StoRIES Infrastructures: TNO ESPN

ES Platform Netherlands (ESPN) of TNO includes facilities for experimental research from lab to full-scale. Its flagship is the Rijswijk Centre for Sustainable Geo Energy for full-scale and prototype-scale pilot-testing of materials, components and new techniques for drilling, operating and monitoring of wells and reservoirs of subsurface ES systems under high pressure and temperature (e.g. heat, electrolytes, compressed air, hydrogen).

State of the art: TNO’s ESPN includes a 385m deep cased experimental well and full-scale drilling rig and testing units for subsurface drilling under in-situ conditions. A test fa cility for controlled experiments for high-temperature (up to 95°C) heat storage in subsurface aquifers with high-grade monitoring systems is being built. Furthermore, it includes prototype-scale (and smaller) experimental set-ups (flow loops, tri-axial pressure benches, H2 exposure) 

for underground storage of hydrogen, compressed air, and heat under in-situ conditions.  This is complemented by laboratory for (reversible) electrolysis technologies, heat storage in molten salts, synthetic fuels, thermo-chemical heat battery, redox flow electrolytes, geochemical reactions and geomechanical effects for hydrogen storage.

Services currently offered by the infrastructure:

ESPN’s open-innovation laboratories offer state-of-the art facilities for low-to-high TRL R&D on (subsurface) ES technologies at full-scale (unit cost 13.5kEUR/week), prototype-scale (unit cost 8.5kEUR/week) and lab-scale (unit cost 7kEUR/week). Highly-skilled technical, scientific and safety staff is present on site to support visiting scientists and companies prior, during and after experiments. TNO always works together closely with industry, public sector, and the supply chain in developing new products, components, services, and knowledge.