Image: New West Town

Prac­ti­cal test in Esslin­gen: Safe hydro­gen solu­tions for cli­mate-friend­ly urban districts

In the “Neue West­stadt” in Esslin­gen, an inno­v­a­tive and sus­tain­able urban quar­ter is being built on an area of 100,000 m² with around 450 apart­ments, office and com­mer­cial space and a new build­ing for the Esslin­gen Uni­ver­si­ty of Applied Sci­ences. This is the first time that the pro­duc­tion and use of green hydro­gen has been realised at neigh­bour­hood lev­el. The tech­ni­cal “heart” of the quar­ter is an under­ground ener­gy cen­tre in which green hydro­gen is pro­duced by elec­trol­y­sis using sur­plus solar pow­er from the pho­to­volta­ic sys­tems on the roofs. The hydro­gen can be con­vert­ed back into elec­tric­i­ty via a com­bined heat and pow­er plant, fed into the nat­ur­al gas grid for long-term stor­age or used to sup­ply region­al indus­tri­al and mobil­i­ty companies.

TÜV SÜD pro­vid­ed safe­ty engi­neer­ing sup­port for the devel­op­ment and imple­men­ta­tion of the ener­gy con­cept for the “Neue West­stadt” in Esslin­gen. The spe­cial chal­lenge was the inte­gra­tion of hydro­gen pro­duc­tion into an urban quar­ter. For exam­ple, much more com­pre­hen­sive require­ments must be tak­en into account in the approval process in pub­lic areas than on green­field sites or indus­tri­al sites with restrict­ed access. TÜV SÜD’s safe­ty assess­ment cov­ered not only the elec­trol­yser for hydro­gen pro­duc­tion, but all the nec­es­sary sys­tems and com­po­nents for the gen­er­a­tion, stor­age, dis­tri­b­u­tion and recon­ver­sion of the hydro­gen pro­duced — includ­ing a hydro­gen pipeline laid in the ground and a hydro­gen fill­ing plant.

TÜV SÜD has exten­sive exper­tise and expe­ri­ence in hydro­gen tech­nolo­gies, from pro­duc­tion, stor­age and dis­tri­b­u­tion to appli­ca­tions in a wide range of sec­tors and the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of green hydro­gen. A com­pre­hen­sive overview of these ser­vices is avail­able on the Inter­net at