Scientists at the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Wuerttemberg (ZSW) want to develop a suitable filling station for cars equipped with electric engines or alternative drives.

Launched in mid-February 2018, this project aims to create a multienergy dispenser. The idea is to use the grid to charge electric cars batteries with renewable electricity sourced from wind power plants and the like. A large stationary battery will store unused power when supply is greater than demand, and dispense it when demand is greater than supply.

“If the battery is full and recharging electric cars cannot deplete it, this green electricity will be converted into hydrogen in a second step,” says ZSW’s Dr. Ulrich Zuberbühler by way of explanation.
Fuel cell vehicles run on this type of energy. And if hydrogen production exceeds demand, the surplus gas goes into a storage tank.

Tomorrow’s filling station will include third stage to produce methane when the hydrogen storage tank is full and demand from fuel cell cars is low. Carbon dioxide will then be added to the hydrogen to convert into methane. Both gases react to a catalyst to form methane. This fuel is the main component of natural gas, so natural gas cars can readily use it. If refueling cars do not deplete the methane supply, the surplus gas is stored and then piped into the natural gas grid when the storage tank fills up.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is funding this project with around €1.3 mil-lion. It will run for five years as part QUARREE 100, an initiative to test an urban quarter’s fully renewable power supply.

More details here.