People will think of all kinds of things when thinking about hydrogen, but probably not to generate it in a wind turbine. Though generating it in the wind turbine offers so many advantages and will enhance the energy system in many ways. We are committed to convert as many wind turbines to a hydrogen turbine, or build new hydrogen turbines, as possible to make the energy system sound and future-proof. Take a look for yourself how the hydrogen turbine works.
Hydrogen plays an important role in the system. Hydrogen offers flexibility due to its various possible applications. It links different markets like (offshore) wind farms to mobility and to the built environment. It is a sustainable alternative for carbonic energy carriers like diesel in trucks, ships and trains where battery-electric solutions are inadequate. Hydrogen offers large-scale storage for a long period as well. The transportation of hydrogen can be done via the existing gas infrastructure.
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The study W2H2 shows that hydrogen from offshore wind is a compatible alternative for diesel. Hydrogen produced by water-electrolysis integrated in an offshore wind turbine, whereby the hydrogen is taken to land under high pressure (350 to 700 bar) via flexible composite pipelines can be realised for cost price and thus is competing with fuels like diesel in mobility. The ‘levelized costs of energy (LCOE)’ per GJ of that hydrogen can be similar to the costs of taking electricity to land from an offshore wind turbine. The higher costs for the generation of hydrogen can be stroked out against the costs of the transport of gas per unit of energy that is much cheaper than electricity, amongst others by the lack of costly sockets at sea.
The inherent advantage of the hydrogen pipeline infrastructure towards electricity, is the function of storage. The further at sea or how bigger the transport and distribution network on land, the lower the need for extra storage next to the pipeline capacity to match demand and supply by the fluctuation in the demand and supply.
The integration of the electrolysis in a wind turbine avoids the electric conversion and transport losses between the wind turbine generator and the point of landing. The integration offers an improved optimisation of the electrolysis resulting in higher efficiency. With the integration, new starting points occur for the optimisation of the wind turbine as well as the whole wind farm.
The above means that the cost price per GJ can be compared with the electrical equivalent and that the amount of energy (GJ) taken to land is similar. The production of hydrogen is therefore by definition much cheaper than when the electrolysis is not integrated and would take place additionally to the grid.