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Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)

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Hydrogen carriers for stationary storage of excess renewable energy - FCH-02-5-2018

  - 60 days Deadline: 24 Apr 2018

 Raw Materials
 Energy Efficiency
 Renewable Energy
 Waste Management
 Aerospace Technology

Specific Challenge:

Hydrogen storage and delivery are essential components of future fuel cells and hydrogen-based technologies. Depending on applications, different sizes of storage of hydrogen close to the final use may be necessary, e.g. industrial scale storage is required to deal with imbalances between supply and use of hydrogen, those caused by fluctuations in availability of renewable electricity.
Storage and handling of hydrogen in gas phase often needs significant amount of energy for hydrogen compression up to at least 350 bar. This process is usually performed with mechanical instruments (i.e. compressors, pumps), with low efficiency and heat losses. Therefore, the use of low-pressure (i.e. lower than 50 bar) alternatives based on hydrogen carriers could decrease CAPEX and OPEX of hydrogen storage significantly.
The basic aspects of hydrogen carrier technologies are well established, but the demonstration to efficiently store and/or deliver hydrogen is still in an early stage of industrial development and while the basic aspects of individual components of such a storage solution are well established, there has not been a lot of research that focused on a proof-of-concept that demonstrates this storage solution from end to end.
Further developments and demonstration in applications with larger market potential (like e.g. low-pressure hydrogen storage in residential applications for medium to long-term energy storage or at off grid locations) are necessary.


Novel energy efficient, compact and cost effective hydrogen carrier solutions should be developed for hydrogen storage in grid independent energy supply systems, e.g. for on-site hydrogen production from renewables connected to green hydrogen supply to FC (HT-PEFC, SOFC, etc.) to be used in stationary applications.
Safety issues for hydrogen storage and delivering should be specifically addressed. Suitable normative related to hydrogen handling using carriers should be considered. The use of non-Critical Raw Materials is highly recommended.
The projects should demonstrate a prototype of a storage system based on hydrogen carriers for an application with significant market potential, in order to move hydrogen carriers out of niche markets. The integration of the prototype system from a hydrogen production to delivering is required within the project. The results of the project will support the management of variable sources in applications at the medium – large scale, such as energy generation from power plans based on renewable sources.
Projects should achieve a break-through in increased energy efficiency and compactness of the complete system with respect to current technologies, as well as reduction of necessary hydrogen compression steps, optimizing the complete hydrogen storage and delivery chain. Depending on selected storage technology, a purification step might be included.
Project work should encompass a complete energy and cost analysis of the state-of-the-art in the specific application, including cost for hydrogen and energy supply, cost for storage including hydrogen processing as well as depreciation of system components.
The overall achieved improvements in increasing energy efficiency and safety, while reducing cost for the system itself and its maintenance should be investigated in a techno-economical evaluation of the developed system.
A LCA of the concept should be included to evaluate the potential improvement in energy efficiency and environmental performance of the complete system with respect to current technologies. The LCA should contemplate also the management of raw and waste material, as well as other recycling issues.
Based on a specific business case, the amount of H2 to be stored should be clarified and a cost analysis of the whole hydrogen storage and delivering chain should be provided.
Proposed projects should have at least one industrial partner (carrier and/or storage system production) in the consortium, to both exploit the results and prove a business case for the developed hydrogen storage solution based on the particular hydrogen carrier.
Projects within the scope of call topic FCH-02-6-2017 (Liquid organic hydrogen carrier) are not eligible for this call.
TRL at start: 3 and TRL at end: 5.
Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) dedicated mailbox JRC-PTT-H2SAFETY@ec.europa.eu, which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD.
Test activities should collaborate and use the protocols developed by the JRC Harmonisation Roadmap (see section 3.2.B "Collaboration with JRC – Rolling Plan 2018"), in order to benchmark performance of components and allow for comparison across different projects.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected duration: 3 years

Expected Impact:

The expected achievement from the project is a proof of concept of a hydrogen carrier system for stationary storage, integrated with hydrogen production from renewables and use in energy supply devices (e.g. FC). This application area is expected to provide promising export markets for the European industry.
A medium-scale prototype system with developed carriers should be demonstrated by the end of the project with a capacity of ≥ 50 kg H2 and integrated with an existing application, including hydrogen storage and delivering steps. Optimized hydrogen and thermal management should be demonstrated. The system should demonstrate a safe operation and maintenance along the whole chain, including toxicity and health aspects. An added value to the proposal is the hydrogen production and use as a part of the project, however their cost is not eligible in the proposal.
The KPIs for hydrogen storage include the whole process for carriers’ hydrogenation as well as dehydrogenation. All of the following specific KPIs should be obtained and demonstrated:

  • Target of hydrogen stored capacity for in-field testing > 50 kg H2;
  • Carrier volumetric density > 0.1 kg H2/litre;
  • Discharge energy use from sources external from the prototype system < 5.0 kWh/kg H2, i.e. less than 15% of the energy content of hydrogen per kg;
  • Total round-trip energy efficiency > 70% including compression, energy supply to store and BoP, etc.;
  • Loading and unloading of hydrogen has to be demonstrated in the carrier for at least 250 cycles and in the prototype for at least 50 cycles, with acceptable loss of storage capacity less than 0.2 % per cycle;
  • Hydrogen purity at point of delivery at least 99.99 %.

Type of action: Research and Innovation Action
The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 3.3 and in the General Annexes to the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2018– 2020 which apply mutatis mutandis.

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