Next Generation PEM Electrolyser under New Extremes
Water electrolysis s
upplied 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
PACE is a major initiative aimed at ensuring the European mCHP sector makes the next move to mass market commercialisation. The project will deploy a total of 2,650 new fuel cell microCHP units with real customers and monitor them for an extended period. This will: - Enable fuel cell mCHP manufacturers to scale up production, using new series techniques, and increased automation. By 2018, four leading European manufacturers (Bosch, SOLIDpower, Vaillant and Viessmann) will have installed capacity for production of over 1,000 units/year (each will install over 500 units in PACE). These production lines will test the manufacturing techniques which will allow for mass market scale up and the reductions in unit cost which will come from associated economies of scale. - Allow the deployment of new innovations in fuel cell microCHP products, which reduce unit cost by over 30%, increase stack lifetime to over 10 years (by end of the project) and improve the electrical efficiency of all units. - Create a large dataset of the performance of the units, which will demonstrate the readiness of fuel cell mCHP as a mass market product. This will prove that fuel cell mCHP can be a leading contributor to reducing primary energy consumption and GHG emissions across Europe. - Allow the units in the trial to be pooled in a large scale test of the concept of aggregating and controlling the output from mCHP to act as a virtual power plant. This will be achieved in a project run by EWE on a section of the German grid earmarked for smart grid trials. - Act as the basis for an effort to standardise mCHP products in Europe, helping create a more efficient market for both installers and component suppliers. The project will provide an evidence base which will be used in a dissemination campaign targeting policy makers (who can provide supportive policies for the next wave of mCHP roll-out) and increasing awareness of the technology within the domestic heating sector (main route to market).
Power-to-Gas (PtG) is an innovative energy concept which will help to incorporate flexibility into future energy systems, increasingly characterised by the use of fluctuating renewable electricity. One PtG option, dubbed Power-to Hydrogen (PtH2) is to produce hydrogen from water electrolysis applying cheap renewable electricity in times of surplus and providing it for re-electrification in times of electricity shortages or to other hydrogen end-users, whatever promises the best business opportunities. It has been shown by recent studies that these can be best exploited, if PtH2 simultaneously supplies hydrogen to more than one end-use sector. The combination of electricity and mobility sectors has been earmarked as being specifically relevant, promising high utilization of the electrolysers and hence possible revenues. It is the purpose of the HyBalance project to demonstrate the concept of multi-sectoral hydrogen end-use in the renewable energy friendly environment of wind-rich Denmark at Megawatt scale with a PtH2 plant. A group of partners representing all steps along the renewable electricity to hydrogen to end-use value chain have convened to develop a PtH2 demonstration plant. This plant will be designed for combined operation providing both grid balancing services and hydrogen for industry and as a fuel for transport in the community of Hobro in the Danish province of Nordjylland. The plant will be used to demonstrate its feasibility to identifying potential revenue streams from PtH2 under today’s and future constraints (regulatory environment, state-of-art of key technologies), simultaneously applying most recent developments for hydrogen distribution and storage. Relevant applications in the hydrogen production site’s proximity are: hydrogen refuelling stations for fuel cell cars and buses in Hobro, local industry and, as perspective, hydrogen storage in salt caverns located in Hvornum and Lille Torup.
Development of innovative 50 kW SOFC system and related value chain
INNO-SOFC project combines leading European SOFC technology companies and research centres to collaborate and form required phases in the SOFC value chain. Within this project a next generation 50 kW SOFC system together with its key components will be developed, manufactured, and validated. This system includes many significant improvements compared to current State of the Art, leading to 30000 hours operating time, 4000 €/kW system costs, 60% electrical efficiency, and 85% total efficiency, which are required for large-scale commercialization of stationary fuel cells. Efficiency, performance, and life-time of the system and its key components will be validated according to IEC standards in conditions that are relevant for end-users. Proof of reliability and durability of the system will be achieved in 3000 hours demonstration together with 10000 hours stack validation runs. The project is based on the products of industrial partners (Convion, EnergyMatters, Elcogen, and ElringKlinger) and motivated by their interest to further improve their products and consolidate an efficient value chain by collaboration. Industrial partners are operating at different phases of the value chain and are not therefore competing against each other, which enables an efficient collaboration and knowledge sharing within the project. Within this approach, whole system and its components will be optimized comprehensively to fulfil and exceed end-users' requirements. Research centres (VTT, Jülich, and ENEA) support these companies to develop, experimentally validate and demonstrate their products. 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 European fuel cell industry.
Real operation pem fuel cells HEALTH-state monitoring and diagnosis based on dc-dc COnverter embeddeD Eis
HEALTH-CODE aims at implementing an advanced monitoring and diagnostic tool for μ-CHP and backup PEM fuel cell systems equipped with different stacks. Such a tool is able to determine the FC current status (condition monitoring) to support stack failures detection and to infer on the residual useful lifetime. Five failure modes will be detected: i) change in fuel composition; ii) air starvation; iii) fuel starvation; iv) sulphur poisoning; v) flooding and de-hydration. The main project objectives are: i) the enhancement of electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) based diagnosis; ii) the development of a monitoring and diagnostic tool for state-of-health assessment, fault detection and isolation as well as degradation level analysis for lifetime extrapolation; iii) the reduction of experimental campaign time and costs. Moreover, the improvement of power electronics for FC is also considered. These targets will be achieved through the implementation of several methodologies and techniques, well suited for industrial application. Several algorithms will be developed relying on on-board EIS measurements of the fuel cell system impedance. Moreover, low-cost diagnostic concepts are also proposed for a straightforward implementation on FCS controllers. The project exploits the outcomes of the previous FCH 1 JU funded project D-CODE, during which a proof of-concept validated in laboratory (TRL3-4) was developed. HEALTH-CODE will increase the TRL up to level 5. The exploitation of the project outcomes will lead to low-cost and reliable monitoring and diagnostic approaches and related applications (e.g. power electronics). These results will have an impact on stationary FCS with a direct increase in electrical efficiency, availability and durability, leading to a reduction in maintenance and warranty costs, thus increasing the customers’ satisfaction. Therefore, HEALTH-CODE contributes to the enhancement of FC competitiveness towards a wider market deployment.
Grid Integrated Multi Megawatt High Pressure Alkaline Electrolysers for Energy Applications
The strategic goal of the ELYntegration Project is the design and engineering of a robust, flexible, efficient and cost-competitive single stack Multimegawatt High Pressure Alkaline Water Electrolysis of 4,5 T H2/day capable to provide cutting-edge operational capabilities under highly dynamic power supplies expected in the frame of generation/ transmission/ distribution scenarios integrating high renewable energies (RE) shares. The final design of the MW HP AWE will be achieved on the basis of the development, validation and demonstration of a HP AWE industrial prototype of 250 kW (250 HP AWE) (TRL 7) comprising:- cylindrical stack consisting of industrial size elementary cells (1,600 mm cell diameter)- balance of plant (BOP)- power electronics- advanced communication & control system In the early phase of the development process, great attention will be brought to the identification of end-user’s needs and relevant/critical operational requirements. The target behaviour of the industrial prototype will be thoroughly demonstrated in an operational environment reflecting different on-grid integration schemes using power facilities already available to the Consortium (notably, 635 kW wind and 100 kW photovoltaic power plants).As previously mentioned, the successful demonstration of the industrial prototype will be paving the way towards the implementation and the commercial deployment of the 4.5 T H2/day HP AWE technology in the frame of large scale demonstration projects which shall be the next step after the conclusion of ELYntegration.
Demonstration of large SOFC system fed with biogas from WWTP
Energy Context and EU position The “Europe 2020” strategy promotes the shift towards a resource-efficient, low-carbon economy to achieve sustainable growth. The European policies on energy and sustainability are thus contributing to the diversification of the primary energy mix and to the introduction of distributed power technologies with high efficiency and low carbon emissions. From the point of view of energy policy, the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan for 2020 identifies Strategic Technologies Focus on the following priorities:
- Energy Efficiency: high efficiency conversion devices represent elements of a higher efficiency portfolio
- Renewable Energy: traditional RES (solar, wind, hydro) but also biogenous fuels (biogas, bio-syngas, bio-fuels) and new synthetic vectors (H2, synthetic NG,….)
