Letter Professor Chris Underwood: Your article (Hydrogen is solution to excess electricity puzzle, say engineers, 9 May) based on a recent report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers about heat from hydrogen, makes me wonder whether the IMechE are in the pocket of the gas industry. The best electrolyser conversion efficiency I’ve ever come across is about 0.76. If that produces hydrogen from electricity and it’s burned in a boiler with a gross “efficiency” of 0.9, that’s 0.68 units of heat per unit of electricity supplied. Oh, and there’s no hydrogen infrastructure yet. Is there an alternative? Yes – the best lithium-ion batteries have a round trip “efficiency” of 0.89. If that’s fed to a heat pump with an eminently achievable coefficient of performance of 3, that’s 2.67 units of heat per unit of electricity supplied – almost four times as much as can be gained from the hydrogen option. And the infrastructure for that already exists.
Guardian 15th May 2018 read more »
Using the UK’s fast-growing offshore wind energy capacity to produce hydrogen to store energy is a no-brainer. The UK should follow other countries and support changes that enable electricity from renewables to be stored in a gas grid. Power-to-gas supports the integration of renewable energy and helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As an electricity storage method, it can compensate for fluctuations in electricity generation and facilitate long-term use of electricity which cannot be integrated directly into the grid at times of high renewable generation.
Offshore Wind Journal 15th May 2018 read more »