Tractebel Unveils Hydrogen-Producing Offshore Platform
Tractebel Engineering GmbH and Tractebel Overdick GmbH are developing a concept for an offshore platform which makes it possible to produce hydrogen from offshore wind energy at an industrial scale using electrolysis.
Delivering up to 400MW, this kind of plant exceeds the output of previous technologies many times over and it could already be put into practice today, for example in the North Sea, Tractebel said.
The offshore platform can enable a number of tasks to be solved simultaneously. The proportion of “green” hydrogen (H2) in the energy mix can be increased on a CO2-neutral basis. In addition, the wide range of options for transporting H2 provide relief for the electricity transmission grid, the capacities of which are limited. Furthermore, H2 as an efficient energy storage medium can balance out seasonal fluctuations in renewable energy sources, according to the developers.
In large-scale offshore wind farms, Tractebel sees enormous potential for CO2-neutral production of “green” hydrogen. On the basis of the new type of platform model, the Tractebel team is currently working on a detailed solution for the use of the platform at an industrial scale (400MW). It accommodates all the technical components required for production – including electrolysis units, transformers, and desalinisation plants.
The means of transport for the energy generated in this way, via pipeline or ship, are flexible. They provide alternatives to the contentious or overloaded cable lines – in the sea or over land. Compared to the costs of production of “grey” hydrogen from fossil sources, the costs for “green” hydrogen are currently somewhat higher. Among other things a higher tax on CO2 emissions will ensure greater equality of opportunities here. The critical cost factor is the design of the system and the efficiency of the plants. The Tractebel concept includes the appropriate solutions for cost-optimised designs and efficient operation.