H2 Readiness and H2 Second Life: Renewed infrastructures for the molecule of the future

H2 Readiness and H2 Second Life: Renewed infrastructures for the molecule of the future

In its climate policy, Europe is counting on hydrogen as a central energy carrier of the future to limit climate change. In Germany, technologies with the molecule of the future are already considered the key to the success of the energy transition. The German government is pursuing the goal of further integrating and using renewable energies with hydrogen to decarbonise all energy-intensive sectors. As a storage medium for renewably generated electricity, hydrogen can be used in energy grids, storage facilities and connected systems for sector coupling. Therefore, existing grid and storage infrastructures must be checked for their hydrogen readiness and appropriate technical adjustments must be made. For example, what technical and regulatory conditions must a hydrogen storage system meet to be H2-ready?

This transformation poses new and, in some cases, cataclysmic challenges for operators of power grids, gas grids and energy stores. It affects areas such as control engineering and IT security. And as every technological innovation comes with its own risks, it is important to identify, name and avoid these risks right from the outset.

Safety starts with prevention

As the hydrogen economy is ramping-up, operators of pipelines and underground storage technologies play a unique role, for they have experience in the underlying technologies. But the existing infrastructure can rarely be used directly as is, since, unlike natural gas or methane, hydrogen is much lighter and more volatile. Hydrogen diffuses through numerous materials integrated into piping systems. The new, lightweight energy source thus requires modified safety concepts – for pipes, valves, pumps, temporary stores and other storage facilities.

System safety of plants such as hydrogen storages starts with prevention. The HydroHub experts examine aspects such as gas permeation and the resulting pressure build-up, estimate the risks (e.g. of an explosion caused by external interference, lightning strike or fire) and calculate the possible shock wave that would occur in the event the respective system units detonated or burst. HydroHub’s portfolio also encompasses optimising safety fittings, analysing the process-specific layout of components such as heat exchangers or pumps, and simulating system dynamics. Our services ensure safe, risk-free handling of hydrogen storage systems and other hydrogen-related technologies.

HydroHub advises on government aid: from grid operators to hydrogen storage facilities

Germany has set itself the goal of achieving the most comprehensive conversion possible by 2050. To this end, funding of several billion euros for research, development and production has been decided within the framework of the National Hydrogen Strategy. This funding is intended to enable a rapid market ramp-up of the required technologies. The conversion of existing gas storage facilities into hydrogen storage facilities in particular has potential – around 32 terawatt hours of hydrogen could be stored here in the course of a conversion. To achieve greenhouse neutrality in the near future, the conversion would have to be supplemented by the construction of new hydrogen storage facilities with a capacity of 41 terawatt hours. Thus, Germany should become the world's leading producer and supplier of hydrogen technologies.

Anyone who invests and takes action now can benefit from the funding, and thus drive the energy transition more cost-effectively. Draw on HydroHub’s expertise for this, in compliance with the guidelines for funding options. Experts from various companies of the TÜV NORD GROUP advise how exactly to successfully implement your project with funding, and the steps necessary to achieve this.

Advice on the conversion of gas storage facilities into hydrogen storage facilities

The feasibility of green hydrogen is being tested in a large number of projects across Germany. Green hydrogen is seen as a sustainable alternative to fossil natural gas, which is why hydrogen technologies are becoming increasingly relevant. In the course of the changeover, existing infrastructure must be adapted to the use of hydrogen – for example, gas storage facilities must be able to function as hydrogen storage facilities in the future. The switch to hydrogen is also increasingly economically attractive thanks to subsidies – a trend that will continue due to the climate targets to be achieved.

Converting conventional gas storage facilities into hydrogen storage facilities is therefore particularly interesting for energy supply companies. However, the conversion is associated with a number of challenges, which HydroHub can advise you on as an expert in hydrogen.

Hundreds of very specialised services for grid operators and hydrogen storage providers

With market-oriented research, feasibility studies and concepts, we help turn hydrogen-based energy supply into something safe. We offer hundreds of specialised services, including preparing concepts for hybrid energy supply, grid set-up, distribution, storage and electric re-conversion, as well as electrical-engineering and instrumentation/control surveys, and consulting for incident-proof designs, functional security, earthing and lightning protection, EMC, plant safety and of course IT security.

Contact us. Briefly describe your project to us. We’ll assemble a team of experts for you.