H2StorFa | Decentralized use of hydrogen as energy storage at factory sites

Green hydrogen for industry

Ensuring energy supply is a growing challenge for manufacturing companies, not only in Germany. In a tense environment with sharply rising electricity and gas prices, companies continue to try to contribute to the achievement of climate goals in the long term. The so-called »green hydrogen« plays a vital role in shaping the energy supply of companies in a sustainable and economical way.

Electrolyzer in a 20-foot container, hydrogen storage and renewable generation systems.
© malp - stock.adobe.com
Electrolyzer in a 20-foot container, hydrogen storage and renewable generation systems.

Energetic use of hydrogen to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions

This is where the research project »H2StorFa - Decentralized use of hydrogen as energy storage at factory sites« comes in: As part of the project, which was funded by the Bavarian Research Foundation, the possibilities and potentials of using green hydrogen were investigated, especially for factory sites of small and medium-sized companies.

Industrial companies can benefit from the decentralized generation and use of hydrogen at their factory sites, for example by efficiently using electricity from their own generation plants (such as photovoltaics) and storing it seasonally. Ultimately, this will reduce overall electricity costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

However, planning such concepts is extremely complex due to the wide range of uses and technologies that can be applied, as well as site-specific conditions. Assessing the ecological and economic benefits is very time-consuming, which is why little expertise is available in this area to date.

In the »H2StorFa« project therefore different variants of energy systems (generation, storage, etc.) were modeled, simulated and then ecologically and economically evaluated for typical applications in industry. The focus was on:

  • Hydrogen as an energy storage system with reverse power generation,
  • Hydrogen mobility for company vehicles and
  • Direct hydrogen use for technical applications

Simulation model for energy supply with hydrogen

in the »H2StorFa« project

© Fraunhofer IGCV (Simulation software TOP-Energy®)
Model of an energy supply system with an electrolyser, hydrogen storage and fuel cell in the simulation software TOP-Energy®

Sustainable and economical energy use paths

In the »H2StorFa« project, real production and energy data were considered.  So far, the following findings have been derived for the individual usage paths:

Hydrogen as energy storage

Electricity generation costs between 43 and 79 ct/kWh were determined in the use path »Hydrogen as energy storage«. Under certain boundary conditions, it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 21 percent compared to the reference scenario of the German electricity mix by converting the green hydrogen back into electricity using a fuel cell.

Hydrogen mobility

With fuel costs for hydrogen vehicles of 12 to 15 ct/km compared to the reference costs of diesel vehicles, the »hydrogen mobility« utilization pathway has already demonstrated an economically attractive alternative. And greenhouse gas emissions could also be reduced by around 60 percent compared with diesel-powered passenger cars.

Direct hydrogen use

The use of »direct hydrogen« also showed a financial result with a cost price of 6.3 €/kg. Depending on the scenario, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions was between 35 and 65 percent and is therefore also ecologically attractive.

Further optimization by means of demonstration plants

The promising simulation results are now being used in follow-up projects. Real demonstration plants in small and medium-sized enterprises are being developed and investigated in order to optimize further the sustainability and economic viability of the various utilization paths based on flexible and adaptable energy systems as well as the optimal design and operating strategy. The use of hydrogen as an energy source may also become interesting in the future for companies that have not yet used hydrogen or have only used it as a material.

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Industry solutions

The key sectors of Fraunhofer IGCV:

  • Mechanical and plant engineering
  • Aerospace
  • Automotive and commercial vehicles


We are shaping the way into the future of efficient engineering, networked production and intelligent multi-material solutions.

Reference projects

To the overview of reference projects at Fraunhofer IGCV.