available H2 storage if required).

Using its proven expertise in systems engineering and packaging, TP Group can configure the hydrogen generation equipment to a customer’s requirements whilst delivering a rapid and dynamic response to the grid operators’ variations in energy generation output. Fully certified to CE or UL standards as required, these modular systems are designed with integrated control systems for seamless integration into a customer’s application and can be supplied for installation indoors or outside – for onshore or offshore.

Making use of existing green technology and infrastructure makes sense, both commercially and environmentally. Not only is there huge expansion around offshore windfarms but the existing installed power capacity from wind turbines has grown by 38% between 2015 and 2019. This means that the greater amount of installed generation power resulting from this can be used to harness wasted energy when turbines are generating power that is not needed. Co-locating to an energy source, such as a windfarm, also means lower infrastructure costs compared to centralised plants which reduces the overall total cost of ownership.

Whilst the focus of hydrogen generation is on power to gas energy storage, it also offers a greener energy for vehicle refuelling, industrial processes and the backup power market - used in conjunction with fuel cells this provides a viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Said Jon Constable, TP Group’s Senior Vice President - Technology & Engineering Business: “We are very excited about evolving our capability to generate and store hydrogen which benefits both industry and consumers – and supports a greener planet.

“We have been working with PEM electrolyser technology for many years enabling life support in extreme environments and providing a truly safe and reliable solution. We believe our modular approach offers a low-cost and ultra-reliable solution which can be implemented at a much faster rate than new build large-scale hydrogen plants.”