Belfast Power-to-X Project
Responding to the Climate Emergency
B9 Energy has been pioneering renewable energy development in Northern Ireland for 30 years, working to build the first wind farms and industrial scale anaerobic digestion projects, and is now engaged in development of holistic energy solutions that reduce costs and match the aggressive decarbonisation trajectory required to combat the climate emergency.
Their latest project, called "Belfast Power-to-X", is located at Belfast Harbour and sets out to capture both night time wind power from across NI that is otherwise wasted and daytime solar PV power, which cannot get cost effective local grid connection.
This renewable energy is used to power an electrolyser to make hydrogen fuel for Translink buses and trains, oxygen for enhancement of NI Water's waste water treatment process and heat for industrial, commercial, municipal and residential properties in the Belfast City Council area.
Dedicated hydrogen and hot water pipelines are deployed to store energy and distribute it around the end user locations across the city for use when demand is high but renewable energy generation is low. Excess hydrogen will be injected into Mutual Energy’s natural gas network and delivered to heat and power customers that way. The benefits of reduced greenhouse gas emissions are added to by the lowering of NOx and PM2.5 air pollutants, especially from urban buses that switch from fossil fuel to hydrogen and visiting cruise ships that turn their engines off when supplied with shore power.
The core electrolyser machine is joined by fuels cells, batteries, compressors, dispensers and a water sourced heat pump to form the Power-to-X system and whilst these components are well known to design partner CPH2, there is a real design challenge with the integration, control and optimisation of the system to extract the most efficient and cost effective outcome.
B9's membrane-free electrolyser is located at NI Water’s Kinnegar waste water treatment works in Belfast. It is the first electrolyser of any sort to be installed on the island of Ireland, and the first commercial deployment of membrane free technology in the world.
B9 Energy is therefore focussed on creating a smart local energy control system capable of predicting, monitoring, analysing, prioritising and scheduling events to optimise revenue stacking and ensure that ambitious city scale decarbonisation strategies can be entered into with confidence.
In pulling this project together over many months we have discovered that a ‘Community of Interest’ exists in Belfast that is ready to take the big steps enabled by Power-to-X technology. Other towns and cities will also be ready and the Belfast Power-to-X Project partners intend to use the project deliverables and heightened profile to offer replication services across the whole of the UK.
Why not watch the video below, which provides more information about B9 and the Power to X project!