Existing hydrogen refueling station expanded with PEM electrolysis and extra storage capacity to demonstrate hydrogen applications in smart-grid environment.


The use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier, able to store large quantities of energy for longer periods of time, could significantly contribute to reach European environmental goals by balancing intermittency and enabling a more efficient use of renewable energy production. Also, hydrogen has a large potential to link renewable produced electricity to clean innovative transport solutions like passenger cars, buses and material handling vehicles.

The project Don Quichote (Demonstration onew qualitative innovative concept of hydrogen out of wind turbine electricity) is set up to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of an integrated hydrogen storage system of renewable energy linked to an hydrogen refueling facility.

The project has reached an important milestone. The existing hydrogen refuelling station of WaterstofNet at the premises of the Colruyt Group in Halle (Brussels), has been expanded by a PEM electrolyser (30 Nm3/h), extra storage capacity (40 kg) and a fuel cell (120 kW), delivered and built by Hydrogenics. This system will extensively be tested for the next 2 year (until October 2017). During this testing period, the PEM electrolyser will be benchmarked against the existing alkaline electrolyser.

For the first time, it will be able to perform additional tests on both electrolyser systems to find out which type is better to connect to renewable energy sources.

Up to now, the existing hydrogen refuelling stations has delivered more than 2200 kg of hydrogen to mostly forklift trucks and performed 2.500 refuelings. The technical availability of the fueling stations is more than 95%.

The Don Quichote project (www.don-quichote.eu) is co-financed by the European Union within the FCH JU program under grant Agreement N°: 303411. The following partners are part of the consortium: Hydrogenics, HyET, Colruyt Group, TÜV Rheinland, Joint Research Centre, Thinkstep, Icelandic New Energy, FAST/European Hydrogen Association and WaterstofNet.

For more information, please contact Johan Seykens (jseykens@hydrogenics.com) or Wouter van der Laak (wouter.vanderlaak@waterstofnet.eu ) or Ahmed Essam Aly (ahmed@fast.mi.it)