Small Scale Hydrogen Storage for Integrated Energy Systems

The integration of a greater proportion of renewable energy, compounded by the rise in small scale distributed generation, is making it increasingly difficult to balance demand and supply of electricity without adequate energy storage facilities. However, the effective deployment of these solutions at any particular location will require an understanding of the local energy system at the time. Conversion between energy vectors will also be required not just to meet storage needs, but also to allow major shifts from fossil fuels to low carbon energy in applications like heat and transport. Hydrogen is an energy vector that is particularly versatile from this viewpoint. 

The energy system at The Hydrogen Office (THO) demonstrates the use of hydrogen as energy storage for balancing intermittent renewables. It combines a 750kW wind turbine, a 30kW electrolyser, 11kg of 12bar pressure hydrogen storage, a 10kW fuel cell and a 5kW hydrogen boiler. Since opening in January 2011, THO (now registered as Bright Green Hydrogen Ltd., BGH) has been contributing to energy storage research, working with several Scottish and European Universities. 

The immediate objective of this project (to be completed in year 1) is to produce an ideal blueprint for a low or zero carbon business park based on real world data gathered at Methil Docks Business Park (MDBP). This will require producing a full techno-economic model of a small scale energy system with energy storage that interacts with the wider energy system to which it is connected, and is able to provide a range of services (power, heat, transport, possibly cooling). The model will also consider forecast costs of energy and future energy infrastructure. Further, the project is to extend the model to future energy systems (year 2), and explore other areas throughout Scotland that could support the blueprint, investigating housing estates as well as business parks (year 3).

Principal Investigator: 


Professor Gareth Harrison and Mr David Hogg

Research Institutes: 

  • Energy Systems

Research Themes: 

  • Energy Storage and Carbon Capture

Last modified: 

Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 17:54