Renewable energy sources, such as wind farms and solar power plants, often generate more electricity than is needed at the time. But that is certainly no reason to turn them off: The energy that is not required can be used for splitting water into oxygen and high-energy hydrogen by electrolysis. In a further step, hydrogen and carbon dioxide is used for producing methane gas, the main constituent of natural gas. This way, excess energy is turned into “green” natural gas.
Following this process of “methanation”, the natural gas grid is available for transporting and storing the green natural gas. This can now be used in various ways – for producing carbon-neutral electric power and heat in CHP plants, for heating homes or propelling CNG vehicles. In future, wind turbines will no longer need to take a break when the demand for electricity is low – they then simply become producers of natural gas.
IAV has comprehensive expertise in simulating process steps and developing control systems. In optimizing electrolysis we also use our extensive knowledge of thermodynamics which also plays a key part in engine development. And during all of this, we always keep an eye on costs – in the way we are accustomed to in developing vehicles to manufacturing readiness.