Key technology for a successful energy transition
Power-to-gas enables regenerative energy to be stored
Allendorf (Eder), February 29, 2016 - Together with the Minister-President of Hesse, Volker Bouffier, the Viessmann Group - one of the leading international manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems - has inaugurated at its headquarters in Allendorf (Eder) the world's first power-to-gas plant using a biological process of methanation. The gas, which is obtained from regeneratively produced electric power by means of electrolysis and subsequent methanation, can be fed into the public gas grid without further processing. This enables surplus wind and solar power to be used regardless of where or when it is produced.
Bouffier: "A part of Hesse that is coming on strong"
"Viessmann is one of our internationally visible advertisements. It stands for the impressive success story of a family enterprise that combines tradition and innovation, and thus shapes the future. Viessmann is a part of Hesse that is coming on strong," said Minister-President Volker Bouffier. Apart from the new power-to-gas plant, the Minister-President also mentioned the planned Viessmann Innovation Center, in which the company is investing 50 million euris, as a mark of the company's commitment to our State as a business location.
"Thus Viessmann is assuming responsibility in a social and entrepreneurial sense, and making an important contribution to ensuring a supply of energy in the future that will be safe and environmentally friendly, as well as affordable and socially acceptable," the Minister-President stated.
New microbiological process
While other power-to-gas concepts achieve methanation using chemical catalysis, MicrobEnergy - a company of the Viessmann group - has developed a biological process that has been in use in Allendorf for a year now. Using surplus wind and solar power, hydrogen is generated from water with the aid of an electrolyzer. This is then converted microbiologically into methane gas together with carbon dioxide from the neighboring biogas plant.
This biological methanation is distinguished by its high degree of flexibility, and is thus ideal for absorbing fluctuating energy quantities. Using available biogas and sewer gas plants can substantially reduce the level of investment needed for power-to-gas, since transformers are often already in place, as well as connections to the gas and electric power grid.
Collaboration with Audi
Methane gas can be stored for long periods of time in the gas grid, whose pipelines and caverns have a storage capacity of several months. This will help facilitate the politically intended coupling of the electricity, heat, and mobility sectors, because the gas is an environmentally friendly fuel that can be used to generate electricity, provide heat, or power natural gas vehicles regardless of where or when it is produced. In this connection, Viessmann has now entered into a collaboration with Audi and is selling the biofuel to this automobile manufacturer.
The Allendorf power-to-gas plant was set up as part of the "BioPower2Gas" research project sponsored by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and has got off to a successful start. It surpassed its set goals for gas quality by 20 percent in performance tests, and the TüV Süd certification company confirmed that the gas meets the quality criteria for selling required by the "Renewable Energies Accounting" standard.
What is more, the plant has been certified in accordance with the REDcert-EU standard. Thus it meets the standard's demands for sustainability and reduction of greenhouse gases, as well as traceability, throughout the entire manufacturing and distribution chain. This means that regenerative natural gas fulfills the fundamental requirements of EU Directive 2009/28/EC.
The dena has honored the project as the "biogas partnership of the year", emphasizing its high degree of efficiency and the important contribution it is making on the way toward CO2-neutral mobility.
The Viessmann Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems. Founded in 1917, the family business maintains a staff of approximately 11,600 employees and generates 2.2 billion Euro in annual group turnover.
With 22 production divisions in 11 countries, subsidiaries and representations in 74 countries and 120 sales offices around the world, Viessmann is an internationally orientated company. 56 percent of sales are generated abroad.
In Allendorf wird mittels biologischem Verfahren aus regenerativem Strom Methan erzeugt und ins öffentliche Erdgasnetz eingespeist.
Übersicht der Power-to-Gas-Anlage in Allendorf
(1) PEM Elektrolyseur (300 kW) von Schmack Carbotech, Viessmann Group
(2) biologische Methanisierung, separater Druckbehälter
(3) verfahrenstechnischer Container: Pumpen, Behälter, Gasanalytik, Temperiersystem
(4) Steuerungstechnischer Container: Steuerung, Mess- und Regeltechnik