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ETH Zurich Student Investigates Power-to-Hydrogen System

Converting electricity into hydrogen in order to store sustainable energy over a longer period is a hot topic. With the expertise and the tools of Empa researchers, a master's student at ETH Zurich has investigated whether the use of a so-called power-to-hydrogen-to-power system in a multi-family house makes sense.

2023-09-19 11:45:25
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Quelle: Swiss Federal Council

A master's student at ETH Zurich has investigated the use of a power-to-hydrogen-to-power system in a multi-family house with the help of Empa researchers. The Swiss power grid has excess production in the summer and depends on imports in the winter, and this imbalance will be increased by electrification and the replacement of nuclear power plants with renewable energy sources.

The student focused on the integration of a power-to-hydrogen-to-power system, which converts surplus electricity into hydrogen, stores it, and generates electricity from it when needed. The system includes PV systems, an electrolyzer, hydrogen tanks, and fuel cells.

The system can store energy for months without any losses. The student used a software called ehub tool developed by Empa researchers to model the system and optimize it.

The results showed that the P2H2P system could level out the energy imbalance but was not the optimal solution due to higher costs and emissions compared to the conventional system. The main problem was the size of the storage tank for hydrogen.

However, the student believes that the system could have potential in the future if the size of the hydrogen tank is reduced. The analysis was done in the context of the Swiss power grid, which is already clean, and the P2H2P system may perform better in power grids with higher CO2 emissions.

Coupling the system with industries that could use hydrogen in the future could make the technology more lucrative. The topic will continue to be studied by the student in her future academic path.

Empa supports around 100 bachelor's and master's students each year with their theses, providing them with knowledge and tools from various labs..

(Quelle:Swiss Federal Council modified with ChatGPT)

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Zurich ETH Student Investigates Power-to-Hydrogen System