Project

WASTE2GRIDS: Converting WASTE to offer flexible GRID balancing Services with highly-integrated, efficient solid-oxide plants

Goal: The overall objective of the Waste2GridS (W2G) project is to identify the most promising industrial pathways of waste gasification and solid-oxide cell (SOC) integrated power-balancing plants (W2G plants in short). The project aims are to perform a preliminary investigation on the long-term techno-economic feasibility of W2G plants to meet different grid-balancing needs and to identify several promising business cases with necessary preconditions. To achieve such goals, an interdisciplinary team is formed by gathering leading research bodies and companies in Europe in the fields of solid-oxide reversible cells (SORC), waste identification, gasification and syngas cleaning, grid operation, and energy/process systems engineering. The results of the project will further enhance the knowledge exchange and interaction among different key players (manufacturers, investors, and research institutions), provide useful guidelines for technology development/deployment and market positioning, increase long-term competitiveness and leadership of relevant industries, and provide knowledge for policy support on W2G plants for a circular economy and for the decarbonisation of European energy systems.

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Project log

Ligang Wang
added a research item
Electrical energy storage systems are indispensable for the electrical grid with high penetration renewables. Reversible solid-oxide cell stack based power-to-x-to-power systems, which can switch between power generation and power storage, can achieve a high round-trip efficiency and are technology neutral for, e.g., hydrogen, methane, methanol, ammonia and syngas. This paper evaluates, with a systematically decomposition-based optimization method, the economic feasibility of such dual-direction plants to assist wind farms for reliable electricity supply, under various scenarios with 150%/200%/250% wind electricity penetration and strong/weak interactions with chemical markets. The economic feasibility is represented by Plant CAPEX Target (€/ref-stack), defined as maximum affordable total plant investment costs divided by the equivalent number of reference stacks (5120 cm² active cell area). The results show that, with strong interaction with chemical markets, hydrogen pathway is the most economically potential, especially under high wind electricity penetration (200, 250%). Plant CAPEX target of hydrogen pathway reaches 2300 €/ref-stack, followed by syngas (1900 €/ref-stack), while the methane, methanol and ammonia ones are less economically-feasible with targets around 1000 €/ref-stack. Economic feasibility of hydrogen pathway is less sensitive (above 2000 €/ref-stack) to hydrogen price when it is below 4 €/kg. Deploying multiple plants with operation-coordination freedom allows for the reduction of lost wind rate and the enhancement of profit. Plant designs with either high round-trip efficiency or good match with imbalance characteristics are preferred. When the chemicals produced are not sold to markets, syngas and methane pathways are more economically-feasible, with plant CAPEX target within 500–1000 €/ref-stack due to affordable onsite fuel storage and high round-trip efficiency.
Ligang Wang
added an update
The W2G project has been reported by a series of public journals and media, which enlarges the influence of W2G results. Thanks to the ENEA team and their recent publication derived from the project, this enables the enlargement of the W2G impact!
See detailed news from the links below:
 
Ligang Wang
added a research item
The large market penetration of non-dispatchable renewable power sources (vRES), i.e., wind and photovoltaic, may be hampered by an increasing need for large scale energy storage capacity and the challenges of balancing the power grid. Novel technologies integrating waste gasification with reversible Solid-Oxide Cell systems have been proposed to provide flexible grid balancing services. The rSOC system operated in electrolysis mode uses excess power from vRES to generate hydrogen (H2), which is combined with syngas derived from waste gasification to produce methane (CH4). The rSOC system can also be operated in fuel cell mode by oxidising syngas to produce electricity. This paper presents a well-defined case study which aimed to estimate the potential deployment of a novel rSOC technology in a future power system dominated by intermittent renewables. The hourly power grid residual loads (i.e., the difference between load and vRES power generation) and the availability of low-grade organic waste and residues are quantified and matched for the southern Italian peninsula in 2030. The results show that the theoretical grid flexibility needs approximately 10 TW h of overproduction and 5 TW h of underproduction in 2030 to ensure the complete disposal of the municipal organic waste generated in 2030 (6.7 Mt) and that production of renewable CH4 will need to be 1.4–2.4 Mt, pointing to an intriguing perspective for the deployment of rSOC systems at a large scale. The multifunctionality of the system proposed is an added value that can make it a convenient and efficient piece of the puzzle of technologies required in a climate-neutral and circular economy. The results and methods here presented are intended to form the basis for estimations of future potential deployment and economic and environmental assessments of competing technologies.
Ligang Wang
added an update
A final meeting has been organized to conclude the W2G project.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Prof. Ligang Wang has participated in the Grid Services Market 2020, and gave a presentation on the progress of the W2G project. There has been an interesting discussion on this technology.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Prof. Ligang Wang has joined EFCF and presented the poster of W2G progress to the audience.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Dr.-Ing. Ligang Wang has presented the progress of W2G project on the International Conferences on Smart Energy Systems. For those, who are interested, please check the attached slides.
 