- Carbon capture and storage: mitigation of CO2 emissions (related to efficient energy conversion devices, and improved adoption of RES fuels) and CO2 recovery
- Smart Grid: large topic, in which several technologies are included (energy storage, ICT intelligence of the grid, prosumer….), among which the concept of distributed CHP plant gets an important role DEMOSOFC objectives
- DEMO and deep analysis of an innovative solution of distributed CHP system based on SOFC, with high interest in the industrial/commercial application representing the best solution in the sub-MW distributed CHP in terms of efficiency and emissions
- DEMO of a distributed CHP system fed by a biogenous CO2 neutral fuel: biogas from anaerobic digestion
- DEMO in a real industrial installation
- DEMO of the high achievements of such systems: electrical efficiency, thermal recovery, low emissions, plant integration, economic interest for best use of renewable fuels in a future of decreasing incentives
- EXPLOITATION and BUSINESS analysis of replication of this type of innovative energy systems
- DISSEMINATION of the high interest (energy and economic) of such systems
Automotive derivative energy system
The overall aim is to create the foundations for commercializing an automotive derivative fuel cell system in the 50 to 100 kW range, for combined heat and power (CHP) applications in commercial and industrial buildings. More specifically, the project has the following objectives:
- Develop system components allowing reduced costs, increased durability and efficiency • build and validate a first 50 kW PEM prototype CHP system
- Create the required value chain from automotive manufacturers to stationary energy end-users Mass-market production of fuel cells will be a strong factor in reducing first costs.
In this respect, joining the forces of two non-competing sectors (automotive and stationary) will bring benefits to both, to increase production volume and ultimately reduce costs to make fuel cells competitive. As a consequence, the project partners have identified a PEM fuel cell based CHP concept to address the stationary power market, primarily for commercial and industrial buildings requiring an installed capacity from about 50 kWe to some hundreds of kWe. The main components of the system have been validated to at least laboratory scale (TRL>4). As a part of the present AutoRE proposal, the overall system will be demonstrated and further validated to increase the technology readiness level to TRL5. In addition, innovative solutions will be demonstrated to continuously improve performance and reduce costs and complexity. The project consortium reflects the full value chain of the fuel cell CHP system which will enhance significantly the route to market for the system/technology. The proposal relates to FCH-02.5-2014: Innovative fuel cell systems at intermediate power range for distributed combined heat and power generation, and it addresses the main specific challenges and scope laid down in the FCH JU AWP2014 to “develop, manufacturing and validation of a new generation of fuel cell systems with properties that significantly improve competitiveness".
Development of new electrode materials and understanding of degradation mechanisms on Solid Oxide High Temperature Electrolysis Cells.
The high temperature Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOEC) technology has a huge potential for future mass production of hydrogen and shows great dynamics to become commercially competitive against other electrolysis technologies (AEL, PEMEL), which are better established but more expensive and less efficient. On the downside, up to now SOECs are less mature and performance plus durability are currently the most important issues that need to be tackled, while the technological progress is still below the typically accepted standard requirements. Indicatively, the latest studies on State-of-the-Art (SoA) cells with Ni/YSZ and LSM as cathode and anode electrodes, respectively, show that the performance decreases about 2-5% after 1000h of operation for the H2O electrolysis reaction, whereas for the co-electrolysis process the situation is even worse and the technology level is much more behind the commercialization thresholds. In this respect, SElySOs is taking advantage of the opportunity for a 4-years duration project and focuses on understanding of the degradation and lifetime fundamentals on both of the SOEC electrodes, for minimization of their degradation and improvement of their performance and stability mainly under H2O electrolysis and in a certain extent under H2O/CO2 co-electrolysis conditions. Specifically, the main efforts will be addressed on the study of both water and O2 electrodes, where there will be investigation on: (i) Modified SoA Ni-based cermets, (ii) Alternative perovskite-type materials, (iii) Thorough investigation on the O2 electrode, where new more efficient O2 evolving electrodes are going to be examined and proposed. An additional strong point of the proposed project is the development of a theoretical model for description of the performance and degradation of the SOEC fuel electrode. Overall, SElySOs adopts a holistic approach for coping with SOECs degradation and performance, having a strong orientation on the market requirements.
Design of 2 Technologies and Applications to Service
The current “Design to service” project aims at simplifying both, residential and commercial fuel cell systems for easy, fast and save system service and maintenance. In order to make best use of lessons learned and available resources, this project jointly works on two distinguished technologies (PEFC&SOFC) in two different markets (residential & extended UPS). Both SME manufacturers are committed to establish lean after-sales structures, a significant step towards mass manufacturing and deployment. Maintenance is one significant part of Total Cost of Ownership of FC systems. Pooling the operational experience of field test programs, such as ene.field and Callux, critical analysis will lead to a priority list of required technical changes. For cold Balance of Plant Components, joint efforts will focus on the desulphuriser and the water treatment system. Actions are taken for both, simplified maintenance and extended durability for prolonged service intervals. Logistics for replacement component supply will be considered. For the hot component parts, the manufacturers work on their individual hot topics to adapt and simplify the design of the current units, e.g. to allow replacement of individual components instead of sub-units. A large decrease of costs impact is expected once individual stacks can be changed in a simple maintenance operation instead of complete sub-units. It is important that such operations can be performed by a significant pool of qualified installers. This is addressed by the elaboration of simple technical manuals that will be exposed to real-life practical technicians in training programs. These actions aim at decreasing the technical barrier to service systems. Finally, the improved BoP units will be validated by testing single and multiple units. Beyond the classical features of high efficiency and silent operation, this will also add values like flexibility and modularity of FC technologies with respect to individual customer requests.
Biogas membrane reformer for decentralized hydrogen production
BIONICO will develop, build and demonstrate at a real biogas plant (TRL6) a novel reactor concept integrating H2 production and separation in a single vessel. The hydrogen production capacity will be of 100 kg/day. By using the novel intensified reactor, direct conversion of biogas to pure hydrogen is achieved in a single step, which results in an increase of the overall efficiency and strong decrease of volumes and auxiliary heat management units. The BIONICO process will demonstrate to achieve an overall efficiency up to 72% thanks to the process intensification. In particular, by integrating the separation of hydrogen in situ during the reforming reaction, the methane in the biogas will be converted to hydrogen at a much lower temperature compared with a conventional system, due to the shifting effect on the equilibrium conversion. The fluidization of the catalyst makes also possible to (i) overcome problems with temperature control (formation of hotspots or too low temperature), (ii) to operate with smaller particles while still maintaining very low pressure drops and (iii) to overcome any concentration polarization issue associated with more conventional fixed bed membrane reactors. Dedicated tests with different biogas composition will be carried out to show the flexibility of the process with respect to the feedstock type. Compared with any other membrane reactor project in the past, BIONICO will demonstrate the membrane reactor at a much larger scale, so that more than 100 membranes will be implemented in a single fluidized bed membrane reactor, making BIONICO’s. In this way a more easy operation can be carried out so that a stable pure hydrogen production can be achieved. BIONICO project is based upon knowledge and experience directly gained in three granted projects: ReforCELL, FERRET and FluidCELL.
MEMbran based Purification of HYdrogen System
Project MEMPHYS, MEMbrane based Purification of HYdrogen System, targets the development of a stand-alone hydrogen purification system based on a scalable membrane hydrogen purification module. Applications are for instance hydrogen recovery from biomass fermentation, industrial pipelines, storage in underground caverns, and industrial waste gas streams. The consortium consists of six partners including two universities, two research institutes, and two companies from five different countries. The overall budget totals 2 M€, with individual budgets between 220 and 500 T€. This project will utilize an electrochemical hydrogen purification (EHP) system. EHP has proven to produce high purity hydrogen (5N) while maintaining low energy consumption because the purification and optional compression are electrochemical and isothermal processes. A low CAPEX for the EHP system is feasible due to the significant reductions of system costs that result from recent design improvements and market introductions of various electrochemical conversion systems such as hydrogen fuel cells. In detail, the purification process will be a two-step process. A catalyst-coated proton exchange membrane will be assisted by one selectively permeable polymer membrane. Standard catalysts are sensitive to impurities in the gas. Therefore, alternative anode catalysts for the EHP cell, an anti-poisoning strategy and an on board diagnostic system will be developed. The resulting MEMPHYS system will be multi-deployable for purification of a large variety of hydrogen sources. A valuable feature of the MEMPHYS system is the simultaneous compression of the purified hydrogen up to 200 bar, facilitating the transport and storage of the purified hydrogen. The MEMPHYS project offers the European Union an excellent chance to advance the expertise in electrochemical conversion systems on a continental level, while at the same time promoting the use and establishment of hydrogen based renewable energy systems.
