The magazine INFOENERGÉTICA has interviewed the International and Renewable Energies Director of Eiffage Energía Sistemas, Daniel Garrido, about the company’s newly initiated project to generate renewable hydrogen through water electrolysis.
Garrido emphasizes that Eiffage Energía Sistemas has developed internal engineering capabilities and collaborated with all the group’s subsidiaries to advance this project. As an example, a company within the group that specializes in building military containers has been tasked with creating the container for this project.
Daniel Garrido explains that this project began two years ago, at a time when the concept of green hydrogen was in its infancy. At that time, Eiffage Energía Sistemas proposed the project to its parent company and secured support from SEED’INNOV, a program that co-finances innovations created by one or more group subsidiaries to foster internal innovation.
From that point, the process to develop this containerized solution began, enabling Eiffage Energía Sistemas to generate both low and high-pressure green hydrogen. “We have a solution that has everything from self-consumption to high-pressure storage”.
Technically, the project includes a 5 KW PEM technology fuel cell for backup, a 10 KW electrolyser, a 500 bar storage system with a piston compressor, and a 350 bar dispenser, which is the hydrogenerator itself. All these components are housed within the same container, as Garrido mentioned in the interview.
“This project has been an opportunity for us to understand how it functions at the hydrogen level and also to utilize it as a fuel cell for a backup system”, Garrido says. He adds, “Ultimately, it’s about harnessing both applications”.
4 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year
Instead of alkaline or PEM, the project utilizes AM technology, a novel approach that combines the advantages of both methods.
“The facility produces 1.4 tonnes of green hydrogen annually through self-consumption with a peak of 170 KW, preventing the emission of 100 tonnes of CO2, aligning with Eiffage Energía Sistemas’ decarbonization goal”, the International and Renewable Energy Director states.
Furthermore, a diesel forklift is set to be replaced with a hydrogen-powered forklift, marking the first installation of its kind in Europe.
In the interview, Garrido mentioned that Eiffage Energía Sistemas is aiming to replace mains water with rainwater, further reducing water consumption in accordance with the company’s philosophy of a sustainable economy.
The plan in the near future is to replicate this system in facilities such as logistics centres, factories, experimental centres, and research centres that are looking to decarbonize and achieve self-sustainability with this solution.
Future of green hydrogen
Daniel Garrido believes that mobility will be the initial application of green hydrogen, “as it’s the simplest and most feasible use, though more industrial applications and larger projects will follow, potentially replacing natural gas”.
In this sense, according to the international and renewable energies director of Eiffage Energía Sistemas, “Europe must strive for energy independence beyond decarbonization, seizing this as an opportunity to reduce dependency and be as autonomous as possible”.
Therefore, Europe’s commitment is crucial, considering the high costs of such installations and the need for institutional collaboration to implement these projects.