Liège Airport to convert surplus solar energy into hydrogen
The regional airport of Liège (Belgium) is to convert its surplus solar energy into hydrogen to be used in its fleet of vehicles and to recuperate the heat generated by the electrolysis process for heating its buildings. For this pilot it signed a contract with Seraing based engineering group, Cockerill Maintenance & Ingénierie (CMI).
“One third of the energy produced by windmills and solar panels isn’t used because it’s produced at the wrong moment, when it’s not needed for immediate consumption”, CMI says. One of the elements of the energetic transition is to stock this energy for usage at a better moment.
20.000 square metres of solar panels
Liège Airport has some 20.000 square metres of solar panels installed. Goal is to use the surplus electricity that would be left unused at high production peaks, to make hydrogen by electrolysis. The hydrogen can be used to fuel airport vehicles with fuel cell propulsion and the heat produced in the process can be used for heating the airport buildings.
The project is called ‘HaYrport’ and the first phase, the technical feasibility study and possible ways to use the hydrogen has started. For CMI the pilot is important as a locally anchored showcase to be used for convincing potential clients like transport companies, taxi fleets or other fleet owners of utilitarian vehicles, Jean-Luc Maurange, CEO explains.