Our smartblock series can be used with a variety of fuels, natural gas, LPG, and biogas. In addition, we have been doing intensive research regarding the use of hydrogen in the CHPs of the smartblock series. After some modifications and test we are proud to announce: All smartblocks from 7.5 to 75 kWel are H2ready.
The Federal German government considers, as part of the turnaround in energy policy, “green” hydrogen, which is hydrogen produced by means of photo-voltaic and wind energy processes, vital for the future. Also, on the occasion of the presentation of the award “CHP of the Year” from “Energie & Management” and the “Bundesverband Kraft-Wärme-Kopplung e.V. (B.KWK)” (Federal association for heat-power cogeneration), Bavarias Minister for Economy, Hubert Aiwanger emphasized in his laudatory speech, that CHPs are an essential building block for the successful and decentralized turnaround of the energy provision system. The project to win the award is declared an example for the future: “Excessive wind flow is used in electrolysis to produce hydrogen, thereby saving the energy. The CHP then converts the green hydrogen back into electricity. This is a sensible use of excessive regenerative energy on site without logistical issues”, says Aiwanger.
However, it is currently not clear when sufficient volumes of hydrogen will be available and in which ratio it will be added to existing fuels. In order to investigate the resulting requirements on CHPs, KW Energie has for some time been conducting respective research and development work.
For this extensive tests regarding the properties of hydrogen needed to be performed, such as energy potential, burning period, ignition and knocking behaviour, which also involved extensive tests of the engines to be used. As hydrogen is basically a combustion fuel without CO2 exhaust, it would be an ideal and environmentally friendly fuel. The only relevant emissions are nitric oxides, on which special focus is directed.
It is currently planned to add 10%, and in some case more hydrogen to the natural gas grid, and because it is not clear, where and when how much hydrogen is actually mixed in, we tested admixtures of of between 10 and 40%, to evaluate the effects on the efficiency of the engines regarding the electricity and heat generation. As a result, depending on the admixture ratio, the were various, but on the whole only very small changes in the efficiency.
As a summary result these tests proved that our smartblock CHPs will have no operational problems with the admixture of hydrogen to natural gas and the performance is similar to operation with 100% natural gas. So with a small modification on the controller and the proper exhaust gas treatment we can justly claim: our smartblocks can be fuelled with hydrogen without problems, they are H2ready.