The W3+ Fair/Convention is taking place this week in Wetzlar, Germany, featuring more than 40 specialist speakers, including Airbus, Schunk and Bosch. The conference focuses on microtechnology, optical devices, and state of the art enabling technologies. We caught up with Till Wodraschka of Bosch Thermotechnik to ask about hydrogen energy applications and future use cases.
Q&A with Till Wodraschka of Bosch
Till Wodraschka of Bosch Thermotechnik is presenting at 3 pm on Wednesday, February 26th about hydrogen technology, but before that we wanted to ask a few questions of our own.
Accumold: Often, hydrogen energy is discussed within the context of vehicles or larger machines, but does hydrogen energy have a future in smaller devices?
Till Wodraschka: From the first point of view, heavy and long-distance traffic and especially aviation and shipping will be the most common use cases for hydrogen and will have a very high demand.
Stationary applications and light traffic with close access to an electrical grid are supposed to be best delivered with electricity directly. This because of the efficiency factor at least.
But in this “all-electric scenario” we will need a new electric infrastructure and the change of millions of applications. The use of hydrogen and hydrogen based fuels and gases in stationary and smaller devices as well has the advantage to keep a lot of existing technologies and infrastructure and gain climate protection may be cheaper and faster.
The clue is the type of hydrogen and the sufficient amount. To gain a carbon free energy strategy we need green hydrogen made out of green electricity from renewables such as wind and solar energy. In the foreseeable future we will not have the required capacities for that so we have to assign priorities.
Accumold: The stability of hydrogen is often a concern. Are there advanced solutions now, or in the future, that will allow widespread use of hydrogen energy?
Till Wodraschka: As an example: A growing network of hydrogen filling stations for the mobility sector in Germany shows that the handling of hydrogen today can be managed safely and without problems even by end customers.
Referring to stationary applications, currently, utility companies are testing their gas distribution systems with portions or even – in restricted areas – pure hydrogen. With this, natural gas can be substituted partly and the emission of carbon can be reduced. So far the tests have been successful.
Accumold: When people consider hydrogen energy, what future possibilities aren’t on their radar?
Till Wodraschka: Today the worldwide energy supply is based on fossil energy such as oil and gas used in combustion engines and heating systems with the associated emission of carbon. To gain a carbon-free future, green hydrogen can be the [answer].
On the one hand, hydrogen can be a basic product for green gases and fuels. So people can use their existing applications. On the other hand, the most efficient way to use pure hydrogen is a fuel cell.
With fuel cells we can reach high distances in mobility, fill up Energy in the same short time and have the same comfort we are used today from gasoline and diesel.
Fuels Cells in stationary can change our heating systems from today into little power plants producing heat and electricity.
So the fuels cell is one of the most attractive applications in the next future.
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