Next year, buses in the Rennerod, Germany (north of Frankfurt), will be powered by an advanced, environmentally friendly hydrogen (H2) energy system designed and implemented by an international team of companies using technology that is now commercially available.

Denmark’s GreenHydrogen, Spain’s Clantech and Calvera, and Rennerod-based Gesellschaft für Windenergieanlagen GmbH (GFW) & Co KG have devised a solution that makes H2 production green and local to minimise environmental impact and expense.

GFW, which provides electrical power from wind turbine farms, will produce H2 fuel using advanced alkaline electrolysers from GreenHydrogen, which convert electricity into H2, at two different locations.

One electrolyser will be placed next to an existing Fuhrländer FL1000 wind turbine. It will produce green H2 when the wind is blowing rather than selling it to the grid. The clean H2 then will be compressed using a Clantech containerised solution, compressing the H2 to 300 bar before it is stored in a ’H2Pod Virtual Pipe Line’ from Calvera.

This solution facilitates the easy distribution of green H2 to customers, the first of which is the Rennerod bus system, which operates neighbourhood buses powered by fuel cells. It also allows the fuel to be produced and consumed locally, which eliminates transportation costs and any carbon footprint.

Another electrolyser will be installed at the GFW facility, where it will be powered by an existing solar farm. There will be 15 additional tracker systems installed in the solar farm that will deliver 300 kW. The H2 produced by GreenHydrogen’s alkaline electrolysers will then be stored in Calvera units at different pressure (300/450/900 bar) and, finally, be distributed from the H2 refuelling station (SIDE H HRS) supplied by Clantech – at 350 and 700 bar.

The vision for this innovative H2 delivery system came from GFW owner Jürgen Furhländer, who explained, “Wind turbines and solar farms that soon will, or already have, run out of guaranteed feed-in tariff need to be revitalized and turned into future profit machines – not just being dismantled when the tariff is too low.”

Furhländer found that green hydrogen was just the solution he needed to profitably transport, store and use the energy created from existing renewable energy sources. 

GFW, a forward-looking company, already has several H2-fuelled vehicles in its car fleet. Now, it will be able to make its own fuel from green energy on its own premises. The HRS will be made publicly available in order to support the increasingly use of all H2-powered vehicles.

“The ability to actually produce your own green H2 from existing (or new) renewable energy sources and then use this as the basis for business is a very interesting and advanced concept,” said Henrik Steen Pedersen, GreenHydrogen’s Executive Vice President of Sales. “Upgrading pure green electricity to green fuel in the shape of H2 will be a key factor in the future energy eco-system, and will help decrease dependency on imported fossil fuel.”

GFW says it is open to supplying the “hydrogen option” to its existing and new clients – anyone who wants to board the H2 train and secure the future of renewable energy systems. GFW plans to continue working as a supplier of similar solutions, as well as working with local governments to obtain the necessary approvals.