Mass manufacture of MEAs using high speed deposition processes
The market for PEM fuel cells will increase to 10’s GWs per annum from 2025. For the catalyst coated membrane (CCM), a critical stack component, continuous manufacturing processes are currently being implemented by manufacturers worldwide. Whilst these will meet CCM demand for the next 10 years, the growing requirement for increased numbers of CCMs thereafter necessitates a manufacturing step-change, both in terms of cost and capacity. MAMA-MEA will address this by assembling a consortium with extensive knowledge and expertise both of fuel cell technology and manufacturing in the digital coating and printed electronic industry, to develop the highly innovative concept of an additive layer manufacturing (ALM) process for the edge-sealed CCM. The key CCM components (anode and cathode catalyst layers, ion-conducting membrane and edge seals) will be deposited with high precision and speed, one component layer on top of the other, and just in the areas of the CCM where they are required for functionality. Preliminary one-off prototypes have established the feasibility of the approach, and patent applications have been filed. MAMA-MEA will develop this innovative ALM process from MRL3 to MRL 6, by integrating the CCM components in to a single continuous roll-to-roll manufacturing process and validating the sealed CCMs in two full-size stationary application PEM fuel cell stacks. A key project objective will be an increase in the manufacturing rate of over 10 times compared to the state-of-the-art process, whilst also increasing material utilisation to 99%, and the product quality, and thus yield, to over 95%. Overall, sealed CCM direct materials and manufacturing costs will be reduced by up to 58% in the new CCMs. The project will also conduct comprehensive ex-situ characterisation and insitu fuel cell performance and durability testing and provide an engineering design of an ALM sealed CCM production line, including quality control methodologies.
Green Industrial Hydrogen via steam electrolysis
The European Commission and its roadmap for moving towards a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050 sets greenhouse gas emissions targets for different economic sectors. One of the main challenges of transforming Europe´s economy will be the integration of highly volatile renewable energy sources (RES). Especially hydrogen produced from RES will have a major part in decarbonizing the industry, transport and energy sector – as feedstock, fuel and/or energy storage. However, access to renewable electricity will also be a limiting factor in the future and energy efficient technologies the key. Due to a significant energy input in form of steam preferably from industrial waste heat, Steam Electrolysis (StE) based on Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOEC) achieves outstanding electrical efficiencies of up to 84 %el,LHV. Thus, StE is a very promising technology to produce hydrogen most energy efficiently.
GrInHy2.0 will demonstrate how steam electrolysis in an industrial relevant size can:
- Be integrated into the industrial environment at an integrated iron-and-steel works with a StE unit of 720 kWAC and electrical efficiency of up to 84 %el, LHV
- Operate at least 13,000 hours with a proved availability of >95 %
- Provide a significant amount of hydrogen (18 kg/h) while meeting the high-quality standards for steel annealing processes
- Produce at least 100 tons of green hydrogen at a targeted price of 7 €/kg to substitute hydrogen based on fossil fuels
- Support the most promising Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) approach by substituting the reducing agent carbon by green hydrogen to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the steel production.
In context with the production of green hydrogen from a steam electrolyser, the steel industry combines both hydrogen and oxygen demand – today and future – and the availability of cost-efficient waste heat from its high-temperature production processes.
Thermochemical HYDROgen production in a SOLar structured reactor: facing the challenges and beyond
The HYDROSOL-beyond proposed action is a continuation of the HYDROSOL-technology series of projects based on the utilization of concentrated solar thermal power for the production of Hydrogen from the dissociation of water via redox-pair based thermochemical cycles. HYDROSOL-beyond is an ambitious scientific endeavour aiming to address the major challenges and bottlenecks identified during the previous projects and further boost the performance of the technology via innovative solutions that will increase the potential of the technology’s future commercialization. In this context, HYDROSOL-beyond will capitalize on the 750kWth existing operational infrastructure, built in the HYDROSOL-Plant project, as well as on a “cluster” of relevant solar platforms and units (owned & operated by the project partners) in order to collect diverse experimental data from a wide range of achievable solar power (50-750kWth) facilities. This way HYDROSOL-beyond will have the flexibility of assessing the proposed novel approaches both under realistic environments and at different scales.
The main objectives of HYDROSOL-beyond are:
- The minimization of the parasitic loses mostly related to the high consumption of inert gas via the introduction of innovative concepts for the purification and the potential full recycling of the utilized gases
- The efficient recovery of heat at rates >60%
- The development of redox materials and structures with enhanced stability (>1,000 cycles) and with production of hydrogen ~three times higher than the current state-of-the-art Ni-ferrite foams
- The development of a technology with annual solar-to-fuel efficiency of ≥10%
- The improvement of the reactor design and introduction of novel reactor concepts
- The development of smart process control strategies and systems for the optimized operation of the plant
- The demonstration of efficiency >5% in the field tests, i.e. during operation at the 750kWth HYDROSOL solar platform (PSA, Spain).
An innovative approach for renewable energy storage by a combination of hydrogen carriers and heat storage
The main objective of the HyCARE project is the development of a prototype hydrogen storage tank with use of a solid-state hydrogen carrier on large scale. The tank will be based on an innovative concept, joining hydrogen and heat storage, in order to improve energy efficiency of the whole system. The developed tank will be installed in the site of ENGIE LAB CRIGEN, which is a research and operational expertise center dedicated to gas, new energy sources and emerging technologies. The center and its 350 staff are located at Plaine Saint-Denis and Alfortville in the Paris Region (F). In particular, the solid-state hydrogen tank will be installed in a Living Lab aimed to develop and explore innovative energy storage solutions. The developed tank will be joined with a PEM electrolyzer as hydrogen provider and a PEM fuel cell as hydrogen user.
The following goals are planned in HyCARE:
- High quantity of stored hydrogen >= 50 kg
- Low pressure < 50 bar and low temperature < 100°C
- Low foot print, comparable to liquid hydrogen storage
- Innovative design
- Hydrogen storage coupled with thermal energy storage
- Improved energy efficiency
- Integration with an electrolyser (EL) and a fuel cell (FC)
- Demonstration in real application
- Improved safety
- Techno-economical evaluation of the innovative solution
- Analysis of the environmental impact via Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
- Exploitation of possible industrial applications
- Dissemination of results at various levels
- Engagement of local people and institution in the demonstration site.
Low Cost Interconnects with highly improved Contact Strength for SOC Applications
Lower costs and a better long-term stability are needed to accelerate commercialization of Solid Oxide Cell (SOC) technology. Among the enduring challenges is degradation related to the steel interconnect (IC) material and insufficient robustness of the contact between the IC and the cell. LOWCOST-IC will tackle these issues by developing, fabricating and demonstrating low-cost ICs and exceptionally tough contact layers for use in SOC stacks. Novel robust contact layers, utilizing the concept of reactive oxidative bonding, will substantially improve the mechanical contact between the cell and the interconnect, while ensuring a low and stable area specific resistance.
The cost of SOC ICs will be reduced by combining cost-effective high volume steel grades with highly protective coatings. Large-scale mass manufacturing methods will be demonstrated for application of the coating by physical vapour deposition (PVD), for subsequent shaping of the ICs by hydroforming and finally for fast printing of contact layers by a drop-on-demand process. Novel computationally efficient stack models will together with hydroforming be customized to decrease the prototyping costs and thereby accelerate IC development. The new interconnect steels, coatings and contact layers will be implemented in the SOC stacks of two commercial manufacturers and undergo extensive testing in an industrially relevant environment. Finally, the cost-effectiveness of the proposed production route will be assessed and compared with existing production routes to facilitate a fast market entry of the project innovations.
