Hydrogen Energy Cycle

Conceptually, the purpose of a hydrogen energy economy can be categorized as the: (1) production, (2) storage and transport, and (3) use of hydrogen. Some applications may involve all three categories. Figure 2.3 illustrates a structure of an energy supply system for an industrialized country (e.g. Germany) with import "clean" hydrogen (i.e. hydrogen energy economy), proposed by Winter and Nitsch [200]. In the system, hydrogen is fed into the supply system in a similar way as today natural gas. In the case of Germany, the required hydrogen will be mainly imported through a gas pipeline or LH2 tanker from neighbouring countries, where hydrogen is produced from cheap renewable energies [201]. It is similar to the current fossil fuel economy, where most of the oil and gas are imported from other countries. The country has limited energy resources to self generate hydrogen in large quantities. However, a small part of the hydrogen may be produced domestically from off-peak period of regional power plants (fossil fuels, or renewable energy power based), as domestic gas, to guarantee high efficiency of the power stations. The imported hydrogen (both liquid and gas) is then stored in a large-scale stationary storage at terminals to obtain a seasonal balance. Underground storage may be used to store a large amount of gaseous hydrogen, and a large-scale LH2 stationary storage for liquid hydrogen.

Underground Hydrogen Storage

— GH — — LH2 - Electricity ---- Heat - Raw Material

Fig. 2.3 Structure of a hydrogen energy economy for an industrial country [200].

— GH — — LH2 - Electricity ---- Heat - Raw Material

Fig. 2.3 Structure of a hydrogen energy economy for an industrial country [200].

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

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