Next Generation PEM Electrolyser under New Extremes
Water electrolysis supplied by renewable energy is the foremost technology for producing “green” hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles. The ability to follow rapidly an intermittent load makes this an ideal solution for grid balancing. To achieve large-scale application of PEM electrolysers, a significant reduction of capital costs is required together with a large increase of production rate and output pressure of hydrogen, while assuring high efficiency and safe operation. To address these challenges, a step-change in PEM electrolysis technology is necessary. The NEPTUNE project develops a set of breakthrough solutions at materials, stack and system levels to increase hydrogen pressure to 100 bar and current density to 4 A cm-2 for the base load, while keeping the nominal energy consumption.
Remote area Energy supply with Multiple Options for integrated hydrogen-based TEchnologies
REMOTE will demonstrate technical and economic feasibility of two fuel cells-based H2 energy storage solutions (integrated P2P system; non-integrated P2G+G2P system), deployed in 4 DEMOs, based on renewables, in isolated micro-grid or off grid remote areas. DEMO 1: Ginostra (South Italy): off-grid configuration (island); RES based on hybrid system with PV- generators; residential loads on-site; almost complete substitution of fossil fuels. End-user: ENEL Green Power utility; DEMO 2: (Greece): isolated micro-grid application; RES based on hydro generators; industrial (SME) loads onsite; complete substitution of fossil fuels; avoid costs for new transmission line. End-user: Horizon SA owner of hydro plant; DEMO 3: Ambornetti (North Italy): off-grid configuration (remote Alps); RES based on hybrid system with PVbiomass CHP generators; residential loads on-site; complete substitution of fossil fuels. End-user: IRIS stakeholder of the hamlet; DEMO 4: Froan Island (Norway): isolated micro-grid application; RES based on hybrid system with PV-wind generators; residential loads+ fish industry on-site; complete substitution of fossil fuels; avoid costs for new transmission line. End-user: Trønder Energi utility. VALIDATE the 4 DEMO units, to enable suppliers, end-users and general stakeholders to gain experience throughout the value chain of the energy storage; DEMOSTRATE the added value of the fuel cell-based H2 energy storage solutions with respect to alternative technologies in terms of economics, technical and environmental benefits; VALIDATE EU-based sub-MW P2P manufacturing solutions to fill the gap in the European energy storage sector while utilising the existing EU know-how already developed in previous consortium among partners; EXPLOITATION and BUSINESS scenarios for the replication of P2P solutions, considering different typologies of micro-grids (isolated or not); DISSEMINATION, build up confidence among stakeholders and raise public interest.
Reversible solid oxide Electrolyzer and Fuel cell for optimized Local Energy miX
The REFLEX project aims at developing an innovative renewable energies storage solution, the “Smart Energy Hub”, based on reversible Solid Oxide Cell (rSOC) technology, that is to say able to operate either in electrolysis mode (SOEC) to store excess electricity to produce H2, or in fuel cell mode (SOFC) when energy needs exceed local production, to produce electricity and heat again from H2 or any other fuel locally available. The challenging issue of achieving concomitantly high efficiency, high flexibility in operation and cost optimum is duly addressed through improvements of rSOC components (cells, stacks, power electronics, heat exchangers) and system, and the definition of advanced operation strategies. The specifications, detailed system design and the advanced operation strategies are supported by modelling tasks. An in-field demonstration will be performed in a technological park, where the Smart Energy Hub will be coupled to local solar and mini-hydro renewable sources and will provide electricity and heat to the headquarters of the park. It will demonstrate, in a real environment, the high power-to-power round-trip efficiency of this technology and its flexibility in dynamic operation, thus moving the technology from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to 6. The Smart Energy Hub being modular, made of multistacks/multimodules arrangements, scale up studies will be performed to evaluate the techno-economic performance of the technology to address different scales of products for different markets. To reach these objectives, REFLEX is a cross multidisciplinary consortium gathering 9 organisations from 6 member states (France, Italy, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland). The partnership covers all competences necessary: cells and stacks development and testing (ELCOGEN, CEA, DTU), power electronics (USE, GPTech), system design and manufacturing (SYLFEN), system modelling (VTT), field test (Envipark), techno-economical and market analysis (ENGIE).
Clean Refinery Hydrogen for Europe
The REFHYNE project will install and operate a 10MW electrolyser from ITM Power at a large refinery in Rhineland, Germany, which is operated by Shell Deutschland Oils. The electrolyser will provide bulk quantities of hydrogen to the refinery’s hydrogen pipeline system (currently supplied by two steam methane reformers). The electrolyser will be operated in a highly responsive mode, helping to balance the refinery’s internal electricity grid and also selling Primary Control Reserve service to the German Transmission System Operators. The combination of hydrogen sales to the refinery and balancing payments create a business case which justifies this installation. This business case will be evaluated in detail, in a 2 year campaign of techno-economic and environmental analysis. The REFHYNE business model is replicable in markets with a similar regulatory structure to Germany. However, to expand this market to a GW scale, new business models will be needed. These will include valuing green hydrogen as an input to industrial processes (to meet carbon policy targets) and also on sales to H2 mobility markets. The REFHYNE project will gather real world data on these models and will use this to simulate the bulk electrolyser model in a range of market conditions. This will be used to produce reports on the conditions under which the electrolyser business models become viable, in order to provide the evidence base required to justify changes in existing policies. A campaign of targeted dissemination will ensure the results of these studies reach decision makers in large industrial sites, financiers, utilities and policy makers. The REFHYNE electrolyser will be the largest in the world and has been designed as the building block for future electrolysers up to 100MW and beyond. REFHYNE includes a design study into the options for a 100MW electrolyser at the Rhineland refinery, which will help prepare the market for deployments at this scale.
