Energy storage is critical in ensuring reliable power supply to critical infrastructure, such as healthcare facilities, data centers, and telecoms. Hydrogen is an energy storage strategy, and researchers are developing materials that can help store hydrogen for long periods at affordable rates and high energy efficiency.
a team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab have discovered that backup power systems based on sponge-like materials called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs, might be cost-competitive with other energy storage technologies for backup power. In collaboration with researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and UC Berkeley, the researchers conducted a techno-economic analysis and process modeling to analyze system performance.
MOFs have high surface areas and hydrogen adsorption capacities, allowing hydrogen molecules to cling to the MOF cavities, according to Peng Peng, a postdoctoral researcher and lead author. Specifically for backup power applications, MOFs have a simple charge/discharge mechanism, which allows the stored hydrogen to be immediately discharged without the use of chemical reactions.
The researchers discovered that, in backup power applications under 10-MW, selected MOF systems may be cost-competitive with other large-scale, stationary backup power applications, such as pumped-storage hydropower and batteries. MOFs are also cost-competitive with liquid hydrogen storage and have a higher system-level energy density than compressed hydrogen storage.
Hydrogen storage for backup power isn''t yet commercially available, but existing MOFs have been demonstrated in hydrogen storage tanks, and several startup companies are collaborating to advance this technology, according to the Berkeley Lab scientist and her author. Further research and development of MOFs might have a significant impact on increased resilience.