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Fraunhofer IEE

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Green hydrogen and clean water through microgrid in South Africa and Namibia

By: Romy de Weert
The German Fraunhofer Institute is working with other companies to build a microgrid for green hydrogen in South Africa and Namibia. This should provide the local population with more stable energy. The oxygen released when water is split into oxygen and hydrogen - called electrolysis - is used to purify wastewater.

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The HyTrA (Hydrogen Tryout Area) project should use hydrogen to ensure a more stable electricity grid in Africa. Unlike the megawatt and gigawatt projects of major investors on the continent, this project aims to make and use the hydrogen in Africa. “This is intended to create local acceptance and enable value creation through this new technology,” the Fraunhofer Institute writes in a press release.

In the South African capital of Cape Town and near the Namibian port of Walvis Bay, so-called microgrids should contribute to a sustainable and emission-free power supply in the future. In this energy system, electrolysers are used to make green hydrogen from the surplus green electricity from solar and wind farms in the area. When electricity is needed, the fuel cells convert the green hydrogen back into electricity. In practice, for example, there should always be a stable power supply.

Purify waste water
And the project goes one step further. In Walvis Bay, the oxygen produced during electrolysis is used to treat wastewater. As a result, the local school in Walvis Bay can use the water to water the vegetable fields.

The Fraunhofer Institute writes that know-how from Germany is used at the start of the project. “As the project progresses, local partners will become increasingly involved. Industry, science and society will have numerous opportunities to use this microgrid.”
Self-sufficient energy system
From the end of 2023, the project will be launched at the University of Namibia (NUST). The 300 students then have reliable electricity available during class; the garden can also be irrigated with the purified water as needed.

Do you agree?

28 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Jengaj John

    45 w

    Current momentum on green hydrogen is outstanding.

    • Princess

      46 w

      This innovative approach not only addresses energy and water challenges but also showcases the potential of integrated solutions for sustainable development in the region.

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