Ligang Wang
added a research item
Biomass-to-electricity or-chemical via power-to-x can be potential flexibility means for future electrical grid with high penetration of variable renewable power. However, biomass-to-electricity will not be dispatched frequently and becomes less economically-beneficial due to low annual operating hours. This issue can be addressed by integrating biomass-to-electricity and-chemical via ''reversible'' solid-oxide cell stacks to form a triple-mode grid-balancing plant, which could flexibly switch among power generation, power storage and power neutral (with chemical production) modes. This paper investigates the optimal designs of such a plant concept with a multi-time heat and mass integration platform considering different technology combinations and multiple objective functions to obtain a variety of design alternatives. The results show that increasing plant efficiencies will increase the total cell area needed for a given biomass feed. The efficiency difference among different technology combinations with the same gasifier type is less than 5% points. The efficiency reaches up to 50%-60% for power generation mode, 72%-76% for power storage mode and 47%-55% for power neutral mode. When penalizing the syngas not converted in the stacks, the optimal plant designs interact with the electrical and gas grids in a limited range. Steam turbine network can recover 0.21-0.24 kW electricity per kW dry biomass energy (lower heating value), corresponding to an efficiency enhancement of up to 20% points. The difference in the amounts of heat transferred in different modes challenges the design of a common heat exchange network.
Ligang Wang
added an update
The project partner Dr. A. Agostini gave a presentation on the potential of waste-based solid-oxide plant for grid-balancing service in the session 5CO.2 Technological Options and Assessments
for Energy Integration: This session will discuss different technological options for bioenergy to develop the future energy grids and energy systems.
The session is chaired by CHAIR & MODERATOR from Oskar MEIJERINK SkyNRG, THE NETHERLANDS and Christian THIEL from European Commission, Joint Research Centre, EU
5CO.2.3
A. Agostini, C. Carbone, F. Gracceva
ENEA, Rome, Italy
V. Motola
ENEA, Ispra, Italy
Y. Zong, S. You
DTU, Roskilde, Denmark
M. Perez Fortes, L. Wang
EPFL, Sion, Switzerland
Waste2Grids: The Potential of Waste-based Solid-oxide Plants for Grid-balancing Services
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Dr.-Ing. Ligang Wang presented the overview and progress of the W2G project on the main agenda of the EUBCE. The talk was given in the session of IBO.16 Industrial Power and Heat Process and Systems: A selection of innovative projects dealing with pyrolysis, anaerobic digestion, gasification and transport fuels, linked with the use of biomass feedstock or waste.
