An installation for transport and storage of hydrogen and its mixtures as a response to mobility and urban energy independence.
The subject of the research in this paper is the analysis of transport and storage systems, especially for hydrogen and hydrogen mixtures in their compressed or liquid state, mainly from the producers (e.g. photovoltaic farms) to the final users, which are usually gas/hydrogen retail or wholesale distribution stations, power plants e.g. The end users are usually retail or wholesale gas/hydrogen distribution stations, power plants e.g. hydrogen cells switched on during the peak of power consumption, plants using gas-hydrogen permanently as an alternative, cheap and ecological source of energy for obtaining electricity and heat, stations reducing gas-hydrogen pressure and further distribution. What is particularly important, it is possible to use the described dedicated solution in individual residential houses, or stations for the production of liquid hydrogen.
In this manufacturing example, the surplus energy generated by supplier A, for example, a domestic photovoltaic farm, was electrolyzed in an electrolyzer mounted upstream of pump 2 (not shown) to produce hydrogen, which was then pumped by pump 2 at a pressure of 800 bar into an arched tubular element 3 connected to a controllable one-way valve 4 and then into a tubular U-profile 5” in which the hydrogen was stored. In order to use the hydrogen thus stored, through a one-way valve 8 and a tubular element 9, the hydrogen was supplied to consumer B, who was a household, where a galvanic cell installed at the household converted this hydrogen into electricity used for its own consumption.
On the other hand, in other variants of this installation, the tubular “U-profile” element 5” had a diameter of Ø = 20 mm or 150mm or 450 mm and a length L1=5 m or 150 m or 500 m and was placed in a hole drilled in the ground at a depth of 5.5 m or 350.5 m or 500.5 m with a diameter of 50 mm or 250 mm or 1000 mm, and was additionally equipped with a pump (11), mounted between the non-return valve (8) and the consumer (B), while pumping 2 injected hydrogen at a pressure of 100 bar, or 1000 bar, or 3000 bar.
It is clear that the diameters and lengths of the tubular elements, as well as the depth and diameter of the borehole drilled into the ground, are not limited to those shown in this implementation example and, in addition, the installation is used to store and transport hydrogen mixtures such as hydrogen gas used, in particular, in factories. The system for the transport and storage of compressed hydrogen according to the invention shown in the examples of its implementation provides for the safe transport of hydrogen and its storage without access to air, moreover, the system according to the invention is not limited to the transport and storage of hydrogen and its mixtures shown in the examples of implementation, and the method of its implementation, i.e. the tight connection of individual components with each other, is known and commonly used for this type of system and is obvious to an expert in the relevant field of technology.
The presented solution to the problem of hydrogen transport and storage is the subject of a patent application under the number: P.439371. Securing the invention is an attempt to secure a concept related to the use of hydrogen fuel as an energy carrier in the future, for example in alternative mobility. It, therefore, seems reasonable to use the statement that hydrogen as an alternative to fuels resulting from the processing of crude oil will find increasing use in the near future. Developing efficient ways of transporting and storing hydrogen as the fuel of the future will be a solid contribution to Poland’s achievement of its climate goals in the coming years.
The application referred to in the text was filed with the Polish Patent Office on 31.10.2021 and is a proposal for a comprehensive and systemic solution to the problem of hydrogen storage and transport, including enabling the creation of fully energy-autonomous homes and other public facilities and workplaces, hydrogen or electricity points using power from RES (green hydrogen) and possibly other energy surpluses of the central system. The author of the study also plans to file an application for a Global Patent in October 2022 in accordance with the PCT procedure.
It is already certain that powering autonomous homes and other facilities with panels or other RES sources even in our climate is fully possible and cost-effective by using hydrogen storage technology as an energy carrier. The problem is not so much the generation of RES energy but its short- and long-term storage. The battery storage units commonly used today are large, not environmentally friendly, expensive, short-lived, and insufficient for storing such large volumes and year-round stocks of generated energy, especially during the summer.
However, this problem can be solved by hydrogen used as an energy carrier with the addition of small (balancing) batteries. Toyota is certainly aware of this and therefore (also in March this year) announced its design for stationary hydrogen storage systems (up to 28.7 kg of hydrogen) https://www.pv-magazine.com/2022/03/28/toyota-develops-new-module-to-store-transport-hydrogen/, which can be successfully (but still, due to their small capacity, modularly) deployed in all types of premises where full year-round energy autonomy is to be achieved.
The idea presented in the article is much cheaper to implement and operate. Placing containers of stored hydrogen outside buildings, buried in the earth, in the form of U-tubes (communicating vessels) clearly increases the safety of people and the environment while reducing the cost of numerous safety systems and any possible explosion need not have tragic consequences by directing the shock wave vertically. This is because the inventor of the solution takes advantage of the obvious characteristics of hydrogen in gaseous form and also the additional protection of the soil.
This fact will also certainly have a major impact on the degree of social acceptance of possible future consumers in the choice of hydrogen storage, especially in residential buildings. As you can see, thanks to this simple solution, at very little cost, it is possible to obtain a fully capacious energy store for year-round use of surplus solar energy collected in the months from March to October (at our latitude), which can be individually adjusted in terms of its capacity to meet the energy needs of the consumer throughout the year. The rationale for using this solution is simple costing.
To produce one 1 kg of hydrogen, 9 liters of demineralized water are needed (at a cost of around one zloty per liter). In this proposed solution, thanks to the possibility of recovering this water (as a by-product of the production of electricity from hydrogen), the water can be reused to produce hydrogen (closed circuit), which can significantly reduce the cost of producing 1 kilogram of hydrogen alone by approximately 9 zlotys while at the same time saving the consumption of water itself. Building underground piped small, medium-sized green hydrogen power plants for a specific, limited number of customers in a small area (without the need for transmission lines) is a priority in this solution. These power plants will in the future produce the specific amount of energy needed at any given time from hydrogen stored underground in the form of hydrogen, becoming the nucleus of the New Distributed Energy being developed.
Prof. Piotr Zawada, PhD. – Head of the Department of Managerial Economics at the Faculty of Socio-Economic of UKSW.
Jerzy Jurasz – author of inventions and innovative and technological solutions, the creator of 3 patent applications in the field of health water production, high-pressure fluid processing, and hydrogen transport and storage.