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Project HENRI – hydrogen energy reservoir

About project

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First slovak hydrogen IPCEI project

The intended energy transition at EU level will radically transform the EU’s generation, distribution, storage and consumption of energy. Hydrogen is a key enabler for this transition, as it can be used to integrate large quantities of renewable electricity into the energy system. It is considered the most economical option for large-scale and long-term renewable energy storage. Such an approach also contributes to EU energy and climate goals, including security of energy supply.

Accordingly, and in line with the main goals of the integrated IPCEI on Hydrogen, NAFTA has prepared its HENRI Project, which intends to contribute to EU energy and climate goals, with focus on the security of energy supplies.Within this IPCEI on Hydrogen, the focus of NAFTA’s R&D and FID activities is on underground gas storage. The primary technology field of the NAFTA’s HENRI Project is Technology Field 3:  Development of storage, transportation, distribution.

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The main objective of the HENRI project is to develop and deploy a pilot underground porous gas storage for H2 in pure form or in a mixture with natural gas at the highest possible H2 concentration based on the results of the R&D phase, including proven surface technology enabling its transmission and distribution grid interface, globally not yet deployed.

During the R&D phase of the project, the methodology for assessment of reservoir suitability for storing the H2 will be developed. This methodology will also include the identification of necessary tests to be provided before the reservoir can be used as H2 storage.

The HENRI project will cover both R&D and FID phases, which will be focused on:

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1 . R&D phase of the project:

The project will begin with definition of criteria for selection of suitable geological structures for H2 large-scale storage. These criteria could be then used in different countries based on local conditions. Then, the preselected geological structures will be tested in a laboratory to confirm the capability of H2 storage in pure form or to define the maximum allowable H2 concentration which could be stored in the reservoir.

R&D tasks involve research into and testing of the H2 impact on reservoir rock, cap rock and possible microbiological and geochemical reactions, based on 100% concentration.  Consequently, models can be created to simulate the H2 reservoir behaviour. Based on the results, the potential for pure H2 storage will be confirmed or the maximum H2 concentration defined.

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2 . FID phase of the project:

In the second (FID) phase of the project, based on the results of the first (R&D) phase, the pilot plant technology (H2 production via electrolysis, gas metering, gas treating facility, compressors etc.) will be designed and constructed. Consequently, the pure hydrogen or its mixture with natural gas at maximum concentration will be stored in the reservoir in several cycles. More cycles (injection, stabilisation, withdrawal) will bring more data which are crucial to confirming H2 behaviour in real conditions.

During the withdrawal, the deblending technology for H2 separation from natural gas should be tested and H2-NG mixture will be used in a nearby local gas distribution grid to test and demonstrate the feasibility of the concept.

At the end of the project, the data from the real reservoir will be compared with that obtained in the first phase of the project and a decision on project scaling up will be implemented.