An EU-funded project that combines the efficient use of renewable energy technologies with water electrolysis for energy efficient buildings

The European Commission presented the four year H2SusBuild project that aims at developing an energy self-sustainable and zero-CO2-emission building by integrating a hybrid energy system, where the storage of hydrogen provides the energy supply in instances where renewable sources are lacking.

With funding of €6.7 million under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7), the four year H2SusBuild project combines the efficient use of renewable energy technologies like wind power generators and photovoltaic panels with water electrolysis, a process that produces hydrogen. The researchers team highlighted that this means that when renewable energy is in short supply, hydrogen can instead be used to produce electricity and heat. Conversely, too much renewable power can be converted into hydrogen for use at a later date.

Researchers also reported that H2SusBuild was demonstrated in a building located in Greece through firstly a reduced-scale pilot project and a subsequent full-scale installation. This demonstration was a success and showcased the technical feasibility of installing and operating such a system within a real building. Moreover, it assessed the measures put in place to operate safely despite the use of hydrogen, resulting in guidelines being developed for the element's future use in buildings.

H2SusBuild involved a number of European- as well as international-wide dissemination actions including being broadcast in over 130 countries and ten languages. The project is also fully in line with the objectives of the Energy-efficient Buildings Public Private Partnership (EeB PPP), launched by the Commission in 2008.