The overall effort will bring the technological solutions from their current TRL 3 to TRL 5. To achieve the optimum output, the LOWCOST-IC consortium comprises the entire interconnect and contact layer supply chain.
Robust and Remote Power Supply
In RoRePower project is to develop and demonstrate solid oxide fuel cell systems for off-grid power generation in certain markets. These markets are such as powering the gas and oil infrastructure in remote regions with harsh climate conditions (from -40 to +50°C) and the continuous power supplies of telecommunication towers especially in emerging countries (e.g. telecom base stations or microwave transceivers). ReRoPower project combines leading European SOFC technology companies and research centres to collaborate and form required phases in the SOFC value chain. This collaboration is focused on the development, manufacturing, and validation of a robust SOFC system and its key components for operation under harsh environmental conditions. The project is driven by industry operating in the field of SOCF systems, it is based on the products and services of industrial partners and motivated by their interest to further develop and commercialize their products and services and consolidate an efficient value chain by collaboration. Industrial partners are focusing on different phases in the value chain and are not competing against each other. Participating research centres support industrial partners to optimize their products towards a joint target, which is a commercially successful SOFC based system and related value chain.
The fuel cell manufactures Sunfire, Solidpower and New Enerday, all 100 % Europe-based, will develop and demonstrate robust remote power supply for harsh environments. For the first time, the three manufactures will have a joint development of balance of plant (BOP) components. The common target is to build up respectively to strengthen the European value chain for the remote power specific components and services. Within the proposed project, 15 - 30 remote fuel cell systems will be installed in different countries at the sites of more than five different end-users.
Converting WASTE to offer flexible GRID balancing Services with highly-integrated, efficient solid-oxide plants
The overall objective of the Waste2GridS (W2G) project is to identify the most promising industrial pathways of waste gasification and solid-oxide cell (SOC) integrated power-balancing plants (W2G plants in short). The project aims are to perform a preliminary investigation on the long-term techno-economic feasibility of W2G plants to meet different grid balancing needs and to identify several promising business cases with necessary preconditions. To achieve such goals, an interdisciplinary team is formed by gathering leading research bodies and companies in Europe in the fields of solid-oxide reversible cells (SORC), waste identification, gasification and syngas cleaning, grid operation, and energy/process systems engineering. The results of the project will further enhance the knowledge exchange and interaction among different key players (manufacturers, investors, and research institutions), provide useful guidelines for technology development/ deployment and market positioning, increase long-term competitiveness and leadership of relevant industries, and provide knowledge for policy support on W2G plants for a circular economy and for the decarbonisation of European energy systems.
Unlocking unused bio-WASTE resources with loW cost cleAning and Thermal inTegration with Solid oxide fuel cells
WASTE2WATTS (W2W) will design and engineer an integrated biogas-Solid Oxide Fuel Cell combined heat and power system with minimal gas pre-processing, focusing on low-cost biogas pollutant removal and optimal thermal system integration. Ten partners from 4 leading biogas countries join efforts to these objectives: 2 biogas cleaning SMEs, 2 SOFC manufacturing SMEs, a biogas expert SME and 5 leading research and education centres in SOFC characterisation and modelling, and in biogas use as a fuel. Two cleaning approaches and hardware will be developed: one for small scale units (5-50 kWe), where a huge unutilised biogas potential resides (millions of farms, bio-wastes from municipalities) – here sulphur compounds (H2S and organic S) are removed by an appropriate solid sorbent matrix; one for medium-to-large scale units (≥500 kWe), which is the existing scale of landfill biogas and large bio-waste collection schemes - here sulphur compounds and siloxanes are removed among others by a novel cooling approach. For both cases the hardware will be built and installed on real biogas-sites treating different wastes. Gas analytics will validate the approaches. A 6 kWe SOFC system from a partner will run on a real agro-biogas site connected to the small scale sorbents cleaning unit. Cost projections for high volume production for both the cleaning and SOFC systems will be conducted. A detailed full system model will be implemented, considering the biogas feedstock, composition fluctuations (and dilution) and pollutant signatures, and optimizing thermal integration with biogas-inherent CO2 (for dry-dominant reforming) and digester heating, with the targets to maximise net electrical efficiency and minimise cost. An Advisory Board consisting of biogas producing SMEs will accompany the project to facilitate market access and support the post-project multiplication of the developed solutions.
Delfzijl Joint Development of green Water Electrolysis at Large Scale
Djewels demonstrate the operational readiness of 20 MW electrolyser for the production of green fuels (green methanol) in real-life industrial and commercial conditions. It will bring the technology from TRL 7 to TRL 8 and lay the foundation for the next scale-up step, towards 100 MW on the same site.
Djewels will enable the development of next generation of pressurised alkaline electrolyser, by developing embarking more cost efficient, better performing, high current density electrodes, preparing the serial manufacturing of the stack and scaleup of the balance of plant components.
Economies of scale combines with the flexible and optimized operation of the electrolyser, applying advanced electricity procurement and arbitrage strategies will ensure a low cost of hydrogen for the end-user during the 3 years of operation. This project will demonstrate the conditions for a profitable business cases for green hydrogen production as an input for green (or low-carbon) methanol production towards large-scale deployment in Europe before 2030.
Djewels will be located in Delfzijl industrial park, where Nouryon already produces hydrogen through a chlor-alkali process and where the (bio)methanol producer, BioMCN, is also located. Delfzijl industrial park has with a direct connection to the electricity transmission grid, and low distribution network charges within. Other hydrogen industry clients in Delfzijl create further conditions for scaling up green hydrogen production. Beyond Delfzijl, the park is connected via a dense gas networks to other large-scale chemical and (petro)chemical hydrogen clients in the Netherlands and Germany. These could allow Djewels to be a stepping stone towards the creation of a new hydrogen valley, in line with the ambitions of the FCH2-JU and the regional roadmap, within the industrial cluster of Delfzijl, the Northern Netherland and beyond.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Anion Exchange Membrane Electrolysis for Renewable Hydrogen Production on a Wide-Scale
The overall objective of the ANIONE project is to develop a high-performance, cost-effective and durable anion exchange membrane water electrolysis technology. The approach regards the use of an anion exchange membrane (AEM) and ionomer dispersion in the catalytic layers for hydroxide ion conduction in a system operating mainly with pure water. This system combines the advantages of both proton exchange membrane and liquid electrolyte alkaline technologies allowing the scalable production of low-cost hydrogen from renewable sources. The focus is on developing advanced short side chain Aquivion-based anion exchange polymer membranes comprising a perfluorinated backbone and pendant chains, covalently bonded to the perfluorinated backbone, with quaternary ammonium groups to achieve conductivity and stability comparable to their protonic analogous, and novel nanofibre reinforcements for mechanical stability and reduced gas crossover. Hydrocarbon AEM membranes consisting of either poly(arylene) or poly(olefin) backbone with quaternary ammonium hydroxide groups carried on tethers anchored on the polymeric backbone are developed in parallel. The project aims to validate a 2 kW AEM electrolyser with a hydrogen production rate of about 0.4 Nm3/h (TRL 4). The aim is to contribute to the road-map addressing the achievement of a wide scale decentralised hydrogen production infrastructure with the long-term goal to reach net zero CO2 emissions in EU by 2050. To reach such objectives, innovative reinforced anion exchange membranes will be developed in conjunction with non-critical raw materials (CRMs) high surface area electro-catalysts and membrane-electrode assemblies. Cost-effective stack hardware materials and novel stack designs will contribute to decrease the capital costs of these systems. After appropriate screening of active materials, in terms of performance and stability, in single cells, these components will be validated in an AEM electrolysis stack operating with high differential pressure and assessed in terms of performance, load range and durability under steady-state and dynamic operating conditions. The proposed solutions can contribute significantly to reducing the electrolyser CAPEX and OPEX costs. The project will deliver a techno-economic analysis and an exploitation plan for successive developments with the aim to bring the innovations to market. The consortium comprises an electrolyser manufacturer, membrane, catalysts and MEAs suppliers.