Novel modular stack design for high pressure PEM water electrolyzer technology with wide operation range and reduced cost
Green hydrogen produced by electrolysis might become a key energy carrier for the implementation of renewable energy as a cross-sectional connection between the energy sector, industry and mobility. Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis is the preferred technology for this purpose, yet large facilities can hardly achieve FCH-JU key performance indicators (KPI) in terms of cost, efficiency, lifetime and operability. Consequently, a game changer in the technology is necessary. PRETZEL consortium will develop a 25 kW PEM electrolyzer system based on a patented innovative cell concept that is potentially capable of reaching 100 bar differential pressure. The electrolyzer will dynamically operate between 4 and 6 A cm^(-2) and 90 °C achieving an unprecedented efficiency of 70%. This performance will be maintained for more than 2000 h of operation. Moreover, the capital cost of stack components will be largely reduced by the use of non-precious metal coatings and advanced ceramic aerogel catalyst supports. Likewise, the system balance of plant (BoP) will be optimized for cost reduction and reliability. The high pressure hydrogen generator will become part of the product portfolio of a German manufacturer but at the end of PREZEL, this company will establish a supply business partnership and R&D collaboration with France, Spain, Greece and Rumania, strengthening and consolidating cooperation among EU states with contrasting economies. Lastly, the hydrogen produced by the PEM electrolyzer will not be wasted, but rather used for feeding the fuel cell test stations in one of the partner’s laboratory.
Next-generation Solid Oxide Fuel Cell stack and hot box solution for small stationary applications
OxiGEN aims at developing an innovative SOFC technical platform, including an all-ceramic stack design and a modular hotbox, for small stationary applications. Thanks to its higher durability and simpler design, this novel stack can fulfil the customers’ needs for long lifetime, high efficiency and low cost, in micro-CHP and other segments. A broad pan-European consortium of seven major players (ICI Caldaie, R&D centers Fraunhofer-IKTS, EIFER, CEA Liten, SINTEF, utility ENGIE, global ceramist and project coordinator Saint-Gobain) will partner to integrate the allceramic stack into an original hot box solution. Functional specifications will be set by a qualified Advisory Panel, gathering European system integrators and gas utilities in addition to the JRC and other consortium members. The solution’s design will be modular and will address the specifications and standards suggested by the Advisory Panel, in order to provide a technical platform serving several market segments while fostering open competition between industry players. This new platform is of European ownership and leverages a European supply chain, thus supporting the emergence of a European fuel cell industry fully independent from Asian fuel cell technology. The projects’ technical objectives address all the call challenges: Define, with input from the Advisory Panel, the most suitable hotbox functional specifications for residential and commercial segments Develop a higher power stack to reach the call’s technical targets Develop a modular hot box concept and build a 1kWe prototype (in practice, 500We to 1500We depending on preferred micro-CHP power specification) Assess the performance of the prototype in system-like conditions Study the cost-of-ownership of the solution Propose material-based solutions for future long-term improvements Ensure the manufacturability and compatibility of the new hotbox with the EU supply chain Disseminate results and build the exploitation plan.
Hydrogen supply and transportation using liquid organic hydrogen carriers
Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that will allow the EU to accomplish its strategic targets of zero-emission mobility, integration of renewables and the decarbonisation of industry. However, its low density and explosive nature make hydrogen storage and transport technically challenging, inefficient and very expensive. The Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) technology enables safe and efficient high-density hydrogen storage in an easy-to-handle oil, thus eliminating the need for pressurized tanks for storage and transport. The HySTOC project will demonstrate LOHC-based distribution of high purity hydrogen (ISO 14687:2-2012) to a commercially operated hydrogen refueling station (HRS) in Voikoski, Finland, in an unprecedented field test. Dibenzyltoluene, the LOHC material used within HySTOC is not classified as a dangerous good, is hardly flammable and offers a five-fold increase in storage capacity compared with standard high pressure technology, leading to a transport cost reduction of up to 80%. HySTOC comprises 5 partners (including 2 SMEs, 1 industrial and 2 scientific partners) from 3 European countries (Finland, Germany, The Netherlands). The partners cover the whole value chain from basic research and testing (FAU & VTT) through core technology development (Hydrogenious Technologies and HyGear) to the end-user that will operate the LOHC-based hydrogen infrastructure (Woikoski). The comprehensive and complementary mixture of expertise and know-how provided by the consortium ensures not only an efficient realization of the technical and (pre)commercial objectives of the project, but also the subsequent dissemination and exploitation of the achieved results to maximize its impact within the consortium and the hydrogen market as a whole. In the long term, the LOHC technology developed within HySTOC will allow integration of renewable energy by making it available to hydrogen mobility in an easy-to-handle form and will thus help decarbonize the world.
