In the Metalot Future Energy Lab a test facility is currently being realised to safely and responsibly experiment with prototypes using hydrogen: the Metalot H2 Fieldlab.
Hydrogen gas is an important energy carrier and will become even more important as a building block for a more sustainable society. Much research and development is focused on technology to produce hydrogen sustainably and to store and transport hydrogen in an efficient and safe way. For the further development of Metal Power technology (see box) and for the development of innovative H2 prototypes, test facilities are needed so that the first pre-industrial system tests can be carried out. Therefore Metalot realises the H2 fieldlab!
Working with the highly flammable and explosive H2 gas requires good and safe facilities, which have a degree of flexibility to test different (reactor) prototypes that work with hydrogen gas. Designed as a box-in-a-box, the interior space offers sufficient room to test pre-industrial prototypes. The H2 fieldlab that will be realised has a size of 3.3 x 3.3 x 4.0 m (l x w x h). As often specialised measuring equipment is used, an active air ventilation ensures that the H2 concentration in the environment remains well below the H2 LEL limit, and therefore no ATEX compatible equipment is needed. And active monitoring of H2 concentrations linked to the safety system means that work can be done safely and responsibly within Metalot's doors.
Phase 1 was the installation of the outer shell of the Metalot H2 fieldlab, which was carried out by the company CWN Spuitcabines & Cleanrooms, including the installation of the ventilation system. The inner space and the gas cylinder storage are currently being realised by AlphaProTech. They will also take care of the commissioning of the space and the automatic safety procedures. The aim is to have the H2 field lab ready for the official opening and public day of the Metalot Future Energy lab on 18 and 20 May 2022.
The development of Metal Power technology gets an enormous boost thanks to the H2 fieldlab, because we can accommodate both systems within the doors of the Metalot FEL. This way, we can quickly and efficiently test the quality of the powder after combustion and regeneration, and thus demonstrate and optimise the circularity of metal powder for energy storage at a single location.