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article imageHydrogen power storage development gaining impetus

By Karen Graham     Sep 5, 2017 in Business
The global demand for hydrogen storage materials and technologies is growing by leaps and bounds. A number of global energy companies are investing in hydrogen power storage as an optimal choice over lithium-ion batteries.
According to BBC Research, investments in hydrogen power storage technologies and materials has grown from $3.4 billion in 2015 and could pass the $5.4 billion mark in 2021. There is strong market growth with annual growth rates predicted to hit 8.1 percent through 2021.
According to the report, "Hydrogen storage is the key enabling technology for the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in various end-user industries such as chemicals, oil refining, metal processing, and transportation. Of these, the chemicals end-user segment accounts for the majority of the market; however, the transportation end-user segment is witnessing the strongest growth in all geographical regions."
Powered by hydrogen  the Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere  and provides an ...
Powered by hydrogen, the Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere, and provides an alternative to diesel power.
Alstrom
The advantages of hydrogen power storage
Ongoing research is looking at the possibility of hydrogen capable of longer duration storage than lithium ion batteries, which at the present time is limited to lifespans based on cycles, making battery-life difficult to predict.
The global demand for clean energy storage, as a whole, is being driven by government standards for cleaner fuels, as well as a growing demand for vehicles that operate with less or even zero-emissions. Add to this the increased urbanization taking place globally, along with a decline in oil availability.
However, hydrogen storage capabilities may take years to develop because the technology remains expensive. And that is one of the issues being worked on in developing a technology that will be cost-efficient. Hydrogen electrolysis technology is the most flexible and simplest method to store renewable energy on a large, long-term scale.
The HY4 hydrogen fuel cell four passenger aircraft on the runway at Stuttgart Airport.
The HY4 hydrogen fuel cell four passenger aircraft on the runway at Stuttgart Airport.
© DLR
But hydrogen storage technologies require the development of advanced storage methods that have the potential for higher energy density because hydrogen's low ambient temperature density results in a low energy per unit volume. To that end, research and development are greatly needed.
Companies leading the way in R&D
Hydrogen power storage has drawn the backing of a number of global energy companies, from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Uniper SE in addition to carmakers BMW AG and Audi AG. These companies are supporting the development of technologies that increase energy storage by weeks or even months past the capabilities of lithium-ion storage batteries.
It is hoped that with technology, we will be able to find the elusive answer to the question of how electricity can be stored for future use. Hydrogen can be stored in tanks for an indefinite period of time. So the problem to be answered is how can we collect voltage from solar cells in the summer and store it for use in the winter?
HY4 in flight over Stuttgart  Germany.
HY4 in flight over Stuttgart, Germany.
HY4.Org
If hydrogen could be made to store energy cheaply enough, this would mean the power companies could scale-back on the use of fossil-fuel power plants and at the same time, make it much easier for the electric grid to handle intermittent power flow from wind and solar farms.
“If you want to get to 100 percent renewables, hydrogen could play a key role,” said Claire Curry, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “You could have natural gas plants, but that would, of course, not be 100 percent clean.”
The Hydrogen Council was formed at the last World Economic Forum in Davos, The Hydrogen Council is a global initiative of leading energy, transport and industry companies with a vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.
Its members include Shell, Total SA, Engie SA, Toyota Motor Corp., Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Audi and the Japanese industrial gas supplier Iwatani Corp. General Motors Co. is in the process of joining.
Using seawater to create jet fuel: Electrochemical acidification carbon capture skid and hydrogen st...
Using seawater to create jet fuel: Electrochemical acidification carbon capture skid and hydrogen stripper carbon capture system
U.S. Naval Research Laboratory
The Hydrogen Council will be meeting in New York City on September 18, 2017, during NYC Climate Week. According to the announcement, "an exclusive event with c-suite industry leaders, investors, and other stakeholders is planned. The objective of this event will be to discuss the important contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition and to work with them to create an effective implementation plan – so that the compelling benefits of hydrogen deployment can be reaped."
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