THE KEY CHALLENGES FACING THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
Human civilization has always been largely shaped by and dependent on energy. Sustainable economy goals were put forward a long time ago to promote more responsible energy production and consumption for the near future. In line with this target, the European Union launched forward-looking initiatives and defined green economy standards to prevent a possible climate catastrophe, however, the global energy sector is yet to solve 3 important challenges in the upcoming years to improve its ecological footprint.
Carbon Neutral Future
In order to become climate neutral by 2050, Europe has to restructure its energy system, which, at the moment, is responsible for more than 70% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The less we produce, transport, and use energy, the cleaner it is. Yet, regardless of the source, demand for energy is growing. The global population and its standards of living are both in a significant increase, which projects a 49% rise in demand.
Compensation of Power Supply Fluctuations
The increasing prominence of VRE (variable renewable energy) is among the most important drivers of power system transformation globally. Systems that include renewable energy sources are highly dependent on the weather and climate, thus, it is essential to find methods to store electrical energy.
THE ROLE OF THE LEADING MANUFACTURER AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR IN THE FIELD OF COMPRESSOR TECHNOLOGY
Even though different gases have different characteristics, the principle and physics of their compression is the same. Thus, Ganzair is able to manage the compression of gases other than air, as well. For almost 20 years, based on customer needs, the company has been producing equipment systems to compress CO2, natural gas, and nitrogen. The equipment systems are tailor-made and unique. In 2021, in Hungary, two industrial-scale, green hydrogen projects reached the implementation phase—Ganzair supplies the hydrogen generation, compression and storage equipment to both.
MODERNIZATION AND NEW SOLUTIONS—MINIMALIZED METHANE EMISSION AND END-LOSS
Many EU countries—members of the V4, as well—believe that natural gas should remain an important resource during energy transition. Today, highly improved technologies, e.g.: waste/flare gas compression, gas transmission pipeline evacuation compressor units, can reduce and prevent greenhouse gas emission.
The target is to minimize CO2 emission and to utilize energy carriers in the most efficient and competitive way. Compressed air and gases are used extensively in all industries. Industrial air, after electricity, is the second most widespread form of energy used in manufacturing. However, earlier generation but even some new built compressed air systems burn a lot of energy, moreover, manufacturers still tend to waste a lot of industrial air. Ganzair offers to modernize or replace old units and proposes new solutions for a greener and more cost-effective manufacturing.
Railway and Rolling Stock
The modernization of earlier generation vehicle compressors significantly reduces environmental footprint. Why should an operative but a bit aged locomotive or motor train unit be replaced, when modernization and overhaul can make it as green and efficient as the newest generation unit? Responding to market demands, Ganzair also develops oil-free air compressor units.
“In the case of such industrial-scale systems, the assembly, installation, and commission of the equipment is as of a significant volume as the production of the main units,” says Olivér Gidai, owner of Ganzair. He adds: “Our mid-term goal is, however, to support the region’s hydrogen development projects with a considerable production base, as well.”
INDUSTRIAL-SCALE GREEN HYDROGEN PROJECTS
Hydrogen used as an alternative for energy storage is a great challenge and possibility for the 21st century. As per our knowledge today, it is the cleanest, carbon-free, and efficient alternative to store energy on the long run. In the form of hydrogen—similar to natural gas—energy can be:
- stored for an unlimited time;
- can be used and transported as fuel for vehicles hassle-free; and
- used in power generation by the chemical, steel, and pharmaceutical industries (and in many more) with zero emission.
Hydrogen-injected natural gas—causing less CO2 emission—can be transported in the already existing infrastructure and be deployed in heating systems. The European Union and Hungary, therefore, developed strategies to promote the use of hydrogen.
Ganzair is thriving to be a regional leader in one of the most promising areas of the energy sector, hydrogen technology. Ganzair, in the field on energy storage, has supplied the Hungarian Gas Storage Ltd’s Aquamarine project, while due to its second significant hydrogen technology development in the Bükkábrány-based solar power plant, the company can now enter the energy production sector as well. The hydrogen produced in Bükkábrány can be distributed via pipelines or in cylinder bundles, but it can also be used for compensation of power supply fluctuation.
Moreover, the Hungarian Gas Storage Ltd—member of the MVM Group—will also utilize its Kardoskút-based underground gas storage facility in a research and development project. As part of the ongoing project, an electrolyser and compressor system will be built, where a hydrogen blending and dosing technology system will also be developed with a total nominal electrolyser capacity of 2.5 MW. The produced hydrogen will be blended into natural gas and utilized in the Hungarian Gas Storage Ltd’s own gas engines and furnaces, reducing the CO2 emissions of the technology. In addition to the direct energy use and the capacity testing of the transmission line and distribution systems, the aim is to conduct an industrial-scale experiment for the long-term underground storage of hydrogen at pressures above 100 bar. In parallel, universities and research institutes will be studying how high-pressure hydrogen impacts the surface technology equipment, the local gas network, and the geological structure of the underground gas storage facility.
The R+D project run by Photovoltaic Power Station Project Ltd and the University of Szeged utilizes solar power to produce hydrogen by PEM electrolysis system. Hydrogen, produced by green energy, is planned to be sold in industrial gas cylinder bundles—a later option is to install a fuel cell unit for power generation. The electrolysis system, a hydrogen compressor, 2 pieces of high pressure containerized gas storage banks, and the high-pressure cylinder bundle filling system will be integrated into one of the largest solar power plants in Hungary (20 MW). US-based Plug Power—GinerELX will supply the electrolysis system for a 1 MW input power, which will produce 200 normal cubic meter of hydrogen per hour at 40 barg pressure. To boost the gas pressure from 40 to 350 barg to the composite MEGC storage which contains appr.10 000 Nm3 gas at that pressure, Ganzair will build in a Burckhardt Compression diaphragm compressor into the system. From the high-pressure storage, a filling system will be installed as well to fill 200 barg pressure industrial gas cylinder bundles. Weather conditions affect the accessibility of renewable energy; thus, it is essential to store energy for periods when green energy is not available. Hydrogen has an inevitable role in the medium-long term storage of energy; therefore, it can provide a solution to balance weather-dependent renewable-energies.