Fraunhofer IEG and H2Raum test hydrogen infrastructure in Castrop-Rauxel
In the Ruhr city of Castrop-Rauxel, the Bochum-based Fraunhofer IEG is working with partners from the Westphalian University of Applied Sciences, Gelsenwasser AG and the municipal utilities to investigate where green hydrogen can be efficiently produced, stored and used. The town already has the longest hydrogen pipeline in Germany as well as former coal mines that could be used as storage facilities.
The aim is to test possible applications and conditions on site. For example, there is a wind farm in the Frohlinde district whose electricity could be used to produce green hydrogen. Former coal mines, for example, could be considered as hydrogen storage facilities. The city also has the longest hydrogen pipeline in Germany at 240 km. It also forms a starting point for the planned hydrogen core network.
This means that Castrop-Rauxel has a functioning hydrogen infrastructure and therefore good conditions for the use of this energy source. The "workshop project" of the H2Raum initiative therefore describes Castrop-Rauxel as an "ideal real-world laboratory".
Three years of "Reallabor Castrop-Rauxel"
The overall project will run for three years. H2Raum receives financial support from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research's "T!Raum - TransferRäume für die Zukunft von Regionen" funding program. Its aim is to promote "forward-looking innovations and structural change in structurally weak regions in equal measure" in the long term.
The Westphalian University of Applied Sciences is responsible for the network analysis. The aim is to digitally simulate the supply network in order to check where additional storage is required and what effect the use of hydrogen would have if, for example, a company were to switch its production from natural gas to hydrogen. The university will then generalize its findings and test their transferability to other networks. In this way, the "Castrop-Rauxel real-world laboratory" is set to become a blueprint for other urban regions.