To achieve the climate goals and ensure the success of the energy transition in Germany, sector coupling will be essential. In this context, green hydrogen produced sustainably from renewable energies is expected to become a key pillar of the future energy system. Due to the limited availability of space as well as other challenges for the development of renewable energies on land, energy carriers such as hydrogen are being considered for import – for example from Australia or North Africa. However, hydrogen production at sea using offshore wind power with its high full-load hours offers the opportunity to cover the entire value chain at a national level. At the same time, the further growth of offshore wind capacity can be decoupled from grid expansion. Given the track record and pioneering work of the offshore wind industry in Germany, hydrogen production at sea expands the potential for promising, innovative projects in the future.
Within the project “OffsH2ore”, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), for the first time, the offshore production of hydrogen from offshore wind in an island mode configuration will be comprehensively investigated. Next to the technical and economic challenges with regards to the operating conditions at sea, the concept design study will specifically address relevant questions around storage, transport and logistics of hydrogen, operation and maintenance of the offshore facilities as well as regulatory aspects. In particular, the project aims to identify innovative technical solutions related to the implementation of an integrated maritime hydrogen supply chain. By focusing on storage and transport of hydrogen in pressurised form, the chosen technical approach clearly and deliberately sets itself apart from existing project ideas and concept studies for offshore hydrogen production. The outcome of the project will be a technically and economically optimized design of an integrated offshore hydrogen production facility and related maritime logistics concept. The concept should serve as a launching point for predevelopment of pilot and full-scale projects.
With the project coordinator PNE AG, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, SILICA Verfahrenstechnik GmbH, KONGSTEIN GmbH and Wystrach GmbH, the project “OffsH2ore” brings together an experienced and complementary consortium of industry partners and academia from across the value chain.
The basis for this pioneering project is an offshore wind farm which is directly connected to a 500MW electrolysis platform for the production of up to 40,000 tons of green hydrogen per year. KONGSTEIN, with its unique experience in logistics concept planning and transport & installation activities in complex offshore operations, will be responsible for the development of a hydrogen offshore logistics concept, including hydrogen loading arrangements, vessel design and transport concept from offshore site to shore.
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Founded in 2016, KONGSTEIN provides best of class engineering and innovative consulting solutions to both the offshore renewables and the maritime industry. Our roots in Norway and Germany coupled with our decades of practical experience ensure our clients receive a solid approach to designing, operating and de-risking offshore projects.
About PNE AG
PNE AG is a clean energy solutions provider for markets and industries regionally, nationally and internationally. Its core competencies are the project planning and operation of renewable energy projects. In addition, PNE AG is advancing the storage of renewable energies and power-to-x technology. In this way, it is consistently pursuing the goal of a secure, sustainable and profitable energy supply which is fed 100 percent from renewable energies. Around 400 employees work under the umbrella of the PNE Group in 13 countries on four continents. The headquarters of PNE AG are located in Cuxhaven.
About Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE
With a staff of close to 1300, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, Germany is the largest solar energy research institute in Europe. Fraunhofer ISE is committed to promoting sustainable, economic, safe and socially just energy supply systems based on renewable energies. Its research provides the technological foundations for supplying energy efficiently and on an environmentally sound basis in industrialized, threshold and developing countries throughout the world. Focusing on energy efficiency, energy conversion, energy distribution and energy storage, the Institute develops materials, components, systems and processes in five business areas. One particular feature of Fraunhofer ISE is its excellent technical infrastructure, which is organized into eight laboratory centers and four technology evaluation centers providing testing and experimental services on a production scale. In addition, the Institute has several accredited testing facilities. The Institute is a member of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization.
About SILICA Verfahrenstechnik GmbH
For more than 90 years, Silica Verfahrenstechnik GmbH has been designing and manufacturing process plants for the purification, drying and liquefaction of gases at its site in Berlin. The topic of hydrogen compression and purification has occupied the company since the delivery of the first hydrogen plant in 1941. Since that time, we built a vast number of Hydrogen units and Silica plants became a part of technological development in this field. Besides of the high-quality level and reliability of the plants Silica contributes decades of experiences in the integration of process packages into a complex overall system in compliance with current engineering standards and regulations. More recently, Silica has been involved in engineering and manufacturing of various projects for the production and further processing of “green” hydrogen.
About Wystrach GmbH
Wystrach GmbH is a full-service provider in the field of high-pressure solutions for stationary and mobile storage systems for hydrogen and other gases. The product range includes stationary bundles; containers of all sizes; tank systems for trains, buses, and trucks; and storage solutions, e.g. for power-to-gas applications as well as Plug&Play hydrogen refuelling stations. The company has 200 employees and more than 30 years of experience in this field; more than 140,000 compressed gas bundles and over 450 transport systems are on the market worldwide.