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'Power to Gas' to Be Tested in Hokkaido

Wind power-derived hydrogen transported as MCH

2017/10/06 22:39
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Toyota Tsusho Corp, NTT Facilities Inc (Minato-ku, Tokyo), Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd, Hrein Energy Inc (Sapporo City), Technova Inc (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) and Muroran Institute of Technology will begin the "Power to Gas" verification project using hydrogen energy in Hokkaido in late November 2017.

The Power to Gas is a system that converts renewable energy-derived electricity (Power) into gaseous fuel (Gas) such as hydrogen. Unlike wind power generation, whose output drastically changes depending on weather conditions, the Power to Gas can be stably operated. The seven organizations will develop technologies for a system that forecasts power demand to stably sell electricity and effectively uses unstable power as fuel by temporarily converting unstable electricity (that cannot be easily utilized) into hydrogen and transporting/storing it.

NTT Facilities' system that estimates the amount of wind power generation will be used to forecast wind conditions and the amount of power generation for the next day. Based on the forecast, Kawasaki Heavy Industries' control system will be used to calculate stable electricity and unstable electricity that is used for hydrogen production and produce hydrogen with a water electrolyzer.

The produced hydrogen will be reacted with toluene by using Hrein Energy's hydrogenation machine to produce MCH (methylcyclohexane), which will be transported to customers by land. The customers will separate MCH into hydrogen and toluene on site by using a dehydrogenation unit, combust hydrogen and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) at the same time and use the heat.

The seven organizations started the project in February 2015. Since then, they have set a business model, planned the verification test, designed/manufactured facilities and examined the performance of each facility through trial operation.

In the verification project, all the facilities will be operated, and the entire system and the business model will be tested. The verification will take place at Yuhigaoka Wind Farm Furaibou, which is wind power generation facilities operated by and located in Tomamae-cho (town), Hokkaido.