The students tracked the generated hydrogen to compressors that compress it to facilitate storage and transportation. This process increases the energy density of the hydrogen.
The compressed hydrogen is now either stored in the municipal utility’s hydrogen storage facility or filled into truck trailers at its own filling station, which eventually deliver the hydrogen to other customers in the surrounding area.
The tour continued to the battery storage units located in four containers with a capacity of almost 10 MW. They can absorb surplus energy and make it available quickly in the event of increased power demand to keep the grid stable.
At the pellet plant, students were able to experience the entire wood pellet production process, from upstream wood drying to storage, packaging and palletizing of the finished pellets.
In the associated combined heat and power (CHP) units, electricity and heat are generated by burning both natural gas and hydrogen. In order to make the best possible use of all available valuable resources, the heat generated in the process is used to dry wood in the pellet plant.
However, this waste heat can also be used in the so-called ORC (Organic Rankine Cycle) process. In this process, silicone oil is vaporized in a closed cycle and drives a turbine that generates electricity. The process also generates low-temperature heat that can be directly reused by the municipal utility.
The great interest in the highly topical and promising subject of climate-friendly heat and power supply was particularly evident from the many questions asked by the students during and after the tour.
After taking a final picture together in front of the electrolyzer, the group headed back home, carrying inspiring impressions and a strengthened awareness for a future-oriented climate change, in which the students themselves can play a decisive role.