Hydrogen-aeolic energy with optimised electrolysers upstream of substation
The Haeolus project will install a PEM electrolyser with a capacity of 2 MW in the remote region of Varanger, Norway, inside the Raggovidda wind farm, whose growth is limited by grid bottlenecks. The electrolyser will be integrated with the wind farm, hydrogen storage and a smaller fuel cell for re-electrification. To maximise relevance to wind farms across the EU and the world, the plant will be operated in multiple emulated configurations (energy storage, mini-grid, fuel production). Like many large wind farms, especially offshore, Raggovidda is difficult to access, in particular in winter: Haeolus will therefore deploy a remote monitoring and control system allowing the system to operate without personnel on site. Maintenance requirements will be minimised by a specially developed diagnostic and prognostic system for the electrolysers and BoP systems. The PEM electrolyser is a latest-generation model developed by project partner Hydrogenics. The integrated system will be housed in a specially erected hall to protect it from the Arctic winter and allow year-round access. The integrated system of electrolyser, fuel cells, and wind farm will be designed for flexibility in demonstration, to allow emulating different operating modes and grid services. Haeolus answers the AWP's challenge with a wide project scope, with operation modes not limited to the site's particular needs but extended to all major use cases, and several in-depth analyses (released as public reports) on the business case of electrolysers in wind farms, their impact on energy systems and the environment, and their applicability in a wide range of conditions.
Grid assisting modular hydrogen PEM power plant
The GRASSHOPPER project aims to create a next-generation MW-size Fuel Cell Power Plant unit (FCPP), which is more cost-effective and flexible in power output, accomplishing an estimated CAPEX below 1500 EUR/kWe at a yearly production rate of 25 MWe. Large MW size PEM FCPP have been demonstrated, such as in the DEMCOPEM-2MW project, however at too high Capex level and without dynamic operation features for grid support. Grasshopper tackles these issues enabling a controlled, renewables-based energy infrastructure. The power plant will be demonstrated in the field as 100 kW sub-module pilot plant, implementing newly developed stacks, MEA’s and BoP system components, combining benefits of coherent design integration. Cost and technical optimisation will be achieved with improvements targeting MEAs (increasing current density, active area, reducing material costs incl. Pt loading), stack design (increasing stack size, power density and operating pressures, while streamlining manufacturability) and overall system balance of plant (modular design, simplified header and manifolds for gas distribution, high efficiency PV inverters, using off-the-shelf equipment where possible). This unit will be operated continuously for 8 months in industrially-relevant environment for engaging grid support modulation as part of an established on-site Demand Side Management (DSM) programme. This consortium unites component suppliers (JMFC, NFCT), research institutions (ZBT, Polimi) and integrators (AI, INEA) who will partner with existing energy market stakeholders (DSO, TSO) and EU smart grid projects committed to participate as advisory board members. This collaboration maximises the business case value proposition, by ensuring the delivered technology will respond to grid services’ requirements for flexible dynamic power operation. Innovative DSM programmes will be completed to establish the best path forward for commercialization of the technology for a fast response FCPP.
Game changer in high temperature steam electrolysers with novel tubular cells and stacks geometry for pressurized hydrogen production
The GAMER project will develop a novel cost-effective tubular Proton Ceramic Electrolyser (PCE) stack technology integrated in a steam electrolyser system to produce pure dry pressurized hydrogen. The electrolyser system will be thermally coupled to renewable or waste heat sources in industrial plants to achieve higher AC electric efficiency and efficient heat valorisation by the integrated processes. The project will establish high volume production of the novel tubular proton conducting ceramic cells. The cells will be qualified for pressurized steam electrolysis operation at intermediate temperature (500-700°C). They will be bundled in innovative single engineering units (SEU) encased in tubular steel shells, a modular technology, amenable to various industrial scales. GAMER will develop designs of system and balance of plant components supported by advanced modelling and simulation work, flowsheets of integrated processes, combined with robust engineering routes for demonstrating efficient thermal and electrical integration in a 10 kW electrolyser system delivering pure hydrogen at minimum 30 bars outlet pressure. The consortium covers the full value chain of the hydrogen economy, from cell and SEU manufacturer (CMS), system integrators (MC2, CRI), through researchers (SINTEF, UiO, CSIC), to end users in refineries, oil and gas, chemical industry (CRI, Shell with advisory board members YARA and AirLiquide). All along the project, these experienced partners will pay particular attention to risk management (technical, economic, logistic, business) and ensure progress of the technology from TRL3 to TRL5. The overall consortium will perform strategic communication with the relevant stakeholders in order to ensure strong exploitation of the project’s results.
