Energy producer HYGRO recently moved into their new location 'Titaan' in The Hague. The company, which specializes in hydrogen system integration and is known for their hydrogen windmill in Wieringermeer, has the ambition to make the Titaan office complex of landlord Unknown Group self-sufficient using hydrogen from solar energy as an energy source and 'battery'.
The self-sufficient energy system for innovation hub Titaan is to be made possible by using hydrogen production via electrolysis, fed by the solar panels on the roof. Storage of the hydrogen is done in pressure vessels, then it is converted to electricity and heat at the necessary times by using a fuel cell. It is being investigated whether any surplus energy can be delivered back to the BinckNet. The electrolysis test stand intended for research & development should be ready at the end of 2023, beginning of 2024.
Douke Visserman Business Developer hydrogen applications at HYGRO, "Thanks to the financial support of the Municipality of The Hague, with this project we are bringing HYGRO's mission of 'hydrogen as a primary energy carrier' another step closer by developing an energy storage system for the Titan office."
Remarkable project: hydrogen-powered office building
The ambition is to make Titan the first office building that, using hydrogen, is self-sufficient in its energy supply. Among other things, the energy storage system to be designed will combine hydrogen production, storage and use to provide electricity and heat.
Within the project, HYGRO Technology is responsible for the simulation and design of the energy system and the electrolyser test stand. Huygens Engineers is contributing to the development and realization of the test setup and adaptation of the power electronics of the electrolyser. Unknown Group supplies the building's energy data and is also the owner of Titaan. The Hague municipality supports this development through a grant to stimulate cooperation between innovative entrepreneurs in The Hague. The Hague municipality aims to use this subsidy, among other things, to allow more R&D and innovations to take place in the city.
Saskia Bruines (Alderman for Economy Municipality of The Hague): "With ImpactCity, The Hague focuses on starting and growing companies that accelerate the sustainable economy. HYGRO started in Apollo14 and has now moved to the Titaan where they can grow. And that's what we want. Empowering innovative entrepreneurs in our city. With their hydrogen system integration, HYGRO is an important gamechanger for the energy transition. I am happy that they can further develop their innovative activities from the Titaan and be part of the Hague network of impact companies."
Side goal: hydrogen production test stand for electrolysis
A secondary goal is to realize a hydrogen production test setup and environment for electrolysis at Titaan. HYGRO Technology and Huygens Engineers can work on improving the efficiency of an electrolyser powered by solar energy. It is expected that the efficiency of the electrolysis process at Titan can be improved in a similar way that HYGRO plans to do with the hydrogen windmill at Wieringmeer, but now by integrating with solar energy. Crucial to this development is that the system must be able to operate under dynamic conditions so that it functions optimally directly coupled to wind or solar energy. Improving the efficiency of the hydrogen production process significantly increases the payback period, and therefore the feasibility, of hydrogen energy storage systems for buildings such as Titan.
Rachelle Brusselaars, Operations Director Titaan: ''We are very excited about working with HYGRO at Titaan. We believe this project will open more doors to meet energy needs worldwide, accelerating the transition to clean energy. In our innovation hub, we want to give more similar projects the opportunity to test and showcase their innovations, thus doing our part to contribute to key transitions.''
Long-term hydrogen storage
Many parties would like to invest in solar energy but grid congestion makes it less attractive. In addition, solar investors see that when there is a lot of production, when the sun shines a lot, it actually has a low market value. This affects the business case for solar power.
Furthermore, it turns out that energy demand often does not coincide with the time of production, so only long-term storage can fill this gap. Something that is quite possible with hydrogen.
Since the heat demand and electricity demand in offices like Titan often coincide, heat production from a fuel cell can lead to additional synergy benefits in this situation. Energy demand in offices is high in winter while energy production (from solar) is low then. For this, seasonal storage with hydrogen offers a solution.
An energy storage system like this also offers the functionality of emergency power. This is application that is desired in many buildings and will become increasingly important in the future due to a more unstable electricity system caused by large fluctuating renewable energy flows.
Such a hydrogen energy storage system can also provide a solution for powering new offices and flats where there is currently no capacity on the electricity grid for a sufficiently large grid connection.