The story of Raphaël van de Velde

We need to improve our systems of energy storage. I first had this thought seven years ago. I’d started doing a bit of research because I was looking for a new challenge. I came into contact with Wiebrand Kout from Elestor, a start-up working on the development of a hydrogen bromide flow battery. There was a need for cheap energy and Wiebrand’s battery was capable of meeting it. The idea of a hydrogen bromide battery wasn’t new, though. It had originally been conceived by NASA but was never realised.

In 2017, we conducted a test with the hydrogen bromide battery in the parking lot of our Leeuwenbrug office in Deventer. This was followed by a larger-scale test in Emmeloord in 2020. These tests taught us a lot about hydrogen and the related safety and permit considerations.

Over the past seven years, I’ve seen an increased interest in the development of hydrogen as an energy carrier. This is why we went looking for partners to work with in developing a system for green hydrogen production. We wanted to just get out there and do it – and show that it can be safe. In 2020, we began a collaboration with businesses and institutes in Deventer for the purpose of developing a scalable hydrogen system: GROHW – GReen, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Waste heat. The intended result of GROHW is a scalable design that can be applied in various industrial contexts.

Thanks to GROHW, Witteveen+Bos is now widely regarded as an expert in hydrogen. Our assistance has been requested for a range of projects involving hydrogen in the Netherlands and Belgium. The great thing about Witteveen+Bos is that you’re given the freedom of a professional to develop an idea or project if that’s what you want to do.

'The great thing about Witteveen+Bos is that, as a professional, you are given the freedom to develop an idea or project if that’s what you want to do.'

- Raphaël van de Velde -

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