Underground Sun Conversion

DESCRIPTION

The Underground Sun Conversion Testbed is a facility to manage methanation of renewable energy in combination with inter-seasonal energy storage - both taking place in a depleted natural gas reservoir.

We inject H2 and CO2 to a depleted natural gas reservoir. There a microbial process takes place, converting those substrate gases to methane and water. Our pending research objective is to flexibilize the process in terms of substrate gas quality as well as the acceptability of off-stoichiometric gas mixtures. The latter seems feasible because of the large available storage volumes in natural gas reservoirs. This leads to an USP towards other methanation technologies.

The Testbed facility was put in operation in 2018. In a previous facility at the same location the interseasonal storage of hydrogen (-admixtures) was tested successfully.

AREAS OF SPECIAL COMPETENCE

Inter-seasonal energy storage
Geo-methanation
Hydrogen generation via electrolysis - 500kW
Valid notifications from authorities for operation
Well trained personnel for operation
Scientific staff for interpretation of reservoir experiments

WHAT CAN BE TESTED

Inter-seasonal energy balancing
Geo-methanation
Electricity grid services (balancing energy market)
Calibration data for reservoir and microbial modelling

AVAILABLE INFRASTRUCTURE

30kV electricity grid connection
500kW electrolysis
CO2 tank
Compressor, gas drying unit, gaschromatographs, safety equipment
Storage reservoir with min. 500.000 SmĀ³ volume

HOW TO GET STARTED WITH US

Get in touch with our contact point via email.
Meeting on site to deepen discussions about a potential co-operation.

PRICING MODEL

Depreciation of the testbed facility
Operational cost (consumables, personnel costs)

Selected Partner Contact
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Vienna, Austria


Responsible organisation: RAG Austria AG, Austria

Stephan Bauer
Markus Pichler

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This initiative has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements no. 646039 and no. 775970.
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