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ZERO-HYTECHPARK - Zero emissions using renewable energies and hydrogen technologies in building and sustainable mobility in Technology Parks

LIFE08 ENV/E/000136

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Contact details:

Contact person: Fernando PALACÍN
Tel: +34 974 215258

Project description:


Hydrogen offers a clean alternative to fossil fuels. The energy efficiency of hydrogen-based systems is between 50-60% for fuel cell applications and up to 80% for co-generation systems based on fuel cells, affording considerable energy savings. Fuel cells are noiseless, they do not produce pollutant emissions (only steam) and can be designed to scale. In part, buildings can be nearing self-sufficiency by using renewable energies and hydrogen technologies, depending on the power installed.

The key to these new green-business opportunities lies in technological innovation. Fuel cells and hydrogen-related technologies can give companies a competitive advantage. Technology parks have a high potential for implementing new sustainable technologies, training and dissemination activities because of the large number of companies that promote sustainable development.

Within the European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (HFP) an Implementation Panel (IP) was established in 2006 to implement the HFP strategy for RTD and demonstrate hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. One of the strategy’s four Innovation and Development Actions (IDA) was titled Sustainable Hydrogen Production and Supply. This IDA’s overall objective focused on developing a portfolio of sustainable hydrogen production, storage and distribution processes. A medium-term quantitative target for the programme involved supplying 10–20% of the hydrogen energy demand with CO2 lean or CO2 free hydrogen by 2015.


The ZERO-HYTECHPARK project aimed to design a complete energy accumulation system that uses renewable hydrogen (through water electrolysis and subsequent storage of the hydrogen produced). Such a system would be installed in the beneficiary's building located in the Walqa Technology Park. Guides for implementing the technologies in other buildings were also to be developed. Associated objectives included:

  • Creating hydrogen-fuelled vehicles to demonstrate sustainable mobility with zero emissions in Walqa Technology Park;
  • Implementing a heating system based on hydrogen co-generation;
  • Developing an optimal photovoltaic-hydrogen system; and
  • Disseminating results nationally and internationally.

  • Results

    The ZERO-HYTECHPARK used a number of applications to demonstrate that hydrogen technologies can reduce CO2 emissions. This was achieved through the validation of different types of hydrogen-fuelled energy options at the project site. These were:

    • SOLAR THERMAL INSTALLATION - technology to feed the heating and air-conditioning system of the Aragon Hydrogen Foundation building. Use of this solar panel energy as a support to existing heating systems in the Foundation building providing emission reductions of up to 4500 kg of CO2 per year;
    • ISOLATED PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR INSTALLATION - responsible for powering office IT equipment in the Aragon Foundation building, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 7500 kg per year;
    • HY TOW – an automated street cleaning system using a water tank with a pressure hose that allows easy cleaning of streets in urban areas. The fuel cell installed is responsible for powering the water pump and the electric motors responsible for moving the unit;
    • FCEV - converting a vehicle by changing the electric battery to a hydrogen fuel cell. Results provide the car with greater autonomy (up to 50% more) and a reduction in the charging time (from periods of up to 8 hours to a charge time of just 3-4 minutes). The electric motor is powered by electrical energy from the fuel cell, which in turn is fed by compressed hydrogen at 350 bars. The car also includes a system capable of retaining heat generated by the fuel cell, which can then be used to heat the car’s interior. This has the advantage of reducing the car’s total energy consumption;
    • FORKLIFT - transforming a forklift truck by replacing the electric battery with a hydrogen-fed fuel cell. The main problems faced with a traditional electric battery are the long periods needed to recharge it and the lack of autonomy this produces. In an average 8 hours shift, an operator has to stop at least once to replace the spent battery with a charged battery, a process which can take between 15 and 30 minutes. With a hydrogen powered forklift, the recharge is almost immediate. The entire process takes approximately 2-3 minutes, and one charge is sufficient to complete a full 8 hours shift;
    • COGENERATION BATTERY - a fuel cell powered by hydrogen was set up as a cogeneration system (combined heat and power use) in a project prototype. The system offers 4 km of electrical power and 3.5 kW of thermal power, which heats water in a 150l tank from 20ºC to 60ºC over a period of 2 hours. The system yield is 70% - 40% electric, 30% thermal and 30% loss. Hot water can be used as Domestic Hot Water (DHW) or for heating. The main advantage of this system is that it does not produce pollutant emissions;
    • FUEL CELL CONNECTED TO THE POWER GRID - hydrogen cells that reuse the surplus hydrogen from electricity production. Firstly, hydrogen is produced using the surplus of renewable energy generated. The hydrogen is stored in facilities and whenever a boost of extra electricity is needed, the hydrogen fuel cell is used to re-inject electricity into the grid;
    • UPS - an uninterruptible power supply is a device that can supply short-term energy to all devices connected to it when a power cut occurs. The inclusion of a hydrogen fuel cell in an UPS allows the duration of back-up energy provision during a power cut to be increased exponentially. The duration can be days and even weeks compared to the few minutes or hours provided by a conventional system;
    • Improvements in the current hydrogen station were also made by monitoring the main parameters and improving the communication system, as well as developing a system for compressing the gas produced in the foundation through the use of metal hydrides (via a COMURO system). The COMURO compresses hydrogen using thermal energy from a chemical reaction between the hydrogen and a metal alloy containing iron, lanthanum, nickel mixed with other elements. A pressure of 200 bars can be achieved in a single stage. An increase in pressure is possible by increasing the number of stages. In fact experimental systems already exist that can achieve pressure of up to 500 bars.
    • A combination all of these energy applications was shown to reduce CO2 emissions in the Walqa Technology Park, using methods that comply with current legislative standards. Renewable energy installations currently in use in the Walqa Technology Park can now supply between 15% and 45% of the Park’s electricity demand (the difference in the figures is due to seasonal variations in consumption).