Development of the most Cost-efficient Hydrogen production unit based on AnioN exchange membrane ELectrolysis
The CHANNEL proposal brings together world-leading and highly experienced industrial and research partners with AEM electrolyser expertise to address the topic New Anion Exchange electrolyser - FCH-02-4-2019. The main objective of CHANNEL is to develop a low cost and efficient electrolyser stack and balance of plant (BoP) that will become a game-changer for the electrolyser industry. The concept is to construct an AEM electrolyser unite using low cost materials, using state-of-the-art anion exchange membranes and ionomers, non-PGM electrocatalysts, as well as low-cost porous transport layers, current collectors and bi-polar plates. This will enable the development of an electrolyser technology at a capital cost (CAPEX) equal or below classical alkaline electrolysis. However, in contrast to the alkaline technology, the CHANNEL AEM electrolyser will have an efficiency and current density operation close to the one of proton exchange membrane electrolyser (PEMWE). The CHANNEL stack will not only result in decreased electrolyser part count, but it will also be able to operate at differential pressure, as well as under dynamic operation, optimal for producing high quality, low cost hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
European methanol powered fuel cell CHP
In the EMPOWER project a methanol fuelled 5 kWe mini-CHP system based on HTPEMFC technology is developed, manufactured and validated in a relevant environment. The system efficiency over 50% (DC, LHV) is achieved with novel ideas of thermal integration with a two-stage reformer setup and by using thermoelectric generators (TEG), utilising the high temperature heat of HTPEMFC stack.
An aqueous phase reformer (APR) for methanol pre-reforming is applied for the first time in a commercial scale HTPEMFC system. The use of APR and its thermal integration in the FC system enables efficient utilisation of the stack waste heat and enables reformer efficiency approaching 95%. The best available catalysts will be screened and adapted for the reformer, both for the APR and for the 2nd stage reformer, which employs commercialised reformer technology from project partner Catator and recently developed methanol-reforming catalyst from partner University of Porto.
The system efficiency is further improved by increasing the fuel utilization to above 95% in the HTPEMFC stack. This is enabled by improving anode gas flow distribution in the cells as well as improving the stack end plates. The new end plate design will also enable stack pressurising and improving stack efficiency over 55 %.
The improvements in the HTPEM system design for mini-CHP use are validated in relevant environment, coupled to the heating and power system of a detached house, so that reliable data of the operation and stability can be generated.
The accelerated test will be carried out for a period of 6 months and for at least 2,000 h of operation. Lastly, the project includes planning for scaling both the reformer solution and CHP system to 50-100 kWe size, including the addition of expanders.
The technical work is complemented with a business analysis, including all the relevant elements of the methanol FC value chain, for the use of the developed technology in micro-CHP, CHP and maritime sectors.
Hydrogen In Gas GridS: a systematic validation approach at various admixture levels into high-pressure grids
The new policies and the revised renewable energy Directive are fixing ambitious targets for 2030: renewable energy target of at least 32% and an energy efficiency target of at least 32.5%. When the policies are fully implemented, they will lead to a great reduction on emissions for the whole EU, around 45% by 2030 (relative to 1990 GHG emission). The EU framework towards GHG emissions reduction is based in six key areas of action, including the deployment of renewable energy production, decarbonising heating and cooling applications (which vastly relies on fossil fuels), and reducing the emissions on the transport sector. Therefore, the integrated energy markets in the EU shall allow important transformations to provide more flexibility and be better placed to integrate a greater share of renewable energies, allowing also a more independent energy system.
In this context, Hydrogen can play a pivotal role as energy vector allowing coupling the energy sectors (produced by electrolysis) and as an alternative fuel in hard to electrify sectors. To facilitate that a high amount of hydrogen is produced by RE, existent gas infrastructure could be a way of transporting hydrogen between production point and final use. Therefore, hydrogen injection into the gas grid could support gas-electricity sector coupling and opening the role of hydrogen as a way of decarbonising the gas usages.
HIGGS project aims to pave the way to decarbonisation of the gas grid and its usage, by covering the gaps of knowledge of the impact that high levels of hydrogen could have on the gas infrastructure, its components and its management.
To reach this goal, several activities, including mapping of technical, legal and regulatory barriers and enablers, testing and validation of systems and innovation, techno-economic modelling and the preparation of a set of conclusions as a pathway towards enabling the injection of hydrogen in high-pressure gas grids, are developed in the project.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Multimegawatt high-temperature electrolyser to generate green hydrogen for production of high-quality chemical products
The shift to a low-carbon EU economy raises the challenge of integrating renewable energy (RES) and cutting the CO2 emissions of energy intensive industries (EII). In this context, hydrogen produced from RES will contribute to decarbonize those industries, as feedstock/fuel/energy storage. MULTIPLHY thus aims to install, integrate and operate the world’s first high-temperature electrolyser (HTE) system in multi-megawatt-scale (~2.4 MW), at a chemical refinery in Salzbergen (DE) to produce hydrogen (≥ 60 kg/h) for the refinery’s processes.
MULTIPLHY offers the unique opportunity to demonstrate the technological and industrial leadership of the EU in Solid Oxide Electrolyser Cell (SOEC) technology. With its rated electrical connection of ~3.5 MWel,AC,BOL, electrical rated nominal power of ~2.6 MWel,AC and a hydrogen production rate ≥ 670 Nm³/h, this HTE will cover ~40 % of the current average hydrogen demand of the chemical refinery. This leads to GHG emission reductions of ~8,000 tonnes during the planned minimum HTE operation time (16,000 h).
MULTIPLHY’s electrical efficiency (85 %el,LHV) will be at least 20 % higher than efficiencies of low temperature electrolysers, enabling the cutting of operational costs and the reduction of the connected load at the refinery and hence the impact on the local power grid.
A multidisciplinary consortium gathers NESTE (a Green Refiner as end-user), ENGIE (a global energy system integrator & operator), PaulWurth (Engineering Procurement Construction company for hydrogen processing units), Sunfire (HTE technology provider) and the world-class RTO CEA. They focus on operation under realistic conditions and market frameworks to enable the commercialisation of the HTE technology. By demonstrating reliable system operation with a proven availability of ≥ 98 %, complemented by a benchmark study for stacks in the 10 kW range, critical questions regarding durability, robustness, degradation as well as service and maintenance are addressed.
Next Generation Alkaline Membrane Water Electrolysers with Improved Components and Materials
Green hydrogen is one of the most promising solutions for the decarbonisation of society. Alkaline water electrolysis (AWE) is already a mature technology but its large footprint makes it inadequate for producing the energy vector at GW scale. Proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEMWE) on the other hand is compact but its dependence on iridium and other expensive materials poses a serious threat for up-scaling. Anion exchange membrane water electrolysis (AEMWE) combines the benefits of both technologies. However, its key performance indicators (KPI) do not reach commercial requirements and are lacking competitiveness. NEWELY project aims to redefine AEMWE, surpassing the current state of AWE and bringing it one step closer to PEMWE in terms of efficiency but at lower cost. The three main technical challenges of AEMWE: membrane, electrodes and stack are addressed by 3 small-medium-enterprises (SME) with their successful markets related to each of these topics. They are supported by a group of 7 renowned R&D centres with high expertise in polymer chemistry and low temperature electrolysis. The SMEs and one of the largest hydrogen companies in the world will oversee that the new developments have a clear commercial perspective, placing Europe at the lead of AEMWE technology in three years. In this period , the NEWELY consortium will develop a prototypic 5-cell stack with elevated hydrogen output pressure. It will contain highly conductive and stable anionic membranes as well as efficient and durable low-cost electrodes. It will reach twice the performance of the state of the art of AEMWE operating with pure water feedstock only. The targeted performance of the NEWELY prototype will be validated in a 2,000 hours endurance test. The new AEMWE stack will lead to a significant cost reduction of water electrolysis having a relevant impact in the cost of green hydrogen.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Next Generation solid oxide fuel cell and electrolysis technology
The EU has the long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% to 95% compared to 1990 levels by 2050, mainly by introducing more shares of renewable energy sources in the EU energy systems. Solid oxide technologies (SOC: SOFC & SOE) are key enabling technologies for allowing for such integration. They are an efficient link between sectors: power, gas, heat. SOC can therefore emerge as key players in the energy transition in many concepts, such as:
- fuel/gas to power and heat at small to large scale,
- energy storage through power to hydrogen/fuel,
- utilisation and upgrading of biogas,
- balancing of intermittent electricity from renewable sources through load following and reversible operation, and
- central and decentral solutions for electricity and heat production.
