RGU wins $1.5 million to establish hydrogen testing facility in Scotland

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has been awarded £1.2 million ($1.5m) of funding by the Scottish Government to establish a hydrogen testing facility at the National Subsea Centre (NSC) in Aberdeen.

According to RGU, the funding comes as part of the Hydrogen Innovation Scheme, a £7 million ($8.8m) capital funding stream of the Emerging Energy Technologies Fund (EETF), designed to support the development of renewable hydrogen technologies needed to support the Scottish Government’s ambition of 5 GW installed hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

RGU described the testing facility, Hy-One, as a comprehensive one-stop hydrogen storage testing facility, providing plug-and-play testing and demonstrations for hydrogen storage systems and prototypes, adding that the facility will support the development, demonstration and implementation of small-to-large-scale compressed hydrogen storage vessels and their accessories.

RGU said the funding will also enable it to undertake two feasibility studies: the first, ‘Hybrid Hydrogen Storage and Distribution Vessels,’ seeks to identify low-cost, lightweight hydrogen storage and distribution vessels that can be utilised in many industries on a global scale, and the second one, ‘H2Gen Hydrogen Fuel Cell UPS,’ aims to develop a Hydrogen Power Generation that acts as a back-up Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to replace the non-environmentally friendly backup batteries (Li-Ion or Lead-acid) and diesel generators currently used as domestic and commercial UPS.

John McCall, NSC Director, said: “This fantastic award from the Scottish Government is a major boost for the NSC’s Integrated Energy research programme and will build on the existing research strengths of our team. As one of the globe’s pioneering hydrogen cities, Aberdeen is the ideal location for the new testing facility as its importance as a green energy hub grows.”

James Njuguna, School of Engineering Associate Dean for Research and Knowledge Exchange at RGU and RSE Fellow, commented: “Receiving this funding represents a very exciting opportunity as the Hy-One testing facility will directly impact Scotland’s increasing production of green hydrogen and will enhance renewable energy and zero carbon production.”

“Hy-One will fast-track the availability of local testing and support services on storage materials, accessories and products to acceptable industrial standards. As a result of this, research and development costs will be lower and design time to commercialisation routes will shorten.”

First Minister of Scotland Humza Yousaf noted: “I am pleased to be able to confirm that through this scheme, grants worth a total of £7 million have been allocated to 32 different projects. The projects show the range of possible ways in which hydrogen can be produced, used and stored and highlight the expertise and innovation that is already such an important part of the sector, while of course demonstrating the scale of the opportunities that hydrogen can create.”

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