Making hydrogen affordable to sustainably operate Everywhere in European cities
European cities can become living lab for the demonstration of Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies, starting from their use in niche, but everyday applications such as temporary gensets that are used in construction sites, music festivals and temporary events. .Leveraging EU excellent knowledge from consortium partners in FC application for automotive and telecom backup power solutions, EVERYWH2ERE project will integrate already demonstrated robust PEMFC stacks and low weight intrinsecallty safe pressurized hydrogen technologies into easy to install, easy to transport FC based transportable gensets. 8 FC containerd “plug and play”gensets will be realized and tested through a pan-European demonstration campaign in a demonstration to market approach.The prototypes will be tested in construction sites, music festivals and urban public events all around Europe, demonstrating their flexibility and their.enlarged lifetime. Demonstration results will be capitalized towards the redaction of three replicability studies for the use of the gensets in new contexts (emergency and reconstruction sites, ships cold ironing in harbors, mining industrial sites) and for the definition of a commercial roadmap and suitable business model for the complete marketability of the gensets within 2025. A detailed logistic and environmental analysis will be performed in order to study the complete techno-economic viability of the gensets and a decision support tool will be realized to support end-users in future replicability. According to the crucial role of cities to promote through policies and dedicated regulatory framework the spreading of FC gensets, local authorities will be involved in the project since its beginning. A strong dissemination and communication campaign will be conducted particularly during "demonstration events" (more than 25 festivals involved) in order to increase public audience awareness about FCH technologies.
Commercial-scale SOFC systems
The ComSos project aims at strengthening the European SOFC industry’s world-leading position for SOFC products in the range of 10-60 kW totally 450 kWe. Through this project, manufacturers prepare for developing capacity for serial manufacturing, sales and marketing of mid FC CHP products. All manufacturers will validate new product segments in collaboration with the respective customers and confirm product performance, the business case and size, and test in real life the distribution channel including maintenance and service. In function of the specific segments, the system will be suitable for volumes from few 10’s to several 1,000 systems per year. The key objective of the ComSos project is to validate and demonstrate fuel cell based combined heat and power solutions in the mid-sized power ranges of 10-12 kW, 20-25 kW, and 50-60 kW (referred to as Mini FC-CHP). The outcome gives proof of the superior advantages of such systems, underlying business models, and key benefits for the customer. The technology and product concepts, in the aforementioned power range, has been developed in Europe under supporting European frameworks such as the FCH-JU. The core of the consortium consists of three SOFC system manufacturers aligned with individual strategies along the value chain: Convion (two units of 60kWe each), SOLIDpower (15 units of 12kWe each) and Sunfire (6-8 units of 25kWe each). End-users and distributors have also expressed strong interest in the products, and will be actively involved in the ComSos project by participation in the Advisory Board.
Standardized Qualifying tests of electrolysers for grid services
The overall objective of the QualyGridS project is the establishing of standardized tests for electrolysers performing electrical grid services. Alkaline electrolysers as well as PEM electrolysers will be considered individually in performance analysis and in an assessment of business cases for these electrolysers’ use. A variety of different grid services will be addressed as well as multiple hydrogen end users. The protocols developed will be applied to alkaline and PEM electrolysers systems, respectively, using electrolyser sizes from 50 kW up to 300 kW. Additionally, a techno-economic analysis of business cases will be performed covering the grid and market situations in the most relevant regions of Europe. The consortium addressing these tasks includes three electrolyser manufacturers and well as research institutions with plenty of experience. Inclusion of a European standardisation institution will allow for maximum impact of the protocols. An advisory committee including TSOs from several countries and a key player in US electrolysis research will support the project with valuable advice. Experience from previous FCH-JU electrolyser projects and national projects is available to the project.
Automated mass-manufacturing and quality assurance of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell stacks
qSOFC project combines leading European companies and research centres in stack manufacturing value-chain with two companies specialized in production automation and quality assurance to optimize the current stack manufacturing processes for mass production. Currently the state-of-the-art SOFC system capital expenditure (capex) is 7000…8000 €/kW of which stack is the single most expensive component. This proposal focuses on SOFC stack cost reduction and quality improvement by replacing manual labour in all key parts of the stack manufacturing process with automated manufacturing and quality control. This will lead to stack cost of 1000 €/kW and create a further cost reduction potential down to 500 €/kW at mass production (2000 MW/year). During the qSOFC project, key steps in cell and interconnect manufacturing and quality assurance will be optimized to enable mass-manufacturing. This will include development and validation of high-speed cell-manufacturing process, automated 3D machine vision inspection method to detect defects in cell manufacturing and automated leak-tightness detection of laser-welded/brazed interconnect-assemblies. The project is based on the products of its' industrial partners in stack-manufacturing value-chain (ElringKlinger, Elcogen AS, Elcogen Oy, Sandvik) and motivated by their interest to further ready their products into mass-manufacturing market. Two companies specialized in production automation and quality control (Müko, HaikuTech) provide their expertise to the project. The two research centres (VTT, ENEA) support these companies with their scientific background and validate the produced cells, interconnects and stacks. Effective exploitation and dissemination of resulting improved products, services, and know-how is a natural purpose of each partner and these actions are boosted by this project. This makes project results available also for other parties and increases competitiveness of the European fuel cell industry.
