Posted on February 17, 2021
Siemens Gamesa is partnering with sister company Siemens Energy to develop an offshore wind turbine system that will produce hydrogen for transfer ashore rather than sending the conventional electricity ashore via the grid network.
The system will work by incorporating two electrolysis modules into the turbine structure that will use the electricity generated by the turbine to separate water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen, allowing the hydrogen to be piped ashore as a fuel. The developers claim that such a system would be more efficient as it would remove the significant losses that occur when electricity is sent ashore in the conventional way. It would also remove the problem with curtailment, when more electricity is generated that is required.
Siemens Gamesa and Siemens Energy first unveiled their plan to develop offshore green hydrogen production last month and they are planning to invest around €120 million over the next five years in order to integrate electrolysis equipment into a Siemens Gamesa SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine. This will involve a substantial re-design of the transition piece of the turbine structure in order to accommodate the equipment required to convert the electricity into hydrogen.
As conceived at present the equipment will be constructed in a modular form and will be housed in standard 40-foot containers attached to the transition piece well above the waterline. Two of these containers would house electrolysis equipment capable of using 5mW of the output from the turbine and in addition there would be a third container which would house the ancillary equipment plus desalination equipment for the water used in the electrolysis process. That container would also house a power source, which might be a battery or a fuel cell, which would provide power to the turbine when required.
“The solution we are working on could ensure that all of the power that is harvested by the turbine would be used,” commented Alexander Habeder, a senior product manager at Siemens Gamsea “We want to develop a plug-and-play system that can be easily adapted to the growth in the size of offshore wind turbines. Turbines have grown in size terrifically in recent years with the company’s latest turbine rated at 14mW. If the system is modular, then it can easily be scaled-up.”
By Dag Pike