EWE is initiating hydrogen storage in an underground salt cavern in Brandenburg, Germany. This project, known as HyCAVmobil, marks a crucial milestone in the development of large-scale hydrogen storage solutions.
The house-sized test cavern will be filled with six tons of hydrogen over eight days, enough to fuel 1,000 hydrogen cars. This continuous filling process will displace the brine, a mixture of salt and water, from the cavern, which will be transported to a designated injection station.
Once the hydrogen is stored, extensive testing and research will commence. The project aims to evaluate the interplay between hydrogen storage and withdrawal, assess the quality of the stored hydrogen, and optimize technical processes for integrating hydrogen into Germany’s energy system.
EWE will receive real-time underground data on temperatures and pressures, enabled by fiber-optic cables and pressure sensors installed during cavern construction. This continuous monitoring will provide valuable insights into the storage process.
In parallel, the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Networked Energy Systems will conduct laboratory tests to analyze the hydrogen’s purity and assess its suitability for fuel cell vehicles. The tests will last for a year, examining different injection and withdrawal scenarios.
The findings from Rüdersdorf will be incorporated into a large-scale hydrogen storage project in Huntorf, Lower Saxony, as part of the “Clean Hydrogen Coastline” initiative. This project aims to establish a comprehensive hydrogen infrastructure, encompassing production, storage, transport, and utilization in industry and heavy-duty transport.
With 37 salt caverns across Germany, EWE holds 15% of the country’s cavern storage facilities suitable for future hydrogen storage. This potential highlights the company’s commitment to making green hydrogen, produced from renewable sources, a cornerstone of a sustainable energy future.
The HyCAVmobil project represents a 10 million euro investment, with four million euros coming from EWE and the remaining funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. This project underscores the growing momentum towards a greener energy landscape.