The part hydrogen will play in the energy transition is huge, so hydrogen storage solutions must be at the same scale as the gas plants and equipment that they will replace.
Storelectric’s technology integrates renewable energy generation, compressed air storage, electrolysis and hydrogen storage in an unmatched combination of cost-effectiveness and infrastructure-scale technologies.
Salt cavern storage is the only technology currently available that can store hydrogen safely and cheaply in massive bulk.
THE PRESSURE TO STORE HYDROGEN SAFELY – AT SCALE
An average lorry-sized tank, carrying hydrogen at 20bar pressure, can carry only 75kg of hydrogen.
Our solution uses underground caverns, built new or repurposed after being used to store oil and gas. These caverns come in a range of sizes, but typically store 10,000–200,000 tanker-loads.
Hydrogen is typically produced at 30–300 bar pressure; our pressure control system allows us to store it at the same pressures, minimising the energy consumed in storage. Because all our technologies use standard equipment, we can accommodate a wide variety of pressures, enabling us to build plants in many different locations.
SAFE AND WELL PROVEN
HYDROGEN CAVERN STORAGE
Salt cavern technology has been proven for well over a century. Caverns have been storing gas since the 1950s; now housing around ⅓ of Europe’s natural gas stocks, with no underground disasters in them ever, so it’s a safe and well-proven technology.
Well-managed caverns may last indefinitely: current air storage caverns were found to have the same structural integrity at 27 years of age as on day one.
What can carry hydrogen can also carry air – but not vice versa. We can retrofit existing air caverns and pipes to accommodate for the specific storage requirements of hydrogen, whether produced by us on site via electrolysis, or imported.
UNDERGROUND ENERGY STORAGE
– NOT FRACKING
Whilst Storelectric’s technologies operate underground, they are not fracking. Our CAES technology is a cleaner alternative as it does not damage or disrupt local environments as does fracking:
- Storelectric’s salt caverns store air at pressures that roughly balance the pressure of the rock; fracking requires over ten times this pressure.
- Fracking uses grit or sand to keep cracks open, and noxious chemicals to extract hydrocarbons; Storelectric’s technology will introduce no harmful pollutants.
- Fracking generates large volumes of waste; Storelectric’s cavern operations will generate none.
- Fracking requires consistent heavy traffic to remove waste and feed the site with sand and chemicals; Storelectric’s plants have no such ongoing need.
Our hydrogen storage technology integrates with our other green energy solutions to power the transition to a greener future.
Our hydrogen storage solutions can either be built new or transform previous gas and petroleum storage sites to multi-use green energy storage sites, providing electricity storage with Compressed Air Energy Storage (CAES), hydrogen storage and storage of other products (e.g. synthesised ammonia or methanol) side-by-side.
HOW HYDROGEN CAES WORKS
CAES™ is a proven energy storage solution; it has been in operation since 1978 in Huntorf in Germany, and since 1992 in McIntosh, Alabama, USA. Both plants store compressed air in underground salt caverns, ready to be expanded when required.
However, they both regenerate electricity by feeding it into a gas-fired power station.
OUR HYDROGEN CAES TECHNOLOGY USES A COMBINED CYCLE POWER PLANT (CCGT) SYSTEM TOO, BUT WITH THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE THAT IT CAN BURN HYDROGEN INSTEAD.
Until sufficient hydrogen is available at suitable prices, our technology will burn methane or any mix of hydrogen and methane, and will decarbonise as the energy transition progresses.
The hydrogen could be obtained either from the gas grid (which, in many countries, will be converted to carry hydrogen and, intermediately, mixes of hydrogen and methane) or dedicated production such as by on-site or near-site electrolysers.
HYDROGEN CAES™ TECHNOLOGY
- The only technology able to convert power stations to CAES
- Bulk energy storage 20MW to multi-GW power, and 4 hours to multi-day duration
- Maximized flexibility providing load shifting, grid balancing, ancillary services and T&D deferral solutions
- 24-hour voltage support, emergency power, Black Start, and power quality conditioning
- Allows the replacement of fossil fuel generation with low cost renewable energy, cutting or eliminating emissions
- Also flexible consumption, providing Demand Turn-Up and related balancing services
- Renewable energy on demand at a lower cost than diesel / OCGT power
- Co-location with output cables for major renewable generation or interconnectors reduces grid connection capital costs and grid access charges, and maximises revenues
- Time shift generation to maximise project economics and provide risk mitigation during triads
- Eliminate curtailment of low marginal cost renewable energy at times of low demand
- Baseload or peaking plant designs sized to cover peak demand periods
- Electrical independence for islands, micro-grids, and off-grid locations
- Co-location with renewables also enables the generator to avoid grid access charges on its output energy, storage to avoid them on charging energy and storage to avoid capital costs of grid connections
- New transmission and distribution lines, substation capacity and other assets have long lead time, are expensive, and challenging to permit
- Maximise existing T&D capacity by utilising capacity bringing power through transmission bottlenecks to charge during off-peak times
- During peak demand times, inject electricity from storage after the T&D bottleneck, to supply market on the load side
- Co-location with renewables benefits grids by greatly reducing reinforcement and adding real inertia 24/7
- Provides flexible generation and reliable back-up power for critical areas and infrastructure
- Repurpose existing coal plants by leveraging location and existing infrastructure
- Re-purpose existing CCGT/OCGT by leveraging location and existing infrastructure
- Such re-purposing gives new life to otherwise stranded assets by adding revenue streams, reducing emissions and (as price volatility increases) reducing operational costs
- Co-location of storage with renewable generators allows better use of under-utilised T&D infrastructure
- Repurposing existing salt caverns currently used for natural gas storage for improved economics
- Repurposing of other underground storage assets such as aquifers, depleted hydrocarbon fields, disused mines, porous inclusions.