Technology demonstration of large-scale photo-electrochemical system for solar hydrogen production
The objective of the project PECSYS is the demonstration of a system for the solar driven electrochemical hydrogen generation with an area >10 m². The efficiency of the system will be >6% and it will operate for six month showing a degradation below <10%. Therefore, the consortium will test various established PV materials (thin-film Silicon, crystalline Silicon and CIGS) as well as high potential material combinations (Perovskite/Silicon). It will study and develop innovative device concepts for integrated photoelectrochemical devices that will go far beyond the current state of the art and will allow to reduce Ohmic transport losses in the electrolyte and membranes. The best concepts will be scaled up to prototype size (>100 cm²) and will be subject to extensive stability optimization. Especially, the use of innovative ALD based metal oxide sealing layers will be studied. The devices will have the great advantage compared to decoupled systems that they will have reduced Ohmic transport losses. Another advantage for application in sunny, hot regions will be that these devices have a positive temperature coefficient, because the improvements of the electrochemical processes overcompensate the reduced PV conversion efficiency. With these results, an in-depth socio-techno-economic model will be developed to predict the levelized cost of hydrogen production, which will be below 5€/Kg Hydrogen in locations with high solar irradiation, as preliminary back of the envelope calculations have revealed. Based on these findings, the most promising technologies will be scaled to module size. The final system will consist of several planar modules and will be placed in Jülich. No concentration or solar tracking will be necessary and therefore the investment costs will be low. It will have an active area >10 m² and will produce more than 10 Kg of hydrogen over six month period.
ImplementatioN in real SOFC Systems of monItoring and diaGnostic tools using signal analysis to increase tHeir lifeTime
The INSIGHT project aims at developing a Monitoring, Diagnostic and Lifetime Tool (MDLT) for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) stacks and the hardware necessary for its implementation into a real SOFC system. The effectiveness of the MDLT will be demonstrated through on-field tests on a real micro-Combined Heat and Power system (2.5 kW), thus moving these tools from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to beyond 5. INSIGHT leverages the experience of previous projects and consolidates their outcomes both at methodological and application levels. The consortium will specifically exploit monitoring approaches based on two advanced complementary techniques: Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) in addition to conventional dynamic stack signals. Durability tests with faults added on purpose and accelerated tests will generate the data required to develop and validate the MDL algorithms. Based on the outcome of experimental analysis and mathematical approaches, fault mitigation logics will be developed to avoid stack failures and slow down their degradation. A specific low-cost hardware, consisting in a single board able to embed the MDLT will be developed and integrated into a commercial SOFC system, the EnGenTM 2500, which will be tested on-field. INSIGHT will then open the perspective to decrease the costs of service and SOFC stack replacement by 50%, which would correspond to a reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership by 10% / kWh. To reach these objectives, INSIGHT is a cross multidisciplinary consortium gathering 11 organisations from 6 member states (France, Italy, Denmark, Slovenia, Austria, Finland) and one associated country (Switzerland). The partnership covers all competences necessary: experimental testing (CEA, DTU, EPFL), algorithms developments (UNISA, IJS, AVL), hardware development (BIT), system integration and validation (VTT, SP, HTC), supported by AK for the project management and dissemination.
HYDROGEN MEETING FUTURE NEEDS OF LOW CARBON MANUFACTURING VALUE CHAINS
Under the coordination of VERBUND, VOESTALPINE, a steel manufacturer, and SIEMENS, a PEM electrolyser manufacturer, propose a 26 month demonstration of the 6MW electrolysis power plant installed at the VOESTALPINE LINZ plant (Austria). After pilot plant commissioning, the electrolyser is prequalified with the support of APG, the transmission operator of Austria, in order to provide grid-balancing services such as primary, secondary or tertiary reserves while utilising the commercial pools of VERBUND. The demonstration is split into five pilot tests and the quasi-commercial operation to show that the PEM electrolyser is able both to use timely power price opportunities (in order to provide affordable hydrogen for current uses of the steel making processes), and to attract extra revenues from grid services which improves the hydrogen price attractiveness from a two-carrier utility like VERBUND. Replicability of the experimental results at larger scales in EU28 for the steel industry (with inputs from TSOs in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands) is studied under the coordination of ECN. It involves a technical, economic and environmental assessment of the experimental results using the CertifHY tools. The roll out of each result is provided by ECN, together with policy and regulatory recommendations to accelerate the deployment in the steel and fertilizer industry, with low CO2 hydrogen streams provided also by electrolysing units using renewable electricity. The plausibility of this roadmap is reinforced at the on-start of the demonstration by the creation of an exploitation company involving the core industrial partners, which starts commercial operations of the Linz pilot plant right after the end of the demonstration. Dissemination targeting the European stakeholders of the electricity, steel and fertilizer value chain nourishes the preparation of the practical implementation of the results in the 10 years following the demonstration’s end.
Demonstration of 4MW Pressurized Alkaline Electrolyser for Grid Balancing Services
The main aim of project Demo4Grid is the commercial setup and demonstration of a technical solution utilizing “above state of the art” Pressurized Alkaline Electrolyser (PAE) technology for providing grid balancing services in real operational and market conditions. In order to validate existing significant differences in local market and grid requirements Demo4Grid has chosen to setup a demonstration site in Austria to demonstrate a viable business case for the operation of a large scale electrolyser adapted to specific local conditions that will be found throughout Europe. To achieve that, Demo4Grid will demonstrate at this demo site with particular needs for hydrogen as a means of harvesting RE production: I. a technical solution to meet all core requirements for providing grid balancing services with a large scale PAE in direct cooperation with grid operators, II. a market based solution to provide value added services and revenues for the operation strategy to achieve commercial success providing grid services and those profits obtained also from the hydrogen application. III. Aiming at the exploitation of the results after the project ends, Demo4Grid will assess the replicability and viability of various business cases Demo4Grid will be the decisive demonstration stage of previous FCH-JU projects related to the PAE addressed in this proposal. The first project ELYGRID (finished) and the following one ELYntegration (still ongoing) have provided promising results on the development of PAE to provide grid services operating under dynamic profiles (significant results will be shown in this proposal).
