A Danish research company and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) are to work together on an investigation into the potential to store excess renewable energy as ammonia.
Thanks to technological and production improvements, as well as ongoing advancements in the lubricants available from Mobil stockists, wind power is becoming increasingly cost effective. The problem remains, however, of how to store excess energy from high-production, low-demand periods for use when demand peaks. While many modern windfarms use battery-based storage technology, many researchers are looking for cheaper solutions.
Ammonia is often used in farming as a fertiliser, but it can also be cleanly burned within gas turbines. Producing it is usually energy intensive, though, but the new pilot project will look at making use of excess wind power to make the process clean. This would enable power to be stored for longer than is possible with current storage technologies, so ammonia-fuelled gas turbines could kick in when wind power fails to meet demand.
Jens Schiersing Thomsen, and expert at SGRE, says:
“In the green, sustainable energy supply systems of the future, one of our biggest challenges will be storing and converting energy and resources. One solution may be the use of surplus wind-based electricity to produce eco-friendly ammonia.”
As part of the pilot project, SGRE and Energifonden Skive will investigate the feasibility of establishing a green ammonia plant at the Greenlab Skive facility in northern Denmark. The project is expected to last some years, but initial investigations will focus on establishing the probable capacity and size of a future ammonia plant.