First African Wind Hydrogen System Launched

Africa’s First Wind Hydrogen System Launched

United Kingdom., October 02, 2012


The First African wind hydrogen initiative where hydrogen is made from water using green energy has been successfully installed in Morocco. 

The Pure Energy® Centre, the UK pure® fuel, renewable energy and energy storage company in collaboration with Sahara Wind Inc. and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco announce the completion of Africa’s First Wind Hydrogen System. The hydrogen system has been installed to enable the storage of excess wind energy. The installed system demonstrates that the intermittency of the wind and excess production can be resolved.

First African Wind Hydrogen System Launched In Morocco
K. Benhamou (Sahara Wind Ltd – Left) and K. Loudiyi (Al Akhawayin Univesity) Morocco – right)

However, it was found that there were times where there would be excess energy produced from the wind turbines. A good example of such excess is when the wind turbines would generate power at night. In this case, there would be very little load demand on the campus, hence the wind turbine needed to be shut down. This is why the Pure Energy® Centre was commissioned to design and install a hydrogen energy storage system. The stored energy could then be re-used at a later stage when no wind generation was available through different hydrogen applications.

The Pure Energy® Centre, an expert company in renewable and energy storage technologies, installed the hydrogen system. This consisted of a hydrogen electrolyser, a hydrogen store and a fuel cell. The hydrogen electrolyser is used to produce hydrogen from water. The electrolyser split water into its two main molecules. It uses electricity to break H2O (water) into H2 (hydrogen) and O2 (oxygen) molecules. The H2 gas is stored into a hydrogen tank while the O2 is vented to the atmosphere. In other installations, the O2 is also stored so that it can be used. Usage of the O2 gas is found in many industries such as welding, hospitals and others.

Who lead the First African Wind Hydrogen System?

This cutting-edge project, which has been driven by Sahara Wind Inc. with financial support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation NATO under its Science for Peace and Security frameworks. As a result, AUl and Pure Energy® Centre, will see many Moroccan engineers accessing state-of-the art energy storage technologies. Elizabeth Johnson, Business Development Manager of the Pure Energy® Centre said: “We are very pleased to have been involved in Africa’s first wind hydrogen system. We are especially pleased to have installed latest hydrogen technologies which will be used for teaching and training tomorrow’s Africa top engineers. We feel very proud of the hydrogen system which operates at the back of wind power, fully demonstrating our commitment to renewables.”

Khalid Benhamou, from Sahara Wind Inc. said: “Renewables have one major issue in that they are intermittent. We have identified that we can reduce this issue by storing excess energy produced from renewables as hydrogen and thereafter reuse the hydrogen in a fuel cell for power generation. We feel that coupling wind and hydrogen will play an important role in Africa’s future through a variety of applications involving the continent’s main industries. The applications are indeed numerous: They range from powering telecommunications networks and green mobility (to be developed in partnership with local telecom and automotive industries) and extend to water utilities and mine processing industries. The latter would use hydrogen and other electrolysis byproducts such as chlorine as feedstock. We are therefore pleased that this project is a success and look forward to use green hydrogen for many applications”.

Khalid Loudiyi, from Al Akhawayn University added: “The wind and hydrogen systems will be used for training, teaching and research. Our aim is to strengthen our research portfolio and to develop a number of hydrogen applications such as fuel cell vehicles, cooking and even heating as Al Akhawayn University has been built at a 1600 meter height and winters are cold here. We are highly pleased that the wind hydrogen systems installation has been successful and look forward to a bright future for green energy and storage technologies in Morocco.”

Why hydrogen energy storage? and why the First African Wind Hydrogen?

There are two main reasons the world’s need energy storage technologies. These are that energy storage can reduce (a) the impact of renewable intermittency and (b) resolve the issue with excess green power. When one installs a wind turbine, this turbine will only operate when there is wind. So when there is no wind, we would need to switch on a conventional power station to supply the demand. In addition, when there is wind, there may be no load demand; hence the wind turbines should be switched off. Shutting down wind turbines seems like a waste of green energy. This is where energy storage comes into play. When there is excess energy, we do not switch off the renewable source, but instead we store it as hydrogen. Whenever there is no renewable generation, then we just use the stored hydrogen as a fuel for electricity generation, cooking, heating, in vehicles and other applications. Therefore hydrogen energy storage will play a more role in our society as the renewable installations increases substantially at a global level.

About the Pure Energy® Centre:

The Pure Energy® Centre, the Pure® fuel, renewable energy, energy storage company, and the UK leader in renewable hydrogen systems, provides independent technical & consultancy services for the energy, renewable energy, transport, heating, building and hydrogen, oxygen, CNG, nitrogen sectors. At the Pure Energy Centre we deliver proven, guaranteed, independent energy solutions for your project across the environmental & energy spectrum including:

For more information contact:

Tel: + 44 1957 711 410

About Sahara Wind Inc.:

Sahara Wind Inc. is the developer of the Sahara Wind Project which aims to connect over 5 GW of wind capacity from the Sahara trade wind region to North African and Euro-mediterranean electricity markets via a High Voltage Direct Current line. Since 2002 Sahara Wind Inc. has pioneered wind energy developments in North Africa. Sahara Wind Inc. supports regional collaboration and capacity building on local technology integration to access wind energy technologies. As part of this process and as an independent project development company, Sahara Wind Inc. disposes of expertise in the following fields:

• Resource assessment • Capacity building • Technology integration • Energy storage technologies & synergies in industrial processes • Project phasing & management • Electric grid network integration • Smart grid technologies • High Voltage Direct Current technologies (HVDC)

For more information contact:

Tel: +212 537 74 22 90

About Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane:  

Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane  is an independent, public, not-forprofit, coeducational, Moroccan university committed to educating future citizen-leaders of Morocco and the world through a globally  oriented, English-language, liberalarts curriculum based on the American system. The University enhances Morocco and engages the world through leading-edge educational and research programs, including continuing and executive education, upholds the highest academic and ethical standards, and promotes equity and social responsibility.

Degree programs offered by Al Akhawayn University:

  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Business Administration  (EPAS-accredited)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Management Science
  • Bachelor of Science in General Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Resource  Development
  • Master of Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management 
  • Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Management 
  • Master of Science in Information Systems Security 
  • Master of Arts in International Studies and Diplomacy
  • Master of Business Administration 
  • Executive Master of Business Administration 
  • Master of Science in Corporate Finance 
  • Master of Science in Biotechnology
  • Master of Science in Computer Science
  • Master of Science in Computer Networks
  • Master of Science in Software Engineering
  • Master of Science in Software Engineering and Management Science

For more information contact:

Tel:  (+212)-535-862-114
Fax :    (+212)-535-862-030

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