Green hydrogen from wind energy: Ready for trial operation

Press release /

Bremerhaven, November 10, 2023 – Senator Kristina Vogt and Lord Mayor of Bremerhaven Melf Grantz are launching trial operation at the Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven (HLB) together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems IWES. The infrastructure is thus now ready for the research work in Bremerhaven focusing on the in-teraction between wind turbines and electrolytic hydrogen produc-tion to begin. The HLB received a total of €16 million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of Bremen.

© Hauke Müller
Start of trial operation of the Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven (from left): Dr.-Ing. David Wenger, Managing Director Wenger Engineering GmbH, Kevin Schalk, Group Manager HLB Fraunhofer IWES, Nora Denecke, Head of Department Hydrogen Labs and Field Tests Fraunhofer IWES, Senator Kristina Vogt, Senator for Economy, Ports, and Transformation, Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Prof. Andreas Reuter, Managing Director Fraunhofer IWES, Melf Grantz, Lord Mayor of Bremerhaven
© Hauke Müller
Tour of the Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven
© Hauke Müller
In her speech, Nora Denecke gave interesting insights into the construction and development of the HLB.

Alternatives to fossil fuels are essential for the long-term success of the energy transition and for climate protection, and, as a source of energy with a broad spectrum of applications, hydrogen is set to play a key role in this process. Electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and sunlight is utilized for the production of green hydrogen via electrolysis, which is one of the technologies for sector coupling, through which renewable energy can be stored and also employed in the areas of industry, transportation, and buildings, for example, as well as for reconversion.

With the Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven, Fraunhofer IWES is accelerating the integration of hydrogen technologies into the energy and economic system on both a national and an international level as well as advancing the production of green hydrogen. The highly innovative test infrastructure in Bremerhaven allows the scientists to get to the root of current issues and deliver results for the full exploitation of this potential in the near future. At the same time, the resulting infrastructure can be used to test and analyze hydrogen-producing and -powered systems directly on behalf of industrial players, for example for the evaluation of new developments or the independent validation of system performance.

Kristina Vogt, Senator for Economy, Ports, and Transformation, explained: »North Germany, and in particular Bremen and Bremerhaven, is a veritable hub for hydrogen technologies. With our impressive research and business landscape, where science and industry work together in close cooperation, we are a leader in Europe – and that is exactly what the hydrogen lab stands for. At the same time, we are bolstering our already key role in the national and international energy and hydrogen sector with the Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven. We are making a significant contribution to the energy transition and promoting the green transformation of the local industry through the scientific work at Fraunhofer IWES.«

Melf Grantz, Lord Mayor of Bremerhaven, said: »Bremerhaven is now a huge step closer in the local hydrogen economy towards a sustainable energy future. The Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven will deliver scientific results and thus contribute to supporting companies and the industry on the journey to a sustainable hydrogen economy.«

Prof. Andreas Reuter, Managing Director Fraunhofer IWES, added: »The HLB is set to accelerate the market ramp-up of green hydrogen technology. We are a big step closer to the future-oriented production of hydrogen from wind energy and extremely grateful for the financial support received from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of Bremen for the realization of the test infrastructure.«

»All the construction work is now complete, the main components have been connected, containers with transformers and the control room have been set up. Electrolyzers, fuel cells, a CHP plant, storage units, and compressors have been installed. Connection to the medium-voltage grid of the Dynamic Nacelle Testing Laboratory (DyNaLab) in the immediate vicinity means that compatibility with the power grid can also be tested directly. We are all set and ready to start trial operation. This is the first important and exciting step in optimally coordinating the large range of different components. Regular operations at Fraunhofer IWES will then begin next spring with the official commissioning of the HLB. We have already received inquiries for joint projects from all over the world and we are looking forward to future collaborations,« explained Kevin Schalk, Group Manager Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven at Fraunhofer IWES.

»The Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven will set standards around the world. I would like to thank all those responsible at Fraunhofer IWES for the confidence they have placed in us as a general contractor and wish everyone every success in their future research,« added Dr. David Wenger, CEO of Wenger Engineering GmbH.

The completion of the HLB also marks the successful conclusion of the Green Gas for Bremerhaven project with the research partners Bremerhaven University of Applied Sciences, Technologie-Transfer-Zentrum (ttz) Bremerhaven, and Fraunhofer IWES. The HLB received a total of €16 million in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the State of Bremen. Follow-up projects with the research partners to investigate specific applications in the areas of decentralized grids, alternative fuels, mobility and logistics, offshore site exploration, and the food industry are already in the pipeline.

The Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven is also involved as an associated project in the Northern German Regulatory Sandbox (NRL), a joint project with 50 partners from business, science, and industry, who are collaborating to test new ways to achieve climate neutrality.


Fraunhofer IWES

Fraunhofer IWES secures investments in technological developments through validation, shortens innovation cycles, accelerates certification procedures, and increases planning accuracy by means of innovative measurement methods in the wind energy and hydrogen technology sectors. There are currently more than 300 scientists and employees as well as more than 100 students employed at nine locations: Bochum, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Görlitz, Hamburg, Hannover, Leer, Leuna, and Oldenburg.

© Hauke Müller
Hydrogen Lab Bremerhaven
© Hauke Müller

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