Surf ‘n’ Turf

The Ambition

The concept behind the Surf ‘n Turf project is to enable Orkney to both make and use more electricity locally; to reduce fossil fuels imports and CO2 emissions; and to support Orkney communities and companies to herness locally sourced energy.

How?

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) has invested in an electrolyser to use power from tidal turbines operating at the company’s test site off Eday to produce hydrogen by splitting water.

To build on this, Community Energy Scotland and partners created Surf ‘n’ Turf, so that power from Eday Renewable Energy’s community wind turbine can also be used to produce hydrogen using EMEC’s electrolyser.

Hydrogen can be stored, so it is shipped to Kirkwall where a hydrogen fuel cell is housed on Kirkwall Pier. The fuel cell converts the hydrogen back into electricity by mixing it with oxygen from the air. This electricity can power facilities in the Harbour area, and the ferries when docked.

Watch this three-minute video explaining what the Surf ‘n’ Turf project involves and how the technology works.

In addition, the Surf ‘n’ Turf project is building this fuel cell to marine standards, as it would be on a ship, which will create a unique UK facility to allow mariners to train in Orkney for any future hydrogen powered vessel. 

And the future?

Through Surf ’n’ Turf, Orkney is pioneering practical uses of hydrogen. Training and new opportunities with clean fuels are potentially of significance to shipping and other industries – as well as to communities that are rich in renewable energy resources, but have grid issues of their own. 

The Surf ’n’ Turf project has attracted £1.46 million in development funding from the Scottish Government’s Local Energy Challenge Fund. 

It is co-funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, under the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. 

The project is led by Community Energy Scotland, alongside partners EMEC, Orkney Island Council, Eday Renewable Energy and ITM Power. 

PITCHES

Between August 2017 and April 2019, PITCHES integrated with the pre-existing Surf ‘n’ Turf and BIG HIT projects in Orkney as a basis for assessing the market potential for renewable hydrogen systems serving remote communities, including those in sub-Saharan Africa, showing that hydrogen-based energy systems have the potential to reduce reliance on imported fuels, reduce carbon emissions, and in future as the technology develops, to reduce energy costs.

The Malawi / Southern Africa element of the PITCHES project explored the replicability of such systems to isolated, off-grid communities in Sub Saharan Africa, by testing configurations of the system, and identifying business models which best suit off-grid communities in developing countries. In the developing world, there are many remote communities with little or no grid access – the Energy Africa campaign estimates that 70% of the Sub-Saharan population is without electricity access, and 50% of businesses there view a lack of reliable power as a major barrier to business. Whilst other energy storage technologies, such as batteries, may be more suitable for the smallest communities, integrated hydrogen systems could have potential to support medium sized communities with hydrogen mini-grids, and also the potential in future to support nascent enterprises and industries through providing local transport fuel.  

In 2018 Mark Hull & Rona Mackay visited Community Energy Malawi (CEM) to work on the PITCHES project with our sister organisation. After visiting CEM’s offices in Lilongwe and meeting the staff there, they embarked on a trip around Malawi with Edgar Bayani (CEM CEO) and Chawazi Gondwe (PITCHES Development Officer) to visit some of the micro-grids in villages across Malawi.   

Watch this video for an overview of CEM’s work in Malawi.

Chikwawa and Sitolo 

In Chikwawa, South of Blantyre, they visited two projects on different scales where solar panels were charging batteries and lights which were then loaned out to businesses and households to provide power and light. In the West they called into Sitolo where CES and CEM are supporting three villages and who were soon to have their micro-grid installed. Electricity is supplied directly to the houses in this instance. 

Kasangazi and two neighbouring villages 

In the North Rona and Mark met Corled Nkosi who developed and hand built the Kasangazi Hydro and supported the creation of two further hydros in nearby villages. Over 2,000 people have benefitted from Corled’s determination and skills.  

Power from the hydro is supplied to Corled’s village on handmade poles with bare copper wires. Although rudimentary the three hydros are life-changing for local villagers, giving the school light in the evenings for pupils to study, electric bulbs in homes to replace candles and oil lamps which have health and safety risks. There is now also supply to a local garage enabling a business to grow and bring much needed economic activity to the area. 

Thank you to Community Energy Malawi for hosting our visit. In return we were able to share our knowledge and practical experience of using hydrogen in Orkney with the CEM team when they came to visit us in 2019. 

Read the full report here

 

OHLEH

Outer Hebrides Local Energy Hub: Sustainable and competitive options to increase resilience of remote businesses.

The project is taking place on the Isle of Lewis across two sites – a waste management facility and a fish hatchery – demonstrating a circular energy economy that will have relevance and learning for other projects. 

Waste Management Facility

The Creed Integrated Waste Management Facility (IWMF), located just outside Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, is owned and operated by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (CnES), the Local Authority for the Western Isles. Current features of the site include an anaerobic digester (AD), combined heat and power plant (CHP), electric boiler and thermal store, a wind turbine and a hydrogen system comprising electrolyser, storage and refuelling station.

Fish Hatchery

The Scottish Salmon Company (SSC) owns and operates four hatcheries, 12 marine fish farms and one processing facility on the Island of Lewis and Harris.  The salmon hatchery at Barvas, Isle of Lewis, will be the main focus of this project, although fish waste from all SSC sites in Lewis and Harris will be able to be deposited at the Creed IWMF.

© Google Maps

OHLEH intends to integrate fish waste along with household and garden waste anaerobic digestion at Creed IWMF. In managing fish waste in this way rather than sending it all to landfill, OHLEH will have a positive impact both environmentally and economically.

Biogas produced from the waste in the AD is used to fuel the existing on-site CHP.  Some of the electricity generated by the CHP is sent to a hydrogen system to produce hydrogen and oxygen.  The system will also make use of some of the electricity from the wind turbine on site, which is often subject to curtailment due to grid constraints.  In this way, OHLEH maximises the use of existing assets.

Both hydrogen and oxygen are captured, compressed and delivered to the hatchery for local use. Oxygenation is essential to aquaculture, and hydrogen will be used in a small fuel cell which will provide electricity to the site. Energy and oxygen can both be seen as critical supplies. OHLEH opens a route for sustainable and competitive options to increase resilience of remote businesses.

The hydrogen system at Creed includes a refuelling station, and some of the hydrogen will be used to refill a dual-fuel Refuse Collection Vehicle (RCV) operating on hydrogen/diesel.  The RCV will be used to collect local waste, part of which ends in the biogas production system.

Most of the equipment for this project is already installed; essentially OHLEH looks at how to link the existing assets together, leading to the creation of a circular and innovative local energy economy.

Technical Information

Wind turbine300kW
Grid connection limited to 225kW
Anaerobic digesterCapacity: 960m3
Production: Between 60m3 and 80m3 per day (as a general average)
Expected biogas yield 448,412m3/year (mix fish/domestic waste)
CHP240kW electrical and 370kW heat output
Minimum combusting 80Nm3/h of biogas
(c. 48Nm3 of Methane)
Annual operating hours expected to reach 4990h
Hydrogen systemAlkaline electrolyser, 30kW – 5.3Nm3/h – 0.45kg/h
350bar compression, storage and refuelling equipment
Refuse Collection Vehicle5kg of Hydrogen
Stored at 350bar
Fuel cell5kW

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