Development of an innovative energy storage technology utilizing renewable electricity from the Bükkábrány solar power plant

The main problem, challenge addressed by the research project

According to economic analyzes and forecasts, the area of the “green economy” will form the basis of the next major economic cycle (Kondratyev-cycle). The fact that the availability of electricity from renewable sources and user demand differ in time and space, justifies the development and implementation of energy storage processes beyond batteries, in order to make efficient use of the surplus electricity. 

Objectives of the research project

Our goal is to create a scientifically sound and market-orientated Pilot plant in Bükkábrány, and a similar, but smaller Demonstration plant in the Science Park of Szeged. As part of the technology, we plan to produce hydrogen by electrolysis, either for energy storage purposes or for domestic hydrogen users. Thanks to their relatively simple structure, long lifespan and simple scale-up possibilities, the use of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) separated water electrolysers is attractive. The current project aims their application and their integration with a solar power plant. 

The most important activities of the research project

Creating the Demonstration plant serves two goals: it enables to perform preliminary experiments before starting the pilot plant and allows testing the utilization of the direct current produced from solar cells without transforming it to alternating current.

In the pilot plant, we will analyse the benefits of different solutions for the integration of the solar power/electrolyser/compressor and evaluate the possible pitfalls of each scenario. As part of the plant, we will implement the purification of the generated hydrogen (99.999%), and its high-pressure storage.

Expected results, TRL

The integration will result in new technological solutions that are not currently commercially available. In addition to building the technological base, we also perform a thorough anaysis of the legal, economic and intellectual property protection background of the area. As a result of the project, the competencies that will form the basis for a possible further increase in size will emerge, which seems to be justified due to the dynamic increase of solar power plant capacities in Hungary. Together, these processes will lay the foundations for Hungary's competitiveness in the next business cycle. 

Project partners – academic and industrial

  • Bükkábrány Photovoltaic Power Plant Project Ltd.
  • University of Szeged

A possible future research avenue, new projects and cooperation possibilities

A possible future research avenue of the project can be the implementation of electrolysis processes other than water splitting in the system. Another direction is to extend the system with a battery storage unit, which attracts attention from both academic and industrial participants, hence this offers various collaboration possibilities.