"Game-Changing" Hydrogen Storage System from French Firm Unveiled

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French startup McPhy Energy may be making a fortune soon due to a hydrogen storage system it has just developed that could solve problems posed by the intermittent nature of renewable energy.

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McPhy Energy expects to start commercial production of its hydrogen storage systems in late July. First, however, to test two of its storage tanks at an industrial scale, it signed a research contract with CEA Liten, the French Laboratory of Innovation for New Energy, this week.

A 1kg tank was delivered last month and a 15kg tank will be delivered to CEA Liten for testing later in the year.

This “game-changing technology”, as McPhy calls it, can store energy at a low pressure and in a short space of time.

“It said that the tank could be connected to a hydrogen production system that could be powered using electricity from a wind farm or solar power plant to be stored. Once stored, the hydrogen could either be converted back to electricity using a fuel cell, or used to supply the growing market for hydrogen,” Jessica Shankleman of BusinessGreen reports.

Due to its modular design, almost no energy will be lost from loading and unloading the hydrogen.

In its industrial scale storage tests, CEA Liten will use an electrolyser and a fuel cell to simulate electricity coming from renewable energy sources.

McPhy chief executive Pascal Mauberger hopes to see revenues of about €100 ($134) million within five years, largely due to increasing growth of the renewable energy sector and the correlated need for cost-effective energy storage. However, to start with, he only expects about one-third of the companies revenue will come from renewable energy projects. The other two-thirds he expects will come from the merchant hydrogen sector.

Image Credit: gadl via flickr/CC license

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Zachary Shahan

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