First battolyser for electricity storage and hydrogen production thanks to Waddenfonds in Groningen

11 June 2018

Schiedam, June 11 2018 – Battolyser B.V, a joint venture by Delft University of Technology and Proton Ventures, has received a grant of € 480,000 from Waddenfonds to construct a ‘battolyser’, adjacent to Nuons Magnum power plant in the Netherlands. Vattenfalls subsidiary Nuon and Yara will contribute to the development. The battolyser can efficiently store or supply electricity as a battery, and can split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis as well. The realization of this first battolyser in Eemshaven in the beginning of 2019 is an important milestone for Nuon in Groningen. In the future, Nuon aims to store surplus wind and solar power for the longer term and to recycle it for electricity production.

At the end of 2016, Professor Fokko Mulder’s research group at Delft University of Technology presented the successful development of a laboratory-scale battolyser. This new project at Nuons Magnum power plant will be the first significant step for scaling up even larger systems, since it can be tested directly at the power plant. The produced hydrogen will be used for cooling the generators and will replace the gray hydrogen that is currently being used. Eventually, Nuon wants to use hydrogen as a CO2-free fuel for its gas plant. Hydrogen also plays an important role in greening chemical processes and electrification of production processes for chemical companies such as Yara and Proton Ventures. The battolyser can become a solution to integrate intermittent renewable energy and the electrification of industry.

Battolyser for short and long term storage
In fact, the battolyser is an electrolyser with nickel-iron electrodes like in the Edison-battery from over a 100 years ago. Disadvantages of this battery were the loss of hydrogen during charging and the lower capacity. The battolyser however exploits the hydrogen production and improves the battery capacity. A fully charged battolyser functions as an electrolyser that produces hydrogen and oxygen with high efficiency. Furthermore, the battery feeds the grid when there is a shortage of electricity.

The first battolyser of 15kW/60kWh will be installed early 2019, after which it will be cyclically tested to monitor hydrogen purity and efficiency over time. After the test phase, a follow-up plan will be drawn up to subsequently upscale to installations of 1 and 10 MW. These can be placed at industrial partners or at locations where electricity from offshore wind farms is coming on shore on a large scale, for example at the Nuon power plants in Eemshaven and Velsen.

Nuon’s Magnum as a hydrogen power plant
Nuon considers hydrogen as an essential link in the energy transition and in reaching the Paris Climate Agreement goals. Hydrogen can serve as a CO2-free, flexible backup for wind and sun. Nuon hopes to use the Magnum power plant in Groningen as a catalyst for a growing hydrogen economy in  the Netherlands.

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