Credit: Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R)

A Japanese consortium has launched the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), a renewable energy-powered 10MW-class hydrogen production unit, the largest-class in the world.

FH2R has been under construction since 2018 and is based in Namie town, Fukushima Prefecture.

The consortium consists of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation (Toshiba ESS), Tohoku Electric Power Co., Inc. and Iwatani Corporation.

FH2R uses renewable energy, which is subject to large fluctuations. FH2R will adjust to supply and demand in the power grid in order to maximise utilisation of this energy while establishing low-cost, Green hydrogen production technology.

Read more: The successful matrimony of hydrogen and offshore wind

FH2R uses 20MW of solar power generation facilities on a 180,000m2 site along with power from the grid to conduct electrolysis of water in a renewable energy-powered 10MW-class hydrogen production unit. It has the capacity to produce, store, and supply up to 1,200 Nm3 of hydrogen per hour (rated power operation).

Hydrogen produced at FH2R will also be used to power stationary hydrogen fuel cell systems and to provide for the mobility devices, fuel cell cars and buses, and more.

Hydrogen is produced and stored based on the hydrogen demand and supply forecasting system’s forecasts for hydrogen demand in the market. Adjustments to balance supply and demand in the power grid can be made by adjusting the hydrogen volume produced by the hydrogen production unit to meet the power grid adjustment needs of the power grid control system.

The most important challenge in the current stage of testing is to use the hydrogen energy management system to achieve the optimal combination of production and storage of hydrogen and power grid supply-demand balancing adjustments, without the use of storage batteries.

Overview of FH2R system

To address this challenge, testing will begin to identify the optimal operation control technology that combines power grid demand response with hydrogen supply and demand response, using units of equipment that each have their own different operating cycles.

Hydrogen produced at FH2R will mainly be transported in Hydrogen tube trailers and hydrogen bundles, to be supplied to users in Fukushima Prefecture, the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, and other regions.

Join the discussions on Market Opportunities in Asia at the Enlit Asia 2020 conference in Jakarta, Indonesia 22-24 September 2020. Click here to register to attend or for more information about the event.

This article was originally published on Power Engineering International.