The NewSOC project aims at significantly improving performance, durability, and cost competitiveness of solid oxide cells & stacks compared to state-of-the-art (SoA). In order to achieve these goals, NewSOC proposes twelve innovative concepts in the following areas: (i) structural optimisation and innovative architectures based on SoA materials, (ii) alternative materials, which allow for overcoming inherent challenges of SoA, (iii) innovative manufacturing to reduce critical raw materials and reduction of environmental footprint at improved performance & lifetime.
The NewSOC project will validate the new cells & stacks at the level of large cells with > 50 cm2 active area and short-stacks in close collaboration with industry thereby moving the technology readiness level from 2 to 4. Six major European SOC manufacturers are part of the consortium, representing a large range of SOC concepts and product & market strategies. Industry partners will take the lead for providing a path how to increase the TRL level beyond the project period towards TRL of 6. The NewSOC project will evaluate the new SOC materials and fabrication processes according to life cycle impact and cost assessment.
Robust and reliable general management tool for performance and dUraBility improvement of fuel cell stationarY units
RUBY aims at developing and implementing a tool able to perform integrated Monitoring, Diagnostic, Prognostic and Control functions for production μ-CHP and Backup (BUP) systems, based on SOFC and PEMFC. The proposal is the final step toward the production, installation and commercialization of stationary FCSs with new management functions that will enhance system lifetime, stack durability, availability, reliability and overall performance with improved efficiency. These enhancements will lead to TCO reduction, paving the way toward advanced maintenance service implementation, less cost and increased warranty periods, leading to a better customer satisfaction. RUBY leverages the findings of the last 8 years applied research that contributed to move the FC technologies towards the same maturity of market-available conventional energy conversion technologies. The key-feature of RUBY tool is the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)-based advanced monitoring of both SOFC and PEMFC stacks, which has been demonstrated viable for its implementation on FCSs. RUBY will finalize the work on the hardware integration with stack diagnostic and control algorithms as well as with fault detection algorithms for BOP. Then, condition monitoring algorithms will be built along with prognostic and advanced adaptive control functions. The holistic vision of the FCS and a thorough knowledge of the State of the Health will be used to evaluate the lifetime of FCS components for improved supervisory control. Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms will be exploited to elaborate grid and FCS data toward the development of control functions for perspective VPP management and future integration with smart-grid. One-year tests will be conducted in real environment for certified μ-CHP and for BUP installed in a controlled real field to concentrate long-term operations in a shorter timeframe. The tool’s components will begin with TRL5/6 and end with TRL8 for μ-CHP and TRL7 for BUP.
Smart Ways for In-Situ Totally Integrated and Continuous Multisource Generation of Hydrogen
Solid Oxide Cells are efficient ways to convert variable electricity from renewables in green hydrogen. At the same time, they can be used in a reversible mode to enable the use of other sources (e.g. methane, bio-methane) to match a variable energy production with continuous and guaranteed production of hydrogen for contracted end uses. Switch will focus on the development of this specific solution and realize a mostly green and always secured production of hydrogen, heat and power. Core of the system is a reversible Solid Oxide module based on anode supported electrolyte, supported by an advanced fuel processing unit able to manage steam generation and methane reforming reactions at high efficiency and a purification unit to guarantee highly pure hydrogen in compliance with the main industrial and automotive standards. SWITCH project focuses on the demonstration of a 25kW (SOFC)/75kW (SOEC) system operating in a relevant industrial environment for at least 5000 hrs. Part of the activities will be focused on the issue of cost competitiveness and environmental impact, with the target of the hydrogen price lower than 5 €/kg. The basic solution will be designed to be up scalable to bigger sizes and thus reaching target applications in other different sectors such as industrial, residential and grid services. The modularity, low transient times, an integrated gas treatment unit and different modules combined in between SOFC and SOE mode will set a solution able to modulate between different sources and a flexible production of hydrogen, heat and power, with specific use cases considered.
Hydrogen Energy Applications for Valley Environments in Northern Netherlands
HEAVENN is a large-scale demo project addressing the requirements of the call, by bringing together core elements: production, distribution, storage and local end-use of H2 into a fully-integrated and functioning “H2 valley” (H2V), that can serve as a blueprint for replication across Europe and beyond. The proposed concept is based on the deployment & integration of existing & planned project clusters across 6 locations in the Northern Netherlands, namely Eemshaven, Delfzijl, Zuidwending, Emmen, Hoogeveen and Groningen, with a total initial investment of 88 M EUR. The main goal is to make use of green hydrogen across the entire value chain, while developing replicable business models for wide-scale commercial deployment of H2 across the entire regional energy system. HEAVENN aims to maximize the integration of abundant RES resource available in the region, both onshore (wind and solar) and offshore wind, using H2 as: (i) a storage medium to manage intermittent and constrained renewable inputs in the electricity grid; and (ii) an energy vector for further integration of renewable inputs and decarbonisation across other energy sectors beyond electricity, namely industry, heat and transportation. The project facilitates the deployment of 11 HFC end-user applications across the project clusters, while ensuring the interconnection between them. This will be delivered by facilitating the deployment of key transport & distribution gas infrastructure to deliver green H2 from supply to the end-user sites. In this way HEAVENN will demonstrate the coupling the existing electricity and gas infrastructures at scale, to decarbonize industry, power, transport and heat across the entire region. The scale of the deployment delivered by HEAVENN is sufficient to achieve by itself significant economies of scale & improved business models across the entire value chain.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Eco Edge Prime Power
Further digitalisation of society over the next decade demands infrastructure that is closer to the consumer as the shift in consumption requires data services at the edge of the digital networks. The key to meeting this demand is to rollout digital infrastructure that penetrates urban areas in support of this digital future. The problems associated with powering urban data centres hinges on the challenges of electrical power distribution within cities. This project aims to address these problems by creating a proof of concept (POC) alternative prime power source that employs fuel cell technologies for on-site power generation, which are efficient, quiet, showing reduced environmental impact and negligible demand on the electrical grid. Fuel cells have been around since the Apollo space program and can operate on different fuels like natural gas, hydrogen and propane (LPG). Fuel cells are electrochemical energy converters with efficiencies that exceed conventional power plants, already at small scale. The concept of connecting fuel cells to gas networks to power resilient urban and edge data centres overcomes the need to have backup generation in such areas, thus reducing the emissions and noise impact.
The main objectives of the proposed project are to:
- Define the fuel cell prime power concept for data centres.
- Create an authoritative open standard for fuel cell adaption to power data centres.
- Demonstrate and validate a POC fuel cell based prime power module for data centres.
- Collect extensive operational data from running fuel cells as prime power for data centres.
- Analyse the combined social, environmental and commercial impact for the European market.
- Evaluate opportunities for improved energy efficiency and waste heat recovery.
The project strongly anticipates opportunities for the European fuel cell suppliers to increase their uptake across multiple markets with improved energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
GREEN HYSLAND – Deployment of a H2 Ecosystem on the Island of Mallorca
The GREEN HYSLAND PROJECT addresses the requirements of the call FCH-03-2-2020: H2 Islands by deploying a fully-integrated and functioning H2 ecosystem in the island of Mallorca, Spain. The project brings together all core elements of the H2 value chain i.e. production, distribution infrastructure and end-use of green hydrogen across mobility, heat and power. The overall approach of GREEN HYSLAND is based on the integration of 6 deployment sites in the island of Mallorca, including 7.5MW of electrolysis capacity connected to local PV plants and 6 FCH end-user applications, namely buses and cars, 2 CHP applications at commercial buildings, electricity supply at the port and injection of H2 into the local gas grid. The intention is to facilitate full integration and operational interconnectivity of all these sites. The project will also deliver the deployment of infrastructure (i.e. dedicated H2 pipeline, distribution via road trailers and a HRS) for distributing H2 across the island and integrating green H2 supply with local end-users. The scalability and EU replicability of this integrated H2 ecosystem will be showcased via a long-term roadmap towards 2050, together with full replication studies. The intention is to expand the impact beyond the technology demonstrations delivered by the project, setting the basis for the first H2 hub at scale in Sothern Europe. This will provide Europe with a blueprint for decarbonization of island economies, and an operational example of the contribution of H2 towards the energy transition and the 2050 net zero targets
The project has already been declared to be a Strategic Project by the Balearic Regional Government, and has support from the National Government through IDAE.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Hydrogen pilot storage for large ecosystem replication
To prevent catastrophic climate change, we must rapidly shift to low carbon, renewable energies. Yet, 65% of Europe’s energy demand is still met by natural gas and other fossil fuels. Hydrogen provides solutions to several energy and climate problems. Geological hydrogen storage, like today’s natural gas storage, is needed to store variable renewable energies and flexibly provide green hydrogen mobility, industry and residential uses. HYPSTER aims to demonstrate the industrial-scale operation of cyclic H2 storage in salt caverns to support the emergence of the hydrogen energy economy in Europe in line with overall Hydrogen Europe road-mapping.
