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GKN Hydrogen improves control strategy for optimal storage performance

Accurate weather data improves hydrogen storage efficiency

From its automotive roots, GKN Hydrogen has evolved into a global company specializing in cutting-edge hydrogen storage systems. The company is transforming the storage of hydrogen by using a metal hydride solution, providing a safer, more compact, and a more eco-friendly alternative to mainstream high-pressure systems. It provides turnkey solutions, including electrolyzers, storage and fuel cells, catering from small-scale residential to large-industrial operations.

The demand for hydrogen storage systems supporting variable renewable energy sources is on the rise, with a projected market growth rate of 5.8% from 2019 to 2025 [1]. Given that many of these systems are deployed in off-grid systems relying on solar and wind plants, understanding the weather patterns that drive generation becomes vital. Accurate weather forecast data plays a vital role in ensuring sustainable and efficient energy storage.

Managing hydrogen storage in off-grid locations

An optimized control strategy is crucial for managing GKN Hydrogen's storage system. While direct hydrogen usage doesn't require a weather forecast, many off-grid storage locations rely on forecasts to predict power generation and therefore storage requirements. However, obtaining accurate and reliable weather data to model and plan hybrid renewable and storage plants is a challenge. Without this data, the control strategy cannot accurately account for short term weather impacts, leading to limitations in the efficiency and performance of hydrogen storage systems.

Filling in the data gap for an optimized control strategy

GKN Hydrogen has transitioned into a detailed weather-based control strategy by integrating the Solcast API data [2]. Using intraday short-term forecasts with 15-minute granularity, the company is better equipped to model and optimize the behaviour of its storage system. More accurate weather data is then applied in load predictions through the end of the day to help make better storage decisions and optimize energy management. With control strategies using accurate weather data, GKN Hydrogen has helped its customers maintain smaller system sizes with the same efficiency or maintain the same size with increased autonomy.

Impact

  • More accurate control strategy that is responsive to changing weather conditions
  • Optimized storage performance that can be adjusted to the storage system’s scalability while maintaining its efficiency

The addition of Solcast's weather data in managing our hydrogen storage systems has been a major improvement for GKN Hydrogen. We've achieved an optimized control strategy that responds well to weather patterns, allowing us to maintain efficiency while scaling down our system sizes, offering our customers a more efficient solution.

  • Dr. Meinhard Ploner ,
  • Head of Digital Business & AI ,
  • GKN Hydrogen
20 MWh in storage 50% reduction 22% more hydrogen

20 MWh in storage

Deployed in hybrid systems

50% reduction

In prediction errors

22% more hydrogen

Stored per year

 

[1] Source: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

[2] Solcast, a DNV company is a leading provider of solar irradiance data and forecasting technology, dedicated to bringing accurate data to the market and helping enable the energy industry to deliver the resilient power grids it will take to build a solar-powered future.