Wind Hydrogen – Africa’s first smart grid wind H2 at IPHE

Wind Hydrogen – Africa’s first smart grid wind hydrogen storage project present at IPHE conference 2012

United Kingdom., Nov. 02, 2012


The Pure Energy Centre and Sahara Wind Inc. have been invited to present The First African initiative to make hydrogen from water using green energy at the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE) conference to be held in Sevilla, Spain, November 15-16, 2012.

Wind Hydrogen System Launched In Morocco


Business Development Manager of the Pure Energy Centre Elizabeth Johnson and Sahara Wind Inc. Managing Director Khalid Benhamou will present at the 2012 world leading IPHE Conference. The presentation will focus on ‘Africa’s First Wind Hydrogen Energy System’ in the context of the explosive growth of renewables and how the latter is reshaping the energy sector globally and at all levels. With a high level of renewables, a paradigm shift is indeed required in terms of stability and storage to drive grid network security. This project has for that matter received financial support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation NATO under its Science for Peace and Security frameworks.

Wind hydrogen applied in a smart grid system

At the IPHE conference, the Pure Energy Centre and Sahara Wind Inc. will explain how hydrogen storage technologies can transform if not revolutionise the energy sector. In the last few years, many technical barriers have been identified with the implosion of renewable systems. The most significant of all barriers relates to balancing the grid at local and national level. This can be illustrated by Sahara Wind Inc. in the project coordination of a wind farm consisting of three wind turbines installed as part of an integrated system at Al Akhawayn University, one of Morocco leading universities.

The wind turbines were installed to supply green energy to the University campus. However, there were times that excess energy was generated from the wind turbines. In these cases, the wind turbines needed to be shut down as the local grid network was not able to absorb the excess generation. A hydrogen (H2) storage system was therefore sought to store excess wind energy. The stored energy as hydrogen could then be re-used for electrical generation through a fuel cell when no wind was available. The critical point of development was to find a good balancing system between the wind generation, the hydrogen storage system and the fuel cell generation.

This work therefore addressed one of the major technical barriers for the wider uptake of renewables by using H2 technologies. The hydrogen infrastructure was used to demonstrate that hydrogen can operate within a smart grid set up with storage capabilities, offering real solutions for grid locked networks. In its present form, the hydrogen system, coupled with the wind and the campuses’ evolving smart grid allows a maximized use of wind generation. By stabilizing the wind electricity fed into the grid and storing its excess production, the system permits an effective balancing of the grid at local levels.

Wind Hydrogen Africa to in a smart grid setup 

Elizabeth Johnson from the Pure Energy Centre (UK) said “As an electrolyser and hydrogen system manufacturer, it is important we demonstrate that hydrogen technologies are in fact an extension to smart grid applications. With the African’s first wind hydrogen system fully operational, it will help local and international energy leaders and politicians to see that hydrogen must be taken seriously when it comes to grid balancing. We are very pleased to say that this African hydrogen project demonstrates that the intermittency of the wind and excess energy generation can be resolved by using market ready, reliable and mature hydrogen technology.”

Khalid Benhamou, from Sahara Wind Inc. said: “Integrating renewable energies locally is an imperative first step prior to considering its use within any broader regional setting Renewable energy storage technologies such as hydrogen can be used as an energy carrier or as chemical feedstock. Hydrogen technologies will open a variety of applications for industries to get involved in the harnessing of the Sahara trade winds. Deployed regionally as part of industry-academic partnerships in both Morocco and Mauritania, Africa’s first wind hydrogen systems provide an ideal setting to develop technologies and enable local synergies to be tested. This remains one of the key objectives of the Sahara Wind Project.”

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?
There are two main reasons the world needs energy storage technologies. These are: (a) Energy storage can reduce the impact of renewable intermittency and (b) resolve the issue with excess green generation. When there is no renewable resource available such as a windless day, a conventional power station is required to supply the users load demands. In addition, when there is a plentiful supply of renewable energy, there may be no load demand; hence the wind turbines should be switched off. Shutting down or constraining renewable generation represents a waste of green energy when it is available. This is where energy storage can play a vital role in balancing generation and demand within a synergetic context. When in excess, renewable energy can be stored in the form of hydrogen and used in a variety of ways, instead of being constrained. Whenever there is no renewable generation the stored hydrogen can indeed be used as a fuel for electricity generation, cooking, heating, automotive applications, industrial feedstock and many other applications.

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:

  • Renewable energy
  • Hydrogen and fuel cells technologies
  • Oxygen
  • CNG
  • Nitrogen and other gases
  • Control & monitoring
  • Consulting
  • Project management and environmental services
  • Energy infrastructure projects
  • Renewable hydrogen training courses
  • Technology integration

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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