The specific objectives are to:
- Define relevant cyclic tests to be performed based on modelling and the needs of emerging hydrogen regions across Europe
- Demonstrate the viable operation of H2 cyclic storage for the full range of use-cases of emerging European hydrogen regions
- Assess the economic feasibility of large-scale cyclic H2 storage to define the roadmap for future replication across the EU
- Assess the risks and environmental impacts of H2 cyclic storage in salt caverns and provide guidelines for safety, regulations and standards
- Commit at least 3 companies to using the hydrogen storage and 3 potential sites to replicate the cyclic hydrogen storage elsewhere in Europe on a commercial-scale by the end of the project.
HYPSTER will pave the way towards replication with the target to go below 1€/kg for H2 storage cost for the potential 40 TWh salt cavern storage sites in Europe. The project coordinator STORENGY will massively invest for the upscaling of Europe’s first large-scale, cyclic salt cavern in operation by 2025 and 3 more targeted by 2030.
HYPSTER brings together 7 European partners including 2 RTOs for technology development, and 4 industries including 1 SME, plus 1 public-private cluster association to ensure maximum dissemination and uptake of HYPSTER results.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Hydrogen Storage In European Subsurface
Renewable hydrogen combined with large scale underground storage enables transportation of energy through time, balancing out the impacts of variable renewable energy production. While storing pure hydrogen in salt caverns has been practiced since the 70s in Europe, it has never been carried out anywhere in depleted fields or aquifers.
Technical developments are needed to validate these two solutions. As subsurface technical feasibility studies for a future hydrogen storage in depleted field or aquifer will be site-specific, as for other geology related activities, HyStories will provide developments applicable to a wide range of possible future sites: the addition of H2-storage relevant characteristics in reservoir databases at European scale; reservoir and geochemical modelling for cases representative of European subsurface, and tests of this representativeness by comparing it with results obtained with real storage sites models; and lastly an extensive sampling and microbiological lab experiment programme to cover a variety of possible conditions.
Complementarily, techno-economic feasibility studies will provide insights into underground hydrogen storage for decision makers in government and industry. Modelling of the European energy system will first define the demand for hydrogen storage. Environmental and Societal impact studies will be developed. For a given location and hydrogen storage demand, a high-level cost assessment for development of each of the competing geological storage options at that location will be estimated, and the sites will be ranked based on techno-economic criteria developed within the project. Finally, several case studies will enable consideration of the implementation of potential projects, notably by considering their economic interest.
This will provide substantial insight into the suitability for implementing such storage across EU and enable the proposition of an implementation plan.
Offshore hydrogen from shore-side wind turbine integrated electrolyser
The OYSTER project will lead to the development and demonstration of a marinized electrolyser designed for integration with offshore wind turbines. One of the world’s leading PEM electrolyser manufacturers, ITM Power, will work with the world’s largest offshore wind developer (Ørsted) and a leading wind turbine manufacturer (Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy) to develop and test in a shoreside pilot trial a MW-scale fully marinized electrolyser. The findings will inform studies and design exercises for full-scale systems that will include innovations to reduce costs while improving efficiency. To realise the potential of offshore hydrogen production there is a need for compact electrolysis systems that can withstand harsh offshore environments and have minimal maintenance requirements while still meeting cost and performance targets that will allow production of low-cost hydrogen. The project will provide a major advance towards this aim.
Preparation for further offshore testing of wind-hydrogen systems will be undertaken, and results from the studies will be disseminated in a targeted way to help advance the sector and prepare the market for deployment at scale. The OYSTER project partners share a vision of hydrogen being produced from offshore wind at a cost that is competitive with natural gas (with a realistic carbon tax), thus unlocking bulk markets for green hydrogen (heat, industry, and transport), making a meaningful impact on CO2 emissions, and facilitating the transition to a fully renewable energy system in Europe. This project is a key first step on the path to developing a commercial offshore hydrogen production industry and will lead to innovations with significant exploitation potential within Europe and beyond.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Hydrogen PROduction by MEans of solar heat and power in high TEmperature Solid Oxide Electrolysers
PROMETEO aims at producing green hydrogen from renewable heat & power sources by high temperature electrolysis in areas of low electricity prices associated to photovoltaic or wind.
Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOE) is a highly efficient technology to convert heat & power into hydrogen from water usually validated in steady-state operation. However, the heat for the steam generation may not be available for the operation of the SOE when inexpensive power is offered (e.g. off-grid peak, photovoltaics or wind). Thus, the challenge is to optimize the coupling of the SOE with two intermittent sources: non-programmable renewable electricity and high-temperature solar heat from Concentrating Solar (CS) systems with Thermal Energy Storage (TES) to supply solar heat when power is made available.
In PROMETEO a fully integrated optimized system will be developed, where the SOE combined with the TES and ancillary components will efficiently convert intermittent heat & power sources to hydrogen. The design will satisfy different criteria: end-users’ needs, sustainability aspects, regulatory & safety concerns, scale-up and engineering issues.
The players of the value-chain will play key roles in the partnership created around the project: from developers and research organizations, to the electrolyzer supplier, system integrator/engineering and end-users.
A fully-equipped modular prototype with at least 25 kWe SOE (about 15 kg/day hydrogen production) and TES (for 24 hours operation) will be designed, built, connected to representative external power/heat sources and validated in real context (TRL 5). Particular attention will be given to partial load operation, transients and hot stand-by periods.
Industrial end-users will lead to techno-economic & sustainability studies to apply the technology upscaled (up to 100 MW) in on-grid & off-grid scenarios for different end-uses: utility for grid balancing, power-to-gas, and hydrogen as feedstock for the fertilizer & chemical industry."
The project has already been declared to be a Strategic Project by the Balearic Regional Government, and has support from the National Government through IDAE.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
REliable Advanced Diagnostics and Control Tools for increased lifetime of solid oxide cell Technology
Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOE) and its possibility to operate in reversible mode (rSOC) can play a major role for H2 production at low cost and for renewable energies storage. These operating modes with high current and transients can induce degradation that needs to be mitigated for successful system deployment. Federating the cumulated advances built up in preceding collaborative projects, REACTT, with an established expert team, will realize a Monitoring, Diagnostic, Prognostic and Control Tool (MDPC) for SOE and rSOC stacks and systems. Its hardware platform will embed diagnostics and prognostics algorithms, and interact with the system power converters without modification. It contains (a) an innovative excitation module to probe the stack with PRBS (pseudo-random binary signal) or sine stimuli, and (b) a control coordination unit, interfaced with real time optimisation (RTO). The latter uses on-line measurements with a constraint-adaptive algorithm that drives the system to optimal operation, respecting all safety boundaries. Together, this approach will achieve to supervise and analyse the (reversible) electrolyser system, increase its reliability and extend its stack lifetime. REACTT will demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by tests on a SOLIDpower (SP) 5 kWe SOE system and on an rSOC x kWe CEA system, both at TRL6. This validation in two different operating modes with two different stack designs will prove the generic character of the developed tools, which can then be extended towards multiple technologies and higher power applications. It will reduce the operation and maintenance costs by 10%; the additional cost of the MDPC tool will not exceed 3% of the overall system manufacturing costs. These ambitious targets will be pursued in a close collaboration between 6 R&D (IJS, UNISA, CEA, VTT, EPFL and ENEA) and 3 industry partners (SP, Bitron and AVL) on the whole value chain from tests to systems through hardware and software developments.