Cogeneration of Hydrogen and Power using solid oxide based system fed by methane rich gas
To achieve European ambitions to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases by 80% before 2050, emissions of the transport and the energy sectors will need to decrease drastically. The Hydrogen Economy offers ready solutions to decarbonize the transport sector. Fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) close to be deployed in the market in increasing numbers. For FCEVs to be introduced to the market in volumes, a network of hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS) first has to exist. Green hydrogen is figured, in the medium – long term, as the target technology to decarbonize the transport sector. Indeed, this will not be commercially attractive in the first years. Similarly, new-built hydrogen supply capacity will not be viable in the first years with low demand. CH2P aims at building a transition technology for early infrastructure deployment. It uses widely available carbon-lean natural gas (NG) or bio-methane to produce hydrogen and power with Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology. Similar to a combined heat and power system, the high quality heat from the fuel cell is used to generate hydrogen. CH2P therefore generates hydrogen and electricity with high efficiencies (up to 90%) and a reduced environmental impact compared to conventional technologies. The system will have high dynamic (more than 50% of energy will be in form of hydrogen), purity level of hydrogen at 99.999%, a CO-level lower than 200 ppb. The target cost for the hydrogen generated will be below 4,5 €/kg. The overall technology concept will be based on modularity to enable a staged deployment of such infrastructure. CH2P will realize two systems, one with hydrogen generation capacity of 20 kg/day, for components validation, and another at 100 kg/day for infield testing. A dissemination campaign will use the project results to demonstrate the technical readiness of CH2P technology, while industrial partners are committed to enter the market after the project end.
Advanced direct biogas fuel processor for robust and cost-effective decentralised hydrogen production
BioROBURplus builds upon the closing FCH JU BioROBUR project (direct biogas oxidative steam reformer) to develop an entire pre-commercial fuel processor delivering 50 Nm3/h (i.e. 107 kg/d) of 99.9% hydrogen from different biogas types (landfill gas, anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, anaerobic digestion of wastewater-treatment sludges) in a cost-effective manner. The energy efficiency of biogas conversion into H2 will exceed 80% on a HHV basis, due to the following main innovations: 1) increased internal heat recovery enabling minimisation of air feed to the reformer based on structured cellular ceramics coated with stable and easily recyclable noble metal catalysts with enhanced coking resistance; 2) a tailored pressure-temperature-swing adsorption (PTSA) capable of exploiting both pressure and low T heat recovery from the processor to drive H2 separation from CO2 and N2; 3) a recuperative burner based on cellular ceramics capable of exploiting the low enthalpy PTSA-off-gas to provide the heat needed at points 1 and 2 above. The complementary innovations already developed in BioROBUR (advanced modulating air-steam feed control system for coke growth control; catalytic trap hosting WGS functionality and allowing decomposition of incomplete reforming products; etc.) will allow to fully achieve the project objectives within the stringent budget and time constraints set by the call. Prof. Debora Fino, the coordinator of the former BioROBUR project, will manage, in an industrially-oriented perspective, the work of 11 partners with complementary expertise: 3 universities (POLITO, KIT, SUPSI), 3 research centres (IRCE, CPERI, DBI), 3 SMEs (ENGICER, HST, MET) and 2 large companies (ACEA, JM) from 7 different European Countries. A final test campaign is foreseen at TRL 6 to prove targets achievement, catching the unique opportunity offered by ACEA to exploit three different biogas types and heat integration with an anaerobic digester generating the biogas itself.
Efficient Co-Electrolyser for Efficient Renewable Energy Storage - ECo
The overall goal of ECo is to develop and validate a highly efficient co-electrolysis process for conversion of excess renewable electricity into distributable and storable hydrocarbons via simultaneous electrolysis of steam and CO2 through SOEC (Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells) thus moving the technology from technology readiness level (TRL) 3 to 5.In relation to the work program, ECo will specifically:
- Develop and prove improved solid oxide cells (SOEC) based on novel cell structure including electrode backbone structures and infiltration and design of electrolyte/electrode interfaces to achieve high performances and high efficiencies at ~100 oC lower operating temperatures than state-of-the-art in order to reduce thermally activated degradation processes, to improve integration with hydrocarbon production, and to reduce overall costs.
- Investigate durability under realistic co-electrolysis operating conditions that include dynamic electricity input from fluctuating sources with the aim to achieve degradation rates below 1%/1000h at stack level under relevant operating conditions.
- Design a plant to integrate the co-electrolysis with fluctuating electricity input and catalytic processes for hydrocarbon production, with special emphasis on methanation (considering both external and internal) and perform selected validation tests under the thus needed operating conditions.
- Test a co-electrolysis system under realistic conditions for final validation of the obtained results at larger scale.
- Demonstrate economic viability for overall process efficiencies exceeding 60% using results obtained in the project for the case of storage media such as methane and compare to traditional technologies with the aim to identify critical performance parameters that have to be improved. Perform a life cycle assessment with CO2 from different sources (cement industry or biogas) and electricity from preferably renewable sources to prove the recycling potential of the concept.
