Monday, January 7, 2013

New Wind Energy Storage Technology Introduced

Siemens has introduced a new electrolysis technology that uses a proton exchange membrane powered by excess wind energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The technology currently is being installed at the Coal Innovation Center affiliated with the Niederaussem power plant in Germany and is expected to be tested from January to October 2013.  

The membrane is fitted at the front and back with precious-metal electrodes connected to the positive and negative poles of the voltage source. The water is split at the electrodes. The design of the membrane technology reportedly allows it to respond to the fluctuating electricity supply from renewable sources such as wind within milliseconds through the use of innovative industrial control technology.

The hydrogen produced by the electrolysis technology can be deployed in a variety ways. Some of it can be used with CO2 from the power plant's flue gas to produce methane in the adjacent new catalyst test facility. As chemical energy in the form of natural gas, it can be placed in interim storage; when required, the gas can be turned into electricity or made available to the heating market. Or the hydrogen can be used to make further chemical products such as methanol. 

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