Sustainable and Cost-Efficient Catalyst for Hydrogen and Energy Storage Applications Based On Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers: Economic Viability for Market Uptake
"Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC), consisting on a reversible transformation catalytically activated of a pair of stable liquid organic molecules integrated on hydrogenation/dehydrogenation cycles, are attractive due to their ability to store safely large amounts of hydrogen (up to 7 %wt or 2.300 KWh/ton) during long time and release pure hydrogen on demand. Proof of concept and some commercial solutions exist but still suffer from high cost and energy needed to facilitate catalytic reactions.
In order to reduce the system cost for LOHC technology to 3 €/Kg for large scale applications SherLOHCk project targets joint developments consisting on :i) highly active and selective catalyst with partial/total substitution of PGM and thermo-conductive catalyst support to reduce the energy intensity during loading/unloading processes: ii) novel catalytic system architecture ranging from the catalyst to the heat exchanger to minimize the internal heat loss and to increase space-time-yield and iii) novel catalyst testing, system validation and demonstration in demo unit (>10 kW, >200h); to drastically improve their technical performances and energy storage efficiency of LOHCs:
A combination of challenges for the catalyst material, catalyst system and their related energy storage capabilities will constitute the core of a catalyst system for LOHC, that will be validated first at a lab scale, then in a demo unit > 10kW. As a whole they will enable the reduction of Energy intensity during loading/unloading processes, a higher efficiency and increased lifetime. Technological, economical and societal bottlenecks are considered to determine the economic viability, balance of energy and the environmental footprint of novel catalyst synthesis route.
Scale-up of the obtained solutions will be carried out together with technology comparison with other hydrogen logistic concepts based on LCA and TCO considerations to finally improve economic viability of the LOHC technology."
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Solid oxide fuel cell combined heat and power: Future-ready Energy
The overall objective of SO-FREE is the development of a fully future-ready solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)-based system for combined heat and power (CHP) generation. This means a versatile system concept for efficient, near-zero-emission, fuel-flexible and truly modular power and heat supply to end users in the residential, commercial, municipal and agricultural sectors.
Beyond the primary objective required by the call topic i.e. the delivery of a pre-certified SOFC-CHP system allowing an operation window from zero to 100% H2 in natural gas and with additions of purified biogas, the SO-FREE project will endeavour the realization of a standardized stack-system interface, allowing full interchangeability of SOFC stack types within a given SOFC-CHP system. This interface design will be taken to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) as a new work item proposal (NWIP) for international standardization. In such a way all commercial barriers to full and free competition between SOFC stack suppliers and system integrators aim to be levelled.
Furthermore, this interoperability will be proved by doubling the required demonstration period: two systems will be run for 9 months each, each operating, alternately, two different stacks, which will be exchanged between the two systems. One system will be operated to assess compliance with all applicable certification requirements of a TRL 6 prototype, defining the outstanding pathway to full product certification; the other system will run at TRL7 (demonstration in operational environment) providing combined heat and power with natural gas with injections of hydrogen.
As a final proof of robustness and flexibility, the two stacks integrated in each of the two systems (one developed by AVL, the other by ICI Caldaie) will be characteristic of the extreme ends of the spectrum of SOFC operating temperatures: 650Â°C (Elcogen) and 850Â°C (Fraunhofer IKTS).
CORDIS link, Project’s website
World Class Innovative Novel Nanoscale Optimized Electrodes and Electrolytes for Electrochemical Reactions
The WINNER project will develop an efficient and durable technology platform based on electrochemical proton conducting ceramic (PCC) cells designed for unlocking a path towards commercially viable production, extraction, purification and compression of hydrogen at small to medium scale. This will be demonstrated in WINNER in three applications: ammonia cracking, dehydrogenation of hydrocarbons, and reversible steam electrolysis. By such, WINNER will create innovative solutions for flexible, secure and profitable storage and utilization of energy in the form of hydrogen and green ammonia, electrification of the chemical industry and sectors coupling. The WINNER project builds on the pioneering multidisciplinary expertise of world leading partners in the fields of proton conducting ceramic (PCC) materials and technologies to combine materials science, multi-scale multi-physics modelling and advanced in-situ and operando characterisation methods to unveil unprecedent performance of tubular PCC cells assembled in a flexible multi-tube module operating at industrially relevant conditions. WINNER will develop innovative cell architectures with multifunctional electrodes and a novel pressure-less current collection system using eco-friendly and scalable manufacturing routes. These activities will be steered by a novel multi-scale multi-physics modelling platform and enhanced experimentation methodologies. These tools combined with advanced operando and in situ methods will serve at establishing correlations between performance and degradation mechanisms associated with both materials properties and interface's evolution upon operation. Testing of cells and modules will also be conducted to define performance and durability in various operation modes. Techno-economic assessment of the novel PCC processes will be conducted as well as Life Cycle Assessment. The project is coordinated by SINTEF with support from UiO, CSIC, DTU, SMT, CTMS, ENGIE, Shell.
Megawatt scale co-electrolysis as syngas generation for e-fuels synthesis
In order to combat the climate changes and to reach the European goals for reduction of greenhouse emissions, fossil fuels must be replaced with renewables. MegaSyn will contribute by upscaling high-temperature co-electrolysis to mega-watt scale to produce green syngas (CO + H2) out of renewable electricity, waste CO2 and H2O. This process is called Power-to-X; it is the most important approach to decarbonise hard-to-electrify sectors such as the iron and steel industry, the chemical industry as well as heavy and long-distance transport, as syngas can be used as precursor for the manufacture of e-fuels and other chemicals. By using the co-electrolyser technology, the highest overall process efficiencies can be achieved.
MegaSyn will demonstrate that syngas can be produced via the solid oxide electrolyser cell technology (SOEC) in quantities relevant for industrial applications, while showing the way to competitive electrolyser costs and durability. It will be the world’s first demonstration of syngas production by co-electrolysis on the mega-watt scale in an industrial environment at the Schwechat Refinery in Austria. The project will lift the technology from TRL 5 to TRL 7, thus taking an important step towards commercialisation.
The consortium is carefully selected to cover all the necessary competences: DTU and TU Graz, respectively, will improve knowledge on degradation of cells and stacks and purification needs of feed streams, while Sunfire will design & build the co-electrolyser; OMV will install it at their Schwechat Refinery and Paul Wurth will perform the engineering of overall system integration.
After installation, the MegaSyn system will run for 2 years to demonstrate the production of >900 kg syngas based on renewable energy. Integrating the co-electrolyser based MegaSyn system at a refinery proves its value not only for the production of e-crude but also as a mega-watt scale system that can be integrated in e.g. the chemical industry.
CORDIS link, Project’s website
Hydrogen Underground storage in Porous Reservoirs
The HyUsPRe project researches the feasibility and potential of implementing large-scale storage of renewable hydrogen in porous reservoirs in Europe. This includes the identification of suitable geological reservoirs for hydrogen storage in Europe and an assessment of the feasibility of implementing large-scale storage in these reservoirs technologically and economically towards 2050. The project will address specific technical issues and risks regarding storage in porous reservoirs and conduct an economic analysis to facilitate the decision-making process regarding the development of a portfolio of potential field pilots. A techno-economic assessment, accompanied by environmental, social and regulatory perspectives on implementation will allow for the development of a roadmap for widespread hydrogen storage towards 2050; indicating the role of large-scale hydrogen storage in achieving a zero-emissions energy system in EU by 2050. This project has two specific objectives. Objective 1 concerns the assessment of the technical feasibility, risks, and potential of large-scale underground hydrogen storage in porous reservoirs in Europe. HyUsPRe will establish the important geochemical, microbiological, flow and transport processes in porous reservoirs in the presence of hydrogen via a combination of laboratory-scale experiments and integrated modelling, establish more accurate cost estimates and identify the potential business case for hydrogen storage in porous reservoirs. Suitable stores will be identified and their hydrogen storage potential will be assessed. Objective 2 concerns the development of a roadmap for the deployment of geological hydrogen storage up to 2050. The proximity of hydrogen stores to large renewable energy infrastