The
University of California, Irvine engineers have successfully implemented the
first power-to-gas (P2G) hydrogen pipeline injection project in the United
States, demonstrating the use of excess clean electricity that would otherwise
go to waste. What is the concept of P2G? It’s a technique for converting surplus
sustainable energy from solar panels or wind farms into hydrogen, which can be
blended with natural gas and utilized in everything from home appliances to
power plants. The renewable fuel can also be stored in containment vessels for
later use, such as in hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. The storage is what makes
this so interesting, especially for renewable energies like wind and solar. The
research shows that you don’t have to stop renewable power generation when
demand is low. You simply use the excess electricity to make hydrogen that can
be integrated into the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure.

UCI_electrolyzer_09dec2016

 

Jack Brouwer, UCI associate professor of mechanical &
aerospace engineering and civil & environmental engineering, explains the
workings of an electrolyzer, a key component of the power-to-gas system. The
device uses renewable electricity to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. The
oxygen is released into the atmosphere, and the hydrogen is injected into the
natural gas supply line for UCI’s power plant.

 

The
central component of the process is the electrolyzer, which takes in water and
uses excess clean electricity to power an electrochemical reaction that splits
it into hydrogen and oxygen. The latter is released into the atmosphere, and
the hydrogen is compressed and sent about 60 feet through a pencil-thin,
stainless-steel tube to an injection point in UCI’s natural gas pipeline. The
hydrogen is mixed with natural gas and burned in the gas turbine power plant to
generate electricity and heat for the campus. Researchers are also looking into
methanation, which takes carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and combines it
with renewable hydrogen to create a new, sustainable fuel source. Find more
information at: https://news.uci.edu/faculty/in-a-national-first-uci-injects-renewable-hydrogen-into-campus-power-supply/.

 

Reusing PEV Li-ion batteries

A
report from Navigant Research explores the concept of reusing plug-in electric
vehicle (PEV) lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries for stationary energy storage
system (ESS) applications, focusing on the key issues, market drivers, and
challenges related to reusing second-life PEV batteries. Li-ion battery packs in
EVs have shown less degradation and better performance than expected thanks to robust
pack design and careful thermal and charging management. Although the specific
power and energy capacity performance parameters for second-life reuse will
need to be determined, these batteries will likely have high power and energy
capacities, making them well suited for grid-storage applications such as
frequency regulation, as well as longer duration applications. The report says
that capacity of Li-ion batteries for PEV second-life stationary energy storage
is expected to grow 10 GWh from 2022 to 2035. The report, Alternative Revenue Models for Advanced
Batteries
, explores the concept of reusing PEV Li-ion batteries for
stationary ESS applications. The study examines the issues, including market
drivers and challenges, related to second-life batteries and suggests moves for
stakeholders to help make the concept become a reality. Global forecasts for
the availability and capacity of these batteries, as well as their future price
ceilings, are provided.