      A second energy evaluation investigated heat consumption, in both the Foundation building and the Technology Park as a whole. A detailed analysis of the energy balance of the Foundation building’s solar thermal installation was included in the Zero-Hytechpark project. The result was a reduction of 19% in propane emissions, the energy source of the current heating system.

      A third energy evaluation studied CO2 emissions from by employees’ transport journeys to and from their homes to the Technology Park. This study covered Hydrogen Foundation employees as well as staff from other companies based in the Park. The study of the Foundation also included emissions generated by staff’s work-related journeys.

      Key results for both applications found that 885Nm3of hydrogen would be needed each year to meet the demands of a fleet of vehicles. The surplus hydrogen could help produce around 1060kWh of thermal energy, which could be used by the solar thermal system to further reduce the consumption of propane fuel used in the Foundation building’s heating system.

      It is expected that this project can act as a catalyst for new projects in other installations and other applications from these companies. The project will be a model for other building and installations in terms of demonstrating that is possible to be more self-sufficient with renewable energies and hydrogen technologies.

      An important lesson learned is that projects dealing with very innovative technologies under continued development need to have a good monitoring of the technical advances made in the sector. Such projects also need to have a flexible design of their actions so that they can be easily adapted to new circumstances if required.

      Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


energy saving‚  emission reduction‚  forecast‚  green building‚  renewable energy

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Fundación para el Desarrollo de Nuevas Tecnologías del Hidrógeno en Aragón
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description The co-ordinating beneficiary is a private non-profit organization consisting of 62 companies and institutions whose objectives are to develop the new technologies related to hydrogen and renewable energy and to incorporate renewable energies into new products and industrial processes.
Partners Andalusian Technology Park, Spain Bilbao Technology Park, Spain Walqa Technology Park, Spain


Project reference LIFE08 ENV/E/000136
Duration 01-JAN-2010 to 30-JUN -2014
Total budget 1,408,110.00 €
EU contribution 678,080.00 €
Project location País Vasco(España) Aragón(España) Andalucía(España)


Read more:

Poster Project's posters (1.26 MB)
Project web site Project's website (ES/EN)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía para la implementación de las energías renov ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual "Guía para el cálculo de emisiones de CO²" (2.82 M ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Technical report Project's Final technical report
Publication: Technical report "Action 3, Deliverable 4: Technical and legal docu ...
Slides Presentation "Zerohytechpark: Presentación [del] proyecto y acc ...
Slides Presentation "Sostenibilidad en parques tecnológicos: Zero hyte ...
Video link Project's video (2.09')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version