In Germany, wind is an essential power source for the generation of green hydrogen. But in order for wind plants to be effectively coupled with hydrogen (H2) electrolysis plants, up-to-the-minute data must be provided by the energy source operators, and the problem is, many companies are reluctant to share this sensitive information.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Energy Economics and System Technology (IEE) has set out to overcome this hurdle by developing data-based solutions with various partners to coordinate renewable energies more efficiently in a project called EnDaSpace (“Energy Data Space”).
The proposal is that communications will take place in a secure data space according to agreed rules and conditions that leave the plant operators in control of their data. A successful demo has already been carried out using an 8 MW turbine at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems, in Bremerhaven in the northeastern state of Bremen. The wind data was used to generate green H2 at the Fraunhofer IEE’s Power2Gas plant in Bad Hersfeld, Hesse, around 400 kilometres away.
Using the EMS-EDS Prophet energy management software developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Systems Technology IOSB-AST, the operation data of the turbine was combined with wind forecasts and energy market prices. From this, the software was able to calculate a schedule that generated H2 only when wind was available and when prices made it cost-effective to do so.
Beyond EnDaSpace, it is hoped the platform will push forward digitalisation for the energy transition, in general. “The technology of Data Spaces offers great potential for use in the energy industry,” explains Volker Berkhout, who leads 'EnDaSpace' in an IEE press release. "This is where in the future we want to open doors to cooperation that have been closed so far with an Energy Data Space.”