Examining salt caverns as a potential storage location for hydrogen
Hydrogen is becoming an increasingly important source of energy for sector integration within the framework of the energy transition. HyCavMobil (Hydrogen Cavern for Mobility) is a research project that examines whether hydrogen can be stored in salt caverns and then used for fuel cell mobility.
June 2019 until May 2022
Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in NIP II (National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) with NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) as coordinator
EWE Gasspeicher GmbH
Institute of Networked Energy Systems
Project Manager at the Institute of Networked Energy Systems:
Dr. Michael Kröner
Hydrogen will become an elementary energy carrier as part of the energy transition that is, among other things, increasingly important in integrating the mobility, heat and electricity sectors. In light of this, the HyCavMobil project is examining long-term storage facilities for hydrogen. Scientists from the Institute of Networked Energy Systems are investigating salt caverns in Germany as storage locations in particular.
Salt caverns are formed in natural underground salt domes during salt mining. This causes cavities to form as a result of the leaching process. These are already being used today as long-term storage facilities for various energy sources such as crude oil and natural gas. The conditions under which pure hydrogen can be stored in caverns are now being tested under the real conditions of a storage borehole in rock salt as part of the HyCavMobil project. Therefore pure hydrogen is injected into and withdrawn from a test cavern of EWE Gasspeicher GmbH under controlled conditions, while various aspects are being examined related to the impact of pressure and temperature as well as the materials used. The relevant factor here is whether the hydrogen still meets the high quality and purity requirements of fuel cell mobility even after it has been removed from the cavern, and how suitable gas conditioning can take place if necessary.
The Urban and Residential Technologies and Energy Systems Technology departments from the Institute of Networked Energy Systems are involved in the project. The research tasks include material tests, ensuring hydrogen quality and integrating a hydrogen cavern into existing energy systems.
Further information on the research project HyCavMobil: