The vision envisaged by the INGRID project is for next generation fully interconnected energy systems which will allow a seamless integration among different energy carriers (electricity, gas, heating systems). Such energy systems will be consisting of a set of “energy hubs” for matching supply and demand of energy (heat, cold, electricity, gas), in which energy exchange, storage and transformation will be occurring among the different energy carriers (es. Gas to power, power to gas, micro CHP) to optimize the system-level energy use and efficiency of the energy distribution
INGRID will be focusing on the hydrogen-based storage systems matched with Smart grids solution which will be demonstrated as effective way for supporting the electricity and the hydrogen value chains.
The INGRID project will address some of the key-challenges related to the penetration of Renewable Energy Sources s into the grid:
a) Management of highly fluctuation of RES (e.g. Wind) → supply-demand balancing.
b) Congestion of transmission → excess electricity curtailing from the grid.
c) Improvement of distribution operation → active/reactive power control for optimal voltage regulation and power quality.
The demonstration aims to integrate intelligent monitoring, control and communication solutions with affordable and reliable technologies for storing large quantity of GWh in order to provide additional dispatch-ability for high capacity renewable generation, as well as to increase RES available on the grid during peak demand periods. Such an ambitious outcome will be achieved by exploiting innovative solutions in green-production of hydrogen that can be safely and affordably stored for differed dispatching
The INGRID concept is for an overall system which will be able to manage in real-time damping of the RES power fluctuations that are conveyed at the power grid by flowing excess off-peak electricity into the Smart Grid and/or the INGRID Green Energy Storage system (GES), by means of an intelligent, Energy Management System (EMS), which intelligently and adaptively monitor and control energy flows among the INGRID subsystems. To this purpose, the EMS will guarantee the exchange of basic information ensuring real time monitoring and controlling the energy and power flow in order to keep fully balanced the grid and ensure power quality.
The EMS is a Smart Grid components which supervises and control the power interactions among the main INGRID subsystems: Renewable Energy Generator, Green Energy Storage, Smart Grid Access Point (either Primary or Secondary Substation), Electric Mobility, Hydrogen Value Chain
The INGRID Green Energy Storage is composed of:
- Water Electrolyzer (WE) modular sub-units, connected in parallel, powered instantaneously by the RES electricity reflowed and using it to split the inlet water and split it into pure O2 and H2 gases;
- Hydrogen Solid Storage (HSS) modular sub-units that accept (absorbed) with no intermediated H2 compression stage (no dangerous managing operations are performed) all the pure hydrogen flowing out from the WE sub-unit; as the HSS allows hydrogen to be stored in solid-state (see next section for details) no dangerous managing operations are performed;
- Fuel Cell (FC) sub-units, connected directly with the HSS storage subunits, that can, on-demand, de-absorb H2 gas again from the storage HSS sub-units in order to process and recombine it into air and heat (previously dispersed by the HSS) producing electricity.
The INGRID concept incorporates two different schemas:
- the green energy generated by RES power plants is stored for grid balancing by the Closed Loop (represented by the chain WE-HSS-FC) according to current energy demand (from ICT-based forecasting and monitoring).
- Depending on flexible use of the GES, some excess of green-hydrogen, working in a sort of Open Loop (OL) can be delivered either to green-hydrogen merchants or to power off-grid utilities in remote sites (such as Park4Recharge – P4R - facilities)