The session was hold by Thomas HABAS from ENGIE, FRANCE and Sylvie VALIN from CEA Grenoble, FRANCE.
Other speakers including
IBO.16.1
L. van de Bekd, E. Leijenhorst
BTG, Enschede, The Netherlands
S. Ramaswamy, M. Grote, D. Möntmann
OWI, Herzogenrath, Germany
A. Toussaint
BTG Bioliquids, Enschede, The Netherlands
T. Rütten
MEKU, Dauchingen, Germany
Residue2heat: Renewable Residential Heating with Fast Pyrolysis Bio-Oil
IBO.16.2
T.W.F.M. Bouten, J. Withag, A.L.U.E. Axelsson
OPRA Turbines International, Hengelo, The Netherlands
B.A. Putra, A.K. Pozarlik, G. Brem
University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands
C. Benesch, T. Brunner
BIOS Bioenergiesysteme, Graz, Austria
Experimental and Numerical Investigation of the Application of Fast-Pyrolysis Oil in a Gas Turbine
Combustor
IBO.16.3
L. Wang, M. Perez-Fortes, J. Van, S. Diethelm
EPFL, Sion, Switzerland
Progress of EU project WASTE2GRIDS: Converting WASTE to Offer Flexible GRID Balancing Services
with Highly-integrated, Efficient Solid-oxide Plants
IBO.16.4
J. Van Herle
EPFL, Sion, Switzerland
Biogas Cleaning and Integration with Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Dr.-Ing. Ligang Wang has given a presentation in the workshop for innovation from the cogeneration using biomass. The workshop is organized by the BLAZE and SMART CHP projects.
BIOCOGEN 2030 stories of innovation from the cogeneration world
The platform BIOCOGEN 2030 has been established by the partners of the Horizon 2020 projects BLAZE and SMART CHP. Its aim is to create an open forum for stakeholders in the field of CHP from biomass.
Participants can thus access a wider network and discuss common challenges while exploring new opportunities for collaboration.
With this spirit in mind, BIOCOGEN 2030 is pleased to participate to the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition  by holding a special online session in the Live Stage area of the conference.
This session will shed light on innovative and relevant experiences in the field of small-medium scale cogeneration from biomass.
Once you have registered to EUBCE as a visitor, you will be able to access the virtual Exhibition from Monday 6th July. You will access the BIOCOGEN 2030 webinar by entering the “Live Stage” menu of the exhibition on the scheduled date and time. 
AGENDA
11:00 – Introduction: the platform BIOCOGEN 2030 (Giulio Poggiaroni-EUBIA)
11:05  – École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
> Project “Waste2Watts” (Dr. Jan Van Herle)
> Project “Waste2Grids” (Dr. Wang Ligang)
11:20 – ENTRENCO Gmbh
> Solutions for small CHP units (Mr. Egbert Freiherr von Cramm – CFO/CSO, Dr. Burghard Knolle – CTO ENTRENCO Gmbh)
11:30 – Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden
> Project “Small scale CHP Life+” (Dr. Daniella Johansson – Energikontor Sydost)
11:40 – Technical University of Turin
> Project “DEMOSOFC” (Dr. Marta Gandiglio)
11:50-12:00 – Q&A
TUESDAY 07 JULY
 
