Diversified industrial group thyssenkrupp has today shared that its proprietary water electrolysis technology for the production of green hydrogen now meets the requirements for participation in the primary control reserve market.
In the future, the German company hopes it electrolysis plants will be able to act as large-scale buffers to stabilise the power grid and compensate fluctuations quickly and flexibly.
The company also confirmed today that operators are now able to link their plants to the German electricity market via E.ON’s virtual power plant.
“With this we have achieved a further important goal. Earlier tests already demonstrated that our electrolysis plants can produce green hydrogen highly efficiently and with sufficient response speed and flexibility to participate in the energy balancing market,” said Christoph Noeres, Head of the Energy Storage & Hydrogen Unit at thyssenkrupp.
“Our plants are thus making a significant contribution to ensuring both a stable power supply and the cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen.”
“The collaboration with thyssenkrupp is in line with our principle that the conversion of industry to clean energy must be realized cost-efficiently. Our expertise on all energy market issues has also eliminated a barrier to the viable use of hydrogen in electricity generation,” says Stefan Hakansson, CEO of E.ON Business Solutions.
thyssenkrupp and E.ON conducted the necessary tests jointly in an existing water electrolysis plant operating as part of the Carbon2Chem® project in Duisburg, where results showed that thyssenkrupp’s electrolysers can increase and decrease production at the speed required to participate in the premium primary reserve market.
Green hydrogen and sector coupling for a successful energy transition
In order to bring the fluctuating availability of electricity from renewable sources into line with electricity demand, solutions are needed for the storage and subsequent use of surplus energy.
Water electrolysis produces green hydrogen that can be stored for hours, days, or months, coverted it back into electricity or used as clean, CO2-free starting material in the mobility sector or for the production of sustainable chemicals.
Another central requirement is the need to stabilise the power grid against short-term fluctuations. As a two-in-one solution, thyssenkrupp’s industrial-scale water electrolysis process meets both criteria.
As part of the Carbon2Chem® project, thyssenkrupp’s alkaline water electrolysis unit is already successfully supplying hydrogen for the production of chemicals from steel mill waste gases. In 2018 methanol was produced from steel mill gases for the first time.
In the following year the production of ammonia succeeded. By contrast with conventional production methods, this process does not require fossil fuels such as natural gas, thus reducing CO2 emissions in both steelmaking and chemical production.
“We can already offer our customers economically viable solutions for energy storage and the production of sustainable chemicals. In this way we are making our contribution to building a stable and sustainable cross-sector energy system,” says Sami Pelkonen, CEO of thyssenkrupp’s Chemical & Process Technologies Business Unit.
“Another good example is sustainable ammonia: With water electrolysis and our leading ammonia production process, we can supply integrated plants that produce ammonia from nothing but water, air and sunlight or wind.”