Through its National Hydrogen Strategy (NWS), the German government has given a strong impetus to the use of hydrogen in all sectors of the energy system. Hydrogen storage plays a decisive role in this. This is because, as a gaseous energy carrier, hydrogen can be stored and thus compensate for the fluctuating demand for and production of hydrogen. In addition to hydrogen storage in tanks or pipes, the geological subsurface also offers possibilities for long-term storage. The hydrocarbon industry has been using the subsurface for decades to store large quantities of natural gas in the pore space of rocks (so-called pore storage facilities) or in salt caverns. Whether these storage options will meet the high technological safety requirements and to what extent they can be used within the infrastructure chain is investigated in this project.
In the project "H2-Sponge: H2 storage potential of geological rock formations" of the first phase of "TransHyDE", the requirements for future safe and secure hydrogen storage and transport infrastructures will be created.
In parallel to researching the usability, all safety requirements and resilient concepts for monitoring such facilities as well as the onward distribution of hydrogen to the user will be investigated. Key aspects concern the geological storage and cap rock requirements, the prioritization of storage sites, and the experimental investigation of rocks in contact with hydrogen. To simulate the physical and chemical interactions in the subsurface, an experimental setup is being built as part of the project. This enables the evaluation of potential hydrogen storage formations and the tightness of the storage facilities. Further aspects focus on the integrity of all technical components, as well as the strategic planning of monitoring concepts for the seamless monitoring of all processes, and the development of processing strategies with impurity measurements for the distribution of underground stored hydrogen in gas grids. The goal is to elaborate recommendations for handling hydrogen in geological underground storage facilities and to develop suitable infrastructure and safety concepts.
The knowledge gained in the project will finally be evaluated and incorporated into an overall analysis on "Safe and Secure Infrastructures", which will form the basis for "Scalable Solutions" in the 2nd phase of TransHyDE.