Offshore wind energy is being considered as a major source for generating green hydrogen in Europe. While offshore wind energy for power generation is viewed as a well-established technology, so far there is no hydrogen production at sea. H2Mare, the hydrogen flagship project launched by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has now taken the first step towards the development of a large-scale system generating green hydrogen from offshore wind energy.
Not surprisingly more than 700 participants attended BWE’s international webinar “H2Mare: Hydrogen straight from the wind turbine” on 12 April 2022 presenting the project.
Offshore hydrogen: cost and transmission efficient
In his overview, Matthias Müller, program manager offshore hydrogen and coordinator at Siemens Energy Global GmbH stated that the project aims to establish a whole new type of turbine at sea in the future – a solution which integrates an electrolyser into an offshore wind turbine optimally for direct conversion of the electricity. In addition, the project will also investigate further offshore power-to-X processes. The advantages: The higher wind yield enables a higher load factor, transmission losses and costs will be reduced, instead of electrical offshore substations only pipe corridors are necessary which increases the number of potential offshore sites, esp. in Europe.
Tobias Meyer, group leader at Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy, explained the modeling and optimizing of the coupled wind turbine-electrolyser system. The new system no longer producing electricity but hydrogen entails challenges like predicting the functionality of a hydrogen producing wind farm, safety considerations of hydrogen-producing turbines and new concepts for optimal operation. Therefore Fraunhofer IWES is building a dedicated simulation tool for large modular systems able to combine multiple systems into one simulation model, able to define the simulation case, deduce the model structure, the assembly of component models into a full system model and simulate and evaluate results.
A Consortium of 3 wind farm operators, 5 original equipment manufacturers, 16 Institutes and engineering service providers are currently investigating the most relevant PtX processes for their feasibility as offshore stand-alone solution in direct coupling with offshore wind (which is not connected to the power grid). The work packages include the power-to-X processes, water management, infrastructure integration and engineering, process control and operation management system and supporting research, explained Robert Dittmeyer, Director Institute for Micro Process Engineering at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
Follow-up webinar by the BWE is beeing planned
The lively discussion proved the high interest of the participants in the research project and BWE is planning a follow-up webinar on the topic focussing on even more specific technical details and commercial issues. Siemens is planning to set up the first offshore hydrogen plant in 2025/26.
The BWE will announce the new webinar on windindustry-in-germany.com.