Producing green energy is becoming easier. It is also gaining popularity, and renewable energy sources constitute a significant percentage of the energy mix of many countries. However, there is still a serious problem with storing electricity produced in an environmentally friendly way. Therefore, storing energy in the form of hydrogen may be a significant breakthrough for protecting the Earth.

What does hydrogen have in common with renewable energy?

At first glance, it is difficult to call hydrogen a renewable energy source. It cannot be extracted or collected from the environment in any way – it must be produced using electricity. However, it is enough to look at the energy sector as a whole and check what problems prevent the further development of renewable energy. Today we can obtain large amounts of green electricity, but the problem is the uneven distribution of supply and demand. The greatest efficiency of photovoltaic farms is achieved in the afternoon, while many farms and companies also use electricity in large quantities in the evenings, when the sun begins to set. For this reason, a key research goal in recent years has been to provide an efficient storage method for green energy. One of the most promising answers is hydrogen technologies.

How to store hydrogen?

Hydrogen energy has also attracted many critics. Currently, we can collect hydrogen in the form of gas or liquid (liquefied hydrogen) – both solutions, however, have some drawbacks. This element in its natural form has a low specific gravity, so fitting profitable amounts of it into a tank requires high compression, which means a large accumulation of energy. However, in liquefied form, hydrogen can only be maintained at a temperature of -253°C.

However, other methods are also under development. For example, a form of metal hydrides, solid substances that are easily stored. Such stores have a lot of mass, so scientists are trying to find another chemical reaction that will cause hydrogen atoms to bond in such a way that it can be easily released when necessary.

Hydrogen storage is still a big challenge. It is enough to mention the threats and difficulties encountered in this area:

  • The efficiency of producing hydrogen in a form ready for storage and converting it back into fuel must be very high to make storing green electricity in this way profitable.
  • Hydrogen is a flammable gas over a wide range of temperatures and pressures. However, hydrogen tanks must be completely safe during their operation.
  • The low density of hydrogen in the free state requires its strong compression so that the size of the storage facilities is not too large.
  • Hydrogen is Hydrogen is the smallest element in nature, so the slightest leak will cause it to leak out.
  • Condensation of hydrogen particles requires very low temperatures (close to absolute zero), which are very difficult to obtain.

Safety and regulations related to hydrogen storage always come first, which is why new solutions are constantly being sought.

Hydrogen technology in Poland

Hydrogen storage is still the main development direction for renewable energy. The potential in this area is very large, and many innovative and promising research are also underway in Poland. Business support will help turn this work into the biggest breakthrough of the coming years, and perhaps even decades: hydrogen energy. Faster development of hydrogen infrastructure and increased investments also in the private sector will be the best fuel for the development of hydrogen technologies in Poland.

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