Opportunities for the Super wind concept in the region Fryslân; Integrating wind energy with hydrogen producing fuel cells
Kas Hemmes1 Anne-Lorène Vernay1, Diederick Manné1, Gijs Steenvoorden2, & Jaco Quist1


1Faculty of Technology, Policy, Management, TU Delft, Jaffalaan 5, NL-2628 BX Delft. (E): k.hemmes@tudelft.nl; a.b.h.vernay@tudelft.nl;
2PG-ID,  Rotterdamseweg 183c,  2629 HD Delft. info@pg-id.nl


The so-called superwind concept comprises the integration of wind energy with an internal reforming fuel cell.  Effectively a very flexible and highly efficient tri-generation unit for the production of electric power, hydrogen and heat is obtained. The fuel cell is fueled by natural gas or preferably biogas for increased sustainability of the total concept. The fuel cell can convert that gas internally into hydrogen for its own consumption – the electrochemical conversion of hydrogen into electric power–, while simultaneously a controllable amount of surplus hydrogen can be delivered. The fluctuating output of the wind turbine can thus be compensated by a well-controlled and varying power output of the fuel cell.  When the wind turbine tends to overproduce, the fuel cell can be controlled to produce less power and instead produce more hydrogen. The concept is perfectly suitable for compensating deficits in wind power delivered to the grid and is thereby able to meet the amounts contractually offered and promised to the electricity market, thus avoiding penalties. 


An even more attractive application is the flexible production of hydrogen that can be adapted to a growing hydrogen market for fuel cell vehicles. Interestingly, in the context of the Province of Fryslân a similar and nearby niche market is the development of electric boats and ships for clean and sustainable recreation and transport. Also for boats and ships hybrid powertrains of batteries and fuel cells are being developed, resulting in clean and silent recreation on the Frysian lakes and waters.


The paper discusses the opportunities, conditions, current innovation, and social dynamics for initiating and facilitating such strategic niche experiments in Fryslân and other regions, as well as an agenda for this change.

Full Paper (.doc format, 183.0 kb)

9:00 AM-5:00 PM, Thursday, June 26, 2008, Oral

The Netherlands, 2008 Meeting