Sir Samuel Griffith Centre

September 23rd, 2020

Sir Samuel Griffith Centre

The Sir Samuel Griffith Centre at Griffith University is designed to operate independently of the electricity grid using a solar array and hydrogen (storage) technology.

Main proponents:

Griffith University

Main end-use classification:

Microgrid applications – power use


Operating – 2013

Estimated cost:


Other involvement:


Production details:

Capacity to produce hydrogen at 2.7 kilograms per hour


Queensland, Australia

Announced funding:


Project description

The Sir Samuel Griffith Centre, which opened in mid-2013 at Griffith University, in Brisbane, Queensland, is designed to operate independently of the electricity grid and to generate zero carbon emissions in operation. The Centre is powered by a 376 kiloWatt (kW) solar array and hydrogen (storage) technology.

The Centre is fitted with more than 1,000 solar (photovoltaic) panels, covering the roof and window shades. On sunny days, these panels produce more than enough electricity to power the building. Excess solar energy produced by the photovoltaic system is stored in over 1,000 lithium-ion batteries.

When these batteries are fully charged, excess solar electricity powers a 160 kW (Alkaline) electrolyser, which can produce hydrogen at a rate of 2.7 kilograms (kg) per hour.

The hydrogen is stored in a stable form as metal hydrides. This custom-manufactured storage system has a capacity of 120 kg of hydrogen, equivalent to 2 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity; and based on average consumption rates, can power the building for several days of zero sunshine.

During days of zero or poor sunshine, the hydrogen can be released from storage (by heating the metal hydrides) and used to generate electricity in a hydrogen fuel cell.  Electricity is produced from the stored hydrogen by two 30 kW (PEM) fuel cells.

An overview of the energy system operation at the Sir Samuel Griffith Centre, and the importance attached to the use of hydrogen for long-term storage of solar energy, is provided in a video presentation from Griffith University.


Updated; September 2021