Electricity Storage through Electrochemically Compressed Hydrogen

Research projects

Project Description:

Hydrogen is a unique energy vector, since it can be generated directly from wind electricity through the electrolysis of water.  The Oyster project (a collaboration between ITM Power, Orsted, Siemens Gamesa and Element Energy, funded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership – see https://oysterh2.eu/), is an example where green hydrogen is directly generated offshore through the electrolysis of (desalinated) seawater.   In our Energy Transition, although the exact role hydrogen will play is still being decided, there is, nevertheless, much interest in storing hydrogen.  Centrica Storage, Ltd., own the UK’s largest offshore gas field that has been used for natural gas storage (the Rough Gas Resevoir), and have advanced ambitious plans to repurpose it for hydrogen storage.  These gas fields operate at temperatures up to ca. 90 oC, and pressures up to ca. 200 bar.  Accoridngly, the stoprage of hydrogen in such fields requires its compression.  However, most mechanical compressors (e.g. centrifugal compressors) are not very efficient in undertaking the compression of a small molecular gas such as hydrogen – their compression ratios are typically as low as 1.03.  This introduces a number of inefficiencies in the process.  Moreover, such mechanical compressors suffer from wear and tear, owing to the large number of moving parts they contain, and are extremely noisy in operations.  They likewise are prone to stress-cracking corrosion, owing to the occurrence of hydrogen embrittlement.

In this PhD project a new design of compressor will be undertaken, and tested both in the laboratory, and at a slightly larger scale, at the CATCH facility (demonstration of the technology in a real-world environment).

For an informal discussion, call +44 (0) 1482 463331
or contact auracdt@hull.ac.uk