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An innovative approach for renewable energy storage by a combination of hydrogen carriers and heat storage

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - HyCARE (An innovative approach for renewable energy storage by a combination of hydrogen carriers and heat storage)

Reporting period: 2020-12-01 to 2021-12-31

The main advantages in using hydrogen carriers based in metal hydride are the following: (i) large quantities of hydrogen stored in small volume (i.e. low footprint); (ii) improved energy efficiency of the whole process and (iii) higher safety of the storage. The energy produced by a renewable source (e.g. sun and wind) is used to produce H2 from water through an electrolyser. The gas is then stored in the designed tank using a carrier. A heat storage system is planned to collect heat produced by the renewable plant, the electrolyser and from the MH, during H2 absorption. The collected heat is necessary during the desorption event to release hydrogen from the MH. Finally, the released H2 is used to supply a fuel cell (FC) producing electricity. The flows of hydrogen, heat and electricity during the hydrogen production and use are described in Figure 1, a and b, respectively.

The main objective of the HyCARE project is the development of a prototype hydrogen storage tank with use of a solid-state hydrogen carrier on large scale. The tank will be based on an innovative concept, joining hydrogen and heat storage, in order to improve energy efficiency of the whole system. The developed tank will be installed in the site of ENGIE LAB CRIGEN, located in the Paris Region (F). The developed tank will be joined with a PEM electrolyzer as hydrogen provider and a PEM fuel cell as hydrogen user.
The HyCARE consortium started to project activities since January 2019.
Kick off meeting of HyCARE has been held at the University of Turin (Italy) on January 28th-29th, 2019. Detailed plans have been fixed.
The 2nd Project Meeting of HyCARE has been held at CNRS in Thais (France) on June 25th-26th, 2019. The hydrogen carrier has been selected and details on the PCM have been fixed. Possible tank designs have been discussed, planning further activities.
The 3rd Project Meeting of HyCARE has been held in FBK in Trento (Italy) on January 20th-21st, 2020. During the meeting, partners of HyCARE received the Support Services for the Exploitation of Research Results (SSERR), consisting in a general presentation at the end of the first day of the meeting and an awareness session of approx. 3 hours in the afternoon of the second day, about exploitation of research results, i.e. what the project should consider and what the Commission is expecting. Dr. Alessia Malasecche, from META Group, joined the meeting to provide SSERR.The production quantity of selcted hydrogen carrier has been defined. In parallel, the required PCM quantity has been fixed. Both hydrogen and heat storage tanks have been designed and a preliminary P&DI has been discussed. Future activities have been planned.
An Executive Board Meeting has been organized via web on April 9th, 2020. The goal was to define the management chenges of the project due to the covid pandemic. It was defined that, at this stage and until the situation will be more clear, HyCARE activities will be slowed down, with a focus on activities that can be done during the current period. Once the current global situation will improve, the real impact of the COVID-19 in the overall project timeline will be anlyzed. As a conclusion, the Executive Board decided to proceed with a change in the mid term, moving from end of June, 2020, to end of November, 2020. As a consequence, an amendment of the Grant Agreement has been requested and it has been fixed in July, 2020.
The 4th Project Meeting of HyCARE has been held via web on July 25th-26th, 2019. The charactersation of metal hydride powder produced at industrial scale was performed and a pellet design was suggested. The development of a prototype of both hydrogen and heat storage tanks has been fixex and the suiteable test have been agreed. The goal is to compare experimental information with calculated data in order to validate the simulation. Detials on the demo site have been defined and the procedure for the Hazop analysis has been fixed.
The 5th Project Meeting of HyCARE has been carried out via web on January 21st, 2021. A summary of running activities has been shared. The panned activities have been reorganized according to the revised Gannt.
The Mid Term Review Meeting of HyCARE has been performed via web on February 17th, 2021. Project coordinator and WP leaders have presented running activities to the PO and to the reviewers. Useful suggestions and comments have been obtained.
The 6th Project Meeting has been organized via web on July 1st, 2021. Running activities have been revised and the need of a postponing of theproject has been evidenced.
On November 3rd, 2021, the Genarly Assmby ad the Executive Board Meeting for HyCARE have been fixed. An agreement has been reached on the requst for and amendment of the Grant Agrrement. In particular, a delay of 12 months has been requested and new deadlines for deliverables and milestones have been fixed. As a consequence, a revised Gannt has been defined.
The 7th Project Meeting of HyCARE has been fixed in presence at HER and STH, in Geesthacht (Germany). Recent results have been shared and the state of the art of the HyCARE system has been presented. A technical meeting allowed to define details for the control strategy of the system.
The storage of hydrogen remains an open problem and the HyCARE project, starting in these days with the kick-off meeting at the Chemistry Department of the University of Turin, plans to give an answer to this. In fact, hydrogen is a gas that must be contained in high pressure cylinders, with high compression costs and with the use of large spaces. Alternatively, hydrogen can be absorbed into a metal powder under much milder conditions, i.e. close to room temperatures and pressures. This solution reduces the volume required for storing even large quantities of hydrogen. It is indeed this solution that has convinced the European Community to support the HyCARE project with about 2 million euros, through the "Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking" - FCH JU.

The project involves the production of almost 5 tons of metal powder, which will be placed in special containers. The thermal management of the plant will take place through an innovative approach, making use of phase change materials, significantly increasing the efficiency of the process. The amount of hydrogen stored will be 50 kg, which will represent the highest quantity ever stored in Europe with this technique.

The following goals are planned in HyCARE:
- High quantity of stored hydrogen >= 50 kg
- Low pressure < 50 bar and low temperature < 100°C
- Low foot print, comparable to liquid hydrogen storage
- Innovative design
- Hydrogen storage coupled with thermal energy storage
- Improved energy efficiency
- Integration with an electrolyser (EL) and a fuel cell (FC)
- Demonstration in real application
- Improved safety
- Techno-economical evaluation of the innovative solution
- Analysis of the environmental impact via Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
- Exploitation of possible industrial applications
- Dissemination of results at various levels
- Engagement of local people and institution in the demonstration site
HyCARE system under construction
HyCARE concept