Solid Oxide Stack Lean Manufacturing
The proposed SOSLeM project will contribute to the call objectives by improving production processes as well as developing and applying novel manufacturing technologies for FC stacks. The improvements proposed by the project will sum up to a reduction of manufacturing costs of about 70%, leading to decreased capital cost of about 2.500 €/kW. Besides these outstanding economical and technical improvements, production material will be spared and environmental benefits will be realized. Specifically, the project will: - Develop new and optimized processes for cassettes production, by avoidance brushing of cassettes, improved sealing adhesion on cassettes, automation of welding, lean manufacturing processes and anode contact layer laser welding,- Improve stack preparation, by advanced glass curing and stack conditioning and improved gas stations, - Enable environmental benefits by Cu-based instead of Co-based powder and evaluation of On-site Nickel removal from waste water- Reduce production time and costs and improve flexibility, by large furnace arrangement, introduction of a multi-stack production station, examination of substituting Co-based powder by Cu-based power, Examination of partially substituting Co-based powder by enamel coating and simultaneous sintering.
Production Ready Heat Exchangers and Fuel Cell Stacks for Fuel Cell mCHP
Fuel cells have shown great promise for residential micro-Combined Heat and Power (mCHP) generation due to their high electrical efficiency and ability to run on conventional heating fuels. Technology leaders in this sector are nearing commercial deployment following extensive field trials but high capital costs remain a key challenge to the advancement of this sector and mass market introduction in Europe. The HEATSTACK project focuses on reducing the cost of the two most expensive components within the fuel cell system; the fuel cell stack and heat exchanger, which together represent the majority of total system CAPEX. Cost reductions of up to 60% for each component technology will be achieved by: - Advancing proven component technologies through the optimisation of design, materials and production processes for improved performance and quality; - Developing and applying novel tooling for laser welding and automated production lines to remove manual processing steps; - Improving cycle times and reducing time to market; - Demonstrating design flexibility and production scalability for mass manufacturing (10.000 units per annum); and - Developing core supply chain relationships to allow for competitive sourcing strategies. The HEATSTACK project represents a key step towards achieving commercial cost targets for fuel cell mCHP appliances, bringing together leading technology providers in the fuel cell mCHP supply chain with extensive industrial expertise to accelerate the development towards volume production of the fuel cell stacks and heat exchangers. Cost reductions will be achieved through advanced design, development and industrialisation of core manufacturing processes. Improvements to component performance with advanced materials will reduce system degradation and improve overall system efficiency and lifetime.
PEM ElectroLYsers FOR operation with OFFgrid renewable installations
Hydrogen production by PEM water electrolysers (PEMWE) has the potential of becoming a key enabling technology in the deployment of FCH technologies in the future energy market as an energy storage system able to deliver hydrogen to different applications and enabling a high penetration of renewable energy sources (RES). PEMWE has showed capabilities in the emerging hydrogen scenarios to be a valid alternative to previously developed technologies, especially considering the dynamic and versatile operation expected of hydrogen production methods when integrated with RES. Despite the advances and improvements experienced to date with these systems, the technology needs to be further improved if it is to be installed as a competitive solution for energy markets and even more so in the case of off-grid configurations due to their particularities. The development of an autonomous off-grid electrolysers as an energy storage or backup solution (e.g. replacing diesel engines) is an unusual and challenging goal because it needs to have the capability of being directly coupled to RES in locations where the electricity grid is not deployed or weak. The main goal of the ELY4OFF proposal is the development and demonstration of an autonomous off-grid electrolysis system linked to renewable energy sources, including the essential overarching communication and control system for optimising the overall efficiency when integrated in a real installation.
Cost-effective and flexible 3D printed SOFC stacks for commercial applications
A Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is a ceramic-based multilayer device that involves expensive and time-consuming multi-step manufacturing processes including tape casting, screen printing, firing, shaping and several high-temperature thermal treatments. In addition, these cells are manually assembled into stacks resulting in extra steps for joining and sealing that difficult the standardization and quality control of the final product while introducing weak parts likely to fail. Since current ceramics processing presents strong limitations in shape and extremely complex design for manufacturing (more than 100 steps), industrially fabricated SOFC cells and stacks are expensive and present low flexibility and long time to market. This is particularly relevant for the commercial segment of the stationary fuel cells market (5-400kW) that is highly heterogeneous in terms of the overall power and heat requirements and requires customization of the final product. The main goal of the Cell3Ditor project is to develop a 3D printing technology for the industrial production of SOFC stacks by covering research and innovation in all the stages of the industrial value chain (inks formulation, 3D printer development, ceramics consolidation and system integration). All-ceramic joint-free SOFC stacks with embedded fluidics and current collection will be fabricated in a two-step process (single-step printing and sintering) to reduce in energy, materials and assembly costs while simplifying the design for manufacturing and time to market. Compared to traditional ceramic processing, the Cell3Ditor manufacturing process presents a significantly shorter time to market (from years to months) and a cost reduction estimated in 63% with an initial investment below one third of an equivalent conventional manufacturing plant (production of 1000 units per year). The project is product-driven and involves SMEs (with proved technologies) in the entire value chain to ensure reaching TRL>6.