Ligang Wang
added a research item
The increasing penetration of variable renewable energies poses new challenges for grid management. The economic feasibility of grid-balancing plants may be limited by low annual operating hours if they work either only for power generation or only for power storage. This issue might be addressed by a dual-function power plant with power-to-x capability, which can produce electricity or store excess renewable electricity into chemicals at different periods. Such a plant can be uniquely enabled by a solid-oxide cell stack, which can switch between fuel cell and electrolysis with the same stack. This paper investigates the optimal conceptual design of this type of plant, represented by power-to-x-to-power process chains with x being hydrogen, syngas, methane, methanol and ammonia, concerning the efficiency (on a lower heating value) and power densities. The results show that an increase in current density leads to an increased oxygen flow rate and a decreased reactant utilization at the stack level for its thermal management, and an increased power density and a decreased efficiency at the system level. The power-generation efficiency is ranked as methane (65.9%), methanol (60.2%), ammonia (58.2%), hydrogen (58.3%), syngas (53.3%) at 0.4 A/cm 2 , due to the benefit of heat-to-chemical-energy conversion by chemical reformulating and the deterioration of electrochemical performance by the dilution of hydrogen. The power-storage efficiency is ranked as syngas (80%), hydrogen (74%), methane (72%), methanol (68%), ammonia (66%) at 0.7 A/cm 2 , mainly due to the benefit of co-electrolysis and the chemical energy loss occurring in the chemical synthesis reactions. The lost chemical energy improves plant-wise heat integration and compensates for its adverse effect on power-storage efficiency. Combining these efficiency numbers of the two modes results in a rank of round-trip efficiency: methane (47.5%) > syngas (43.3%) ≈ hydrogen (42.6%) > methanol (40.7%) > ammonia (38.6%). The pool of plant designs obtained lays the basis for the optimal deployment of this balancing technology for specific applications.
Ligang Wang
added 2 research items
Imbalance costs caused by forecasting errors are considerable for grid-connected wind farms. In order to reduce such costs, two onsite storage technologies, i.e., power-to-hydrogen-to-power and lithium battery, are investigated considering 14 uncertain technological and economic parameters. Probability density distributions of wind forecasting errors and power level are first considered to quantify the imbalance and excess wind power. Then, robust optimal sizing of the onsite storage is performed under uncertainty to maximize wind-farm profit (the net present value). Global sensitivity analysis is further carried out for parameters prioritization to highlight the key influential parameters. The results show that the profit of power-to-hydrogen-to-power case is sensitive to the hydrogen price, wind forecasting accuracy and hydrogen storage price. When hydrogen price ranges in (2, 6) €/kg, installing only electrolyzer can earn profits over 100 k€/MWWP in 9% scenarios with capacity below 250 kW/MWWP, under high hydrogen price (over 4 €/kg); while installing only fuel cell can achieve such high profits only in 1.3% scenarios with capacity below 180 kW/MWWP. Installing both electrolyzer and fuel cell (only suggested in 22% scenarios) results in profits below 160 k€/MWWP, and particularly 20% scenarios allow for a profit below 50 k€/MWWP due to the contradictory effects of wind forecasting error, hydrogen and electricity price. For lithium battery, investment cost is the single highly influential factor, which should be reduced to 760 €/kWh. The battery capacity is limited to 88 kW h/MWWP. For profits over 100 k€/MWWP (in 3% scenarios), the battery should be with an investment cost below 510 €/kWh and a depth of discharge over 63%. The power-to-hydrogen-to-power case is more advantageous in terms of profitability, reliability and utilization factor (full-load operating hours), while lithium battery is more helpful to reduce the lost wind and has less environmental impact considering current hydrogen market.
Ligang Wang
added an update
The W2G partner, DTU, also participated in the QUALYGRIDS project, which finished recently. It is surprising that the dynamics of the alkaline electrolyzer for hydrogen production is not as bad as described in the literature; while it is in fact competitive to PEM electrolytes. The test standard developed by the project will be submitted to the ISO.
See more information from the link:
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
EPFL team just published a paper to investigate the thermodynamic performance of different power-to-x-to-power process chains with x being hydrogen, methane, methanol, syngas and ammonia.
Title: Reversible solid-oxide cell stack based power-to-x-to-power systems: Comparison of thermodynamic performance
The increasing penetration of variable renewable energies poses new challenges for grid management. The economic feasibility of grid-balancing plants may be limited by low annual operating hours if they work either only for power generation or only for power storage. This issue might be addressed by a dual-function power plant with power-to-x capability, which can either produces electricity or stores excess renewable electricity into chemicals at different periods. Such a plant can be uniquely enabled by a solid-oxide cell stack, which can switch between fuel cell and electrolysis with the same stack. This paper investigates the optimal conceptual design of this type of plant, represented by power-to-x-to-power process chains of hydrogen, syngas, methane, methanol and ammonia, concerning the efficiency (on a lower heating value) and power densities. The results show that an increase in