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RWE puts Power-to-Gas-facility Ibbenbüren into operation

Efficient link between local power, natural gas and district heat provision

RWE has officially put its Power-to-Gas-facility in Ibbenbüren into operation. The state-of-the-art facility is part of a system solution employed for the first time that links the local power, natural gas and district heat supply systems efficiently. Power-to-Gas-technology is especially suited to store large amounts of renewable energy. Ibbenbüren is the first power-to-gas plant, where waste heat from the electrolyzer is used. The electrolyzer, which was delivered by ITM-Power, comprises three stacks. Its name plate input power is 150 kW. It will run on the power generated by one of RWE’s own wind turbines supplied via the public grid. Hydrogen is generated at a pressure of 14 bar and then injected into a gas pipeline, which is at a pressure of 12 bar. A volume fraction of 1% will not be passed throughout the year.

The properties of the gas are monitored by a novel gas-chromatograph especially sensitive to hydrogen. Waste heat is being used to reheat natural gas leaving from a pressure control station. “With an of efficiency of 86% Ibbenbüren has the most efficient Power-to-Gas-facility in Germany”, says Dr. Joachim Schneider, chief technology officer at RWE Germany. This value is based on the higher heating value, and 15% points of it are allotted to the thermal energy recovery. With regard to the lower heating value of the generated hydrogen, which is relevant for later power generation processes, the efficiency is 60%. RWE will gain valuable insights from the operation of this facility.