Green Industrial Hydrogen via Reversible High-Temperature Electrolysis
High-temperature electrolysis (HT electrolysis) is one of the most promising technologies to address the European Commission´s Roadmap to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050. Because a significant share of the energy input is provided in the form of heat, HT electrolysis achieves higher electrical system efficiency compared to low temperature electrolysis technologies. Therefore, the main objectives of the GrInHy project focus on: • Proof of reaching an overall electrical efficiency of at least 80 %LHV (ca. 95 %HHV); • Scaling-up the SOEC unit to a DC power input (stack level) of 120 kWel; • Reaching a lifetime of greater 10,000 h with a degradation rate below 1 %/1,000 h; • Integration and operation for at least 7,000 h meeting the hydrogen quality standards of the steel industry; Additional project objectives are: • Elaboration of an Exploitation Roadmap for cost reducing measures; • Development of dependable system cost data; • Integration of a reversible operation mode (fuel cell mode); The objectives are congruent with the call FCH-02.4-2015 and the Multi Annual Work Plan of the FCH JU. The proof-of-concept will take place in the relevant environment of an integrated iron and steel works. Its existing infrastructure and metallurgical processes, which provide the necessary waste heat, increase the project´s cost-effectiveness and minimize the electrical power demand of auxiliaries. As a result, the electrical efficiency of 80 % will be achieved by operating the HT electrolyser close to the thermal-neutral operation point. The installation will consist of an optimized multi-stack module design with 6 stacks modules in parallel (total capacity: 120 kWel). The last project year is dedicated to the testing of 7,000 h and more. This will be achieved due to a high degree of existing knowledge at system level. Lifetime and degradation targets have already been fulfilled at cell level and will be verified by testing an enhanced stack.
Flexible Hybrid separation system for H2 recovery from NG Grids
The key objective of the HyGrid project is the design, scale-up and demonstration at industrially relevant conditions a novel membrane based hybrid technology for the direct separation of hydrogen from natural gas grids. The focus of the project will be on the hydrogen separation through a combination of membranes, electrochemical separation and temperature swing adsorption to be able to decrease the total cost of hydrogen recovery. The project targets a pure hydrogen separation system with power and cost of < 5 kWh/kgH2 and < 1.5 €/kgH2. A pilot designed for 25 kg/day of hydrogen will be built and tested. To achieve this, HyGrid aims at developing novel hybrid system integrating three technologies for hydrogen purification integrated in a way that enhances the strengths of each of them: Membrane separation technology is employed for removing H2 from the “low H2 content” (e.g. 2-10 %) followed by electrochemical hydrogen separation (EHP ) optimal for the “very low H2 content” (e.g. <2 %) and finally temperature swing adsorption (TSA) technology to purify from humidity produced in both systems upstream. The objective is to give a robust proof of concept and validation of the new technology (TRL 5) by designing, building, operating and validating a prototype system tested at industrial relevant conditions for a continuous and transient loads. To keep the high NG grid storage capacity for H2, the separation system will target the highest hydrogen recovery. The project will describe and evaluate the system performance for the different pressure ranges within 0.03 to 80 bar (distribution to transmission) and test the concept at pilot scale in the 6-10 bar range. HyGrid will evaluate hydrogen quality production according to ISO 14687 in line not only with fuel cell vehicles (Type I Grade D) but also stationary applications (Type I Grade A) and hydrogen fuelled ICE (Type I grade E category 3). A complete energy and cost analysis will be carried out in detail.
High Performance PEM Electrolyzer for Cost-effective Grid Balancing Applications
The next generation water electrolysers must achieve better dynamic behaviour (rapid start-up, fast response, wider load and temperature ranges) to provide superior grid-balancing services and thus address the steep increase of intermittent renewables interfaced to the grid. The HPEM2GAS project will develop a low cost PEM electrolyser optimised for grid management through both stack and balance of plant innovations, culminating in a six month field test of an advanced 180 (nominal)-300 kW (transient) PEM electrolyser. The electrolyser developed will implement an advanced BoP (power tracking electronics, high efficiency AC/DC converters, high temperature ion exchange cartridges, advanced safety integrated system, new control logic) and improved stack design and components (injection moulded components, flow-field free bipolar plates, Aquivion® membranes, core-shell/solid solution electrocatalysts). Several strategies are applied to lower the overall cost, thus enabling widespread utilisation of the technology. These primarily concern a three-fold increase in current density (resulting in the proportional decrease in capital costs) whilst maintaining cutting edge efficiency, a material use minimisation approach in terms of reduced membrane thickness whilst keeping the gas cross-over low, and reducing the precious metal loading. Further, improving the stack lifetime to 10 years and a reduction of the system complexity without compromising safety or operability. All these solutions contribute significantly to reducing the electrolyser CAPEX and OPEX costs. HPEM2GAS develops key technologies from TRL4 to TRL6, demonstrating them in a 180-300 kW PEM electrolyser system in a power-to-gas field test; delivers a techno-economic analysis and an exploitation plan to bring the innovations to market. The consortium comprises a system integrator, suppliers of membranes, catalysts and MEAs, a stack developer, an independent expert on standardization and an end-user.
Pathway to a Competitive European FC mCHP market