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10MW Solar Plant to Supply Power for Hydrogen Production in Fukushima

2018/08/16 19:32
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer
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A rendered image of Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (source: Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions)

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), etc announced that it has started the construction of facilities for testing a large-scale hydrogen system using electricity from a 10MW solar power plant and producing hydrogen in Namie-machi, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), which is participated in by NEDO, Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corp, Tohoku-Electric Power Co Inc and Iwatani Corp, is aimed at establishing a hydrogen energy system equipped with 10MW-class hydrogen production facilities.

The facilities will produce, store and supply up to about 900t of hydrogen per year by using the 10MW-class hydrogen production facilities. Power will be supplied from an adjacent 10MW-class solar power plant in addition to a power grid when there is a shortage of power due to bad weather, etc.

The water electrolysis system employed for the plant is a product of Asahi Kasei Corp (maximum water electrolysis power: 10MW, maximum amount of hydrogen produced: 2,000Nm3/h). The supplier of the solar power generation system has not been decided yet. The scale of the solar power generation facilities is scheduled to be expanded to about 20MW in the future.

The production and storage of hydrogen will be conducted based on the market demand for hydrogen estimated by a hydrogen demand prediction system. By adjusting the amount of hydrogen produced, the supply-demand balance of the power grid will be controlled.

The four organizations will test optimal operation control technologies combining the demand response of the power grid and the adjustment of hydrogen supply/demand to deal with (2) devices with different operating cycles and (2) demands with different input timings, periods and amounts.

The project is entrusted by NEDO. Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions coordinates the entire project and is responsible for the entire hydrogen energy system. Tohoku-Electric Power is responsible for the system to control the power grid and other technologies related to the grid. Iwatani is responsible for the system to predict the demand for hydrogen and hydrogen storage/supply.

Hydrogen produced is carried by using a compressed hydrogen trailer and expected to be used for (1) power generation using fuel cells, (2) vehicles such as fuel-cell vehicles and fuel-cell buses and (3) manufacturing plants (as fuel). The facilities are scheduled to be completed and start trial operation by October 2019, and the verification and the transportation of hydrogen are scheduled to begin for checking technical issues by July 2020