Master students create a hydrogen-based storage system on Kökar island
Kökar Island Challenge
What is the best way to tackle modern energy challenges?
A team of MSc in Environomical Pathways for Sustainable Energy Systems students are looking to renovate the whole energy system – by addressing small-scale scenarios to find scalable solutions. For their Project of the Year (PoY), they are designing a hydrogen- integrated hybrid storage solution for a small island in Finland. If they succeed, this solution can be a great way to bring off-grid renewable energy to other remote areas around the globe!
Team member Sara Gonella shares, “The REMOTE (Remote area Energy supply with Multiple Options for integrated hydrogen-based Technologies) project is an EU-funded project developed in the H2020 context. It aims to guarantee the self-sustainability of isolated micro-grid and off-grid sites such as islands, without the need for fossil fuels, by using locally available renewable energy sources and hydrogen storage technology.
REMOTE is currently implementing four demos in four different European locations. Our goal is to replicate this model on Kökar island. Kökar has around 235 inhabitants, but also 18,000 tourists visiting during the summer which creates a highly volatile energy demand.” The team hopes to meet the energy needs by backing up their existing wind/solar resources with a new hydrogen storage system (for excesses) backed by battery banks (for stability) and a diesel generator (to kick in when the load is not met) – making the island totally energy independent.
Learning how to make a team work
The team shares some final thoughts and how their time at EIT InnoEnergy Master School is preparing them to work effectively on projects such as this one:
“The programme offers us several opportunities to get involved in real challenges, to be in contact with companies, and to live an intense international experience. All of us have very different backgrounds and past experiences so cooperation is sometimes challenging, but it’s always enriching. We are continuously challenged with real problems – so we never stop learning and improving our skills and competencies, especially teamwork. More and more in the coming years, jobs will involve teams on an international scale. We feel fortunate to have the experiences gained in the programme to prepare us for this environment!”