NREL, Xcel energy sign wind to hydrogen research agreement

May 8, 2006

The U.S. Department of Energy's, National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Xcel Energy recently signed a cooperative agreement for an innovative "wind to hydrogen" research, development and demonstration project. Researchers will analyze and compare hydrogen production from wind power and the electric grid. The hydrogen will be produced through electrolysis -- the process of splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

The agreement supports the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, which seeks to develop the hydrogen, fuel cell and infrastructure technologies needed to make it practical and cost-effective for Americans to choose to use fuel cell vehicles by 2020.

The new wind-electrolysis system will be at NREL's National Wind Technology Center, where hydrogen will be produced, compressed and stored to be used as a vehicle fuel or to generate electricity. The project will compare electrolyzer technologies and researchers will examine issues related to system efficiency, integration, compression, storage, cost and the use of a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas.

"One unique feature of this system is the direct connection between the wind turbine and the electrolyzer, which will make the system more efficient," said Ben Kroposki, senior engineer at NREL's Center for Electric and Hydrogen Technologies and Systems.

"Xcel Energy is the nation's leading wind energy utility with 2,300 megawatts of capacity planned for our system by the end of next year," said Frank Novachek, director of Corporate Planning at Xcel Energy. "This project will help us explore how we can leverage clean, renewable, yet intermittent power sources like wind into a more valuable resource for our utility customers."

This partnership combines NREL's expertise in renewable energy and hydrogen with Xcel Energy's expertise in energy conversion, transmission, distribution and use. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy plans to add 1,200 megawatts of wind energy capacity in Colorado, Minnesota and Texas by the end of 2007.

Xcel Energy plans to invest more than $1.25 million in the project. NREL and the Department of Energy plan to invest approximately $750,000.

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Explore further: Astronomers go to the ends of the Earth to see cosmic carbon

Related Stories

Jupiter's moon Ganymede

October 16, 2015

In 1610, Galileo Galilei looked up at the night sky through a telescope of his own design. Spotting Jupiter, he noted the presence of several "luminous objects" surrounding it, which he initially took for stars. In time, ...

Positrons are plentiful in ultra-intense laser blasts

October 26, 2015

Physicists from Rice University and the University of Texas at Austin have found a new recipe for using intense lasers to create positrons—the antiparticle of electrons—in record numbers and density.

Supporting the rollout of hydrogen energy

September 29, 2015

As the UK's first renewable hydrogen refuelling station opens, the Gas Metrology team at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is supporting the rollout of hydrogen vehicles through its hydrogen purity laboratory, which ...

Recommended for you

No lens? No problem for FlatCam

November 23, 2015

How thin can a camera be? Very, say Rice University researchers who have developed patented prototypes of their technological breakthrough.

Study: Words can deceive, but tone of voice cannot

November 23, 2015

A new computer algorithm can predict whether you and your spouse will have an improved or worsened relationship based on the tone of voice that you use when speaking to each other with nearly 79 percent accuracy.

A row-bot that loves dirty water

November 23, 2015

Polluted water can at times make swimming in the sea or a pool risky, on the other hand aquatic organisms such as water boatman need the nutrients in dirty water to feed on. Taking inspiration from water beetles and other ...

Tandem solar cells are more efficient

November 23, 2015

Stacking two solar cells one over the other has advantages: Because the energy is "harvested" in two stages, and overall the sunlight can be converted to electricity more efficiently. Empa researchers have come up with a ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.