New solution to store residential, commercial PV electricity as green hydrogen


From pv magazine Germany

Home Power Solutions (HPS), a German residential hydrogen storage system manufacturer, has expanded its product range to include a new hydrogen storage solution for commercial properties and apartment buildings.

Its new Förster solution features a control and energy management unit that can interconnect up to 10 of the company’s hydrogen-based storage Picea systems. In this way, a cumulative electrical storage capacity of 15,000 kWh can be achieved.

The Picea system stores excess electricity from rooftop PV systems in the form of green hydrogen. In addition to an electrolyser and the fuel cell, the system also includes a 20 kWh battery for short-term storage. Waste heat is also used, if necessary. According to the manufacturer, the system cannot cover the power supply all year round, but it is able to reduce heating costs.

The development of the Förster control unit opens up the possibility for new customers to be supplied year-round with solar power from their own rooftops. But it also enables the manufacturer to better benefit from economies of scale in the production of storage systems in the future. The systems can easily be cascaded and different customer requirements can be met by interconnecting identical systems. In this way, the manufacturing processes can be standardised.

The green hydrogen is stored outside the building.Image: Home Power Solutions

“With Multi-Picea we have responded to great demand and developed a solution that offers higher storage capacities and performance in the building sector,” said HPS Managing Director Zeyad Abul-Ellla. “In commercial real estate and multi-family houses, consumers are able to use their solar power fully, even in winter, thanks to the flexible scaling of our tested year-round electricity storage system.”

The name “Förster,” which means “forester” in German, is derived from the name of the storage system. Picea is the Latin term for spruce and a Picea system saves three tons of CO2 a year, or as much as 130 spruce trees. As the control unit is able to manage up to 10 Picea at the same time, it takes care of an entire “forest,” so to speak.

The first Förster unit is already in operation. The headquarters of Josef Küpper Söhne GmbH near Bonn, Germany, is the first commercial property in the country to host the hydrogen storage system. The electricity for it comes from a 98 kW solar array spanning the rooftop and on the building’s facade.

“We pursue an independent and clean energy supply for our customers and ourselves, because the time is ripe for the entry into a CO2-free society,” said Josef Küpper Söhne Managing Director Peter Küpper. “That is why we decided in favor of the Multi-Picea long-term storage system from HPS when designing the new company location.”

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