Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has announced that it will establish a pilot plant for the production of hydrogen from renewable energy.
The pilot plant will be located at the Redlands Research Facility, south of Brisbane, where energy will be drawn from a Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) array at the facility.
This energy will be supplemented by commercially available battery packs to extract hydrogen from treated water. The extracted hydrogen will then be fed into a fuel cell and back into the grid to re-supply power to the local system.
Led by Professor Ian Mackinnon from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, the $7.5 million research project is supported by ARENA’s Research and Development Program. The Agency provided $3.35 million.
“The project will help determine the viability of establishing hybrid renewable energy plants to generate hydrogen for export and local use. Ultimately, success of the project could open the door for the commercial development of hydrogen generating plants throughout regional Australia,”Professor Mackinnon said.
According to him, the research will also focus on the development of next-generation technologies in “electrolysis, energy storage and chemical sensing for integration with the pilot plant to benchmark against existing commercial standards.”
“We will also evaluate the conversion of hydrogen to a liquid medium such as Methyl Cyclohexane to enable transportation to other destinations,” he said.
The funding is part of ARENA’s $22.1 million funding boost intended for renewable hydrogen research which was also announced last week.