Powertech designs, assembles, installs, and operates hydrogen storage systems that optimize the use of renewable energy power sources. Using electrolyzers to generate hydrogen from surplus electrical power, the hydrogen is then compressed and stored as a high pressure gas. On demand, the compressed hydrogen can be either passed through fuel cells to re-generate electrical power, or used to fuel hydrogen-powered vehicles.
Powertech expertise in hydrogen storage systems is the result of over 10 years of experience in the design and testing of high pressure hydrogen fueling station technologies. This experience includes the operation of various electrolyzer designs on a continuous basis, to generate the hydrogen we use in our in-house testing programs. Powertech also has in-house expertise to develop the micro-grid control programs required to automate the operation of these systems when the balancing of supply and demand is an issue.
Powertech has designed, constructed, installed, and is currently operating a hydrogen energy storage system in the town of Bella Coola, British Columbia. The Hydrogen Assisted Renewable Power (HARP) project uses an electrolyzer to generate hydrogen from a renewable energy source. The system compresses and stores the hydrogen at 200 bar (20 MPa). PEM fuel cells are used to convert the hydrogen into 100 kW of electricity during peak demand periods. The demonstration project uses a micro-grid control system to balance the electrical load between the renewable energy source, diesel generation, and the power provided by the fuel cells.
The key technology components of the HARP project are:
- Hydrogen production (electrolysis);
- Hydrogen storage (compressed gas);
- Hydrogen power generation (fuel cell);
- Microgrid control system
Operation of the hydrogen energy system in Bella Coola has reduced the consumption of diesel by approximately 10%. Currently, Powertech is constructing a hydrogen energy storage system for the State of Hawaii, using power generated from geothermal sources.