Future proof supply of hydrogen

Ensuring a reliable, clean and affordable energy supply is essential for life and the global economy.

However, the switch to renewable energies and the electrification that has been promoted in recent decades will not suffice in its current form to enable a holistic system change from fossil fuels to sustainable generation.

The production of green hydrogen, generated by renewable energy sources, can be the key here, since this provides the previously lacking possibility of long-term storage. In addition, the imperative simultaneity of renewable generation and consumption by consumers can be eliminated.

The agreed expansion goals of the National Hydrogen Strategy in Germany foresee a total output for hydrogen production of up to 5GW by 2030. The 2x40GW Green Hydrogen Initiative goes one step further and plans 80GW hydrogen production in the next five to ten years. 40GW are to be produced within the EU, a further 32.5GW in North African countries and 7.5GW in the Ukraine.

In addition to this ambitious goals for the future expansion of hydrogen production, the corresponding energy generation must be provided both onshore and offshore. Besides the necessary expansion of renewable energy production, the use of existing renewable sources is attractive. Systems which run out of the EEG in Germany after 20 years are particularly suitable here. These installations are usually smaller decentralized sites with unclear future after the EEG-related fed-in tariff has expired, as the financial compensation is usually low, for example via direct marketing of the energy produced. In some cases, this then falls significantly below 4 cents / kWh and is no longer profitable from an economic point of view. However, these systems offer the advantage of immediate availability without having to go through tedious approval procedures.

Further to the possibility of decentral production of hydrogen and using existing energy generators, which thereby give them a market opportunity downstream from the EEG, the technology for global electrical network integration of hydrogen generation plants is crucial. In particular, grid codes must be taken into account at an early stage, so that these in combination with the above expansion targets will not later become a problem for network operators. Topics such as PFC (power factor correction), low THDi feedback into the grid as well as active filtering or optional phase shifter operation (StatCom) are only possible using modern converter technology, which protects the grid from electrical impurities.

Beyond this, a modern converter offers the possibility to compensate for any aging effects of a hydrogen-generating electrolyzer, e.g. by adjusting the operating voltage, which can be adjusted over time to manage an optimized efficiency of the hydrogen generation.

ConverterTec Deutschland GmbH offers modern, containerized IGBT frequency inverters in modular design, which can be offered from 1MW to 6MW. Larger outputs are covered by multiplication of modules. The direct medium-voltage connection can be implemented in a 40 ft. container. Based on our experience of more than 20 years within the field of power electronics and an installed generation capacity of over 45GW (cumulative) grid-connected systems in 47 countries, we have the expertise and the production possibilities to provide solutions for complex projects and problems in the area of grid integration, also in combination with renewable energies. If required, the converter systems can also be used in alternative applications such as battery storage. We are also actively involved in research projects in order to be able to offer future network services via our products and technology.

In summary, ConverterTec with its modular product platform is ideally equipped to continue to drive the energy transition and thus to provide an active contribution to enhance the efficiency of sector coupling (electricity and heat). A solution to economically operate existing wind turbines – 6GW alone were installed until 2000, then 2-3GW / year – offer a potential in order to make a significant contribution to the climate change and its implementation over time.

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