current density leads to an increased oxygen flow rate and a decreased reactant utilization at the stack level for its thermal management, and an increased power density and a decreased efficiency at the system level. The power-generation efficiency is ranked as methane (65.9%), methanol (60.2%), ammonia (58.2%), hydrogen (58.3%), syngas (53.3%) at 0.4~\si{A/cm^2}, due to the benefit of heat-to-chemical-energy conversion by chemical reformulating and the deterioration of electrochemical performance by the dilution of hydrogen. The power storage efficiency is ranked as syngas (80%), hydrogen (74%), methane (72%), methanol (68%), ammonia (66%) at 0.7~\si{A/cm^2}, mainly due to the benefit of co-electrolysis and the chemical energy loss occurring in the chemical synthesis reactions. The lost chemical energy improves plant-wise heat integration and compensates for its adverse effect on power-storage efficiency. Combining these efficiency numbers of the two modes results in a rank of round-trip efficiency: methane (47.5%) > syngas (43.3%) ≈ hydrogen (42.6%) > methanol (40.7%) > ammonia (38.6%). The obtained pool of plant designs lays the basis for the optimal deployment of this balancing technology for specific applications.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
A paper has been published by the DTU partner on the methodology of predicting the grid flexibility needs at different timescales. Based on the method, we obtained hourly profiles of grid flexibility needs for the W2G project.
More details can be found in the attached paper.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
On 29th, the W2G project was evaluated by two experts from Germany, who gave very challenging questions. However, the whole consortium has worked together, as usual, to answer or defense the project in a very clear sense. The reviewers were happy with the achievement of the project and agreed with our procedure towards the next phase.
Using this opportunity, on 28th, the coordinator Dr.-Ing. Ligang WANG presented the project overview to three project officers from FCH JU and had a fruitful discussion on the potential and competition of the project with other technologies.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
The W2G project coordinator, Dr. Ligang Wang, gave a presentation related to W2G results on a joint workshop between EERA, FCH and BALANCE project. The presentation was on the solid-oxide cell systems for sector coupling.
Some more information on the event can be found below:
EERA Joint Programmes FCH and Energy Storage
with support from the Horizon 2020 project BALANCE
Putting the hydrogen into hybridization:
how fuel cells and electrolysers can support energy storage
WHEN: November 5, 2019, 11:00-18:30
WHERE: ENEA Headquarters, Lungotevere Thaon di Revel 76, Rome, Italy
Joint workshop of the EERA JPs FCH and Energy Storage, targeting the higher level of the scientific
community and strategy makers for Research & Innovation in Europe. It aims to bring together views on the utilization of hydrogen in hybridization with various technologies as means for energy storage. Technological and infrastructural updates will be merged with debates on sustainability aspects and the pathways for implementation in the coming EU Framework Programme, Horizon Europe, and beyond.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
The consortium has been reunioned to discuss the progress and mid-term review, scheduled in Nov 28-29 in Brussels, FCH JU premise.
The discussion went on very well and the W2G concept look promising for the future scenarios with very high variable renewable energy production.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
The project coordinator had a research stay in the partner Technical University of Denmark to discuss how the plant is going to interact with the grid for balancing services. The balancing price which means the stand-by revenues and balancing energy revenues, will be considered.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
A telecall organized in March have discussed several critical points related to the design and operation of W2G plants, particularly on the balancing profiles and the preliminary purpose of W2G plants, the balancing needs to be taken by the W2G plants, electricity price taker. A slight change in the project implementation has been confirmed.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
The kick-off meeting of W2G was successfully completed in FCH JU's premise in Brussels on 17 Jan 2019. The project now is on track and the partners are ready to go for this exciting project.
 
Ligang Wang
added an update
Plant concept
 
Ligang Wang
added a project goal
The overall objective of the Waste2GridS (W2G) project is to identify the most promising industrial pathways of waste gasification and solid-oxide cell (SOC) integrated power-balancing plants (W2G plants in short). The project aims are to perform a preliminary investigation on the long-term techno-economic feasibility of W2G plants to meet different grid-balancing needs and to identify several promising business cases with necessary preconditions. To achieve such goals, an interdisciplinary team is formed by gathering leading research bodies and companies in Europe in the fields of solid-oxide reversible cells (SORC), waste identification, gasification and syngas cleaning, grid operation, and energy/process systems engineering. The results of the project will further enhance the knowledge exchange and interaction among different key players (manufacturers, investors, and research institutions), provide useful guidelines for technology development/deployment and market positioning, increase long-term competitiveness and leadership of relevant industries, and provide knowledge for policy support on W2G plants for a circular economy and for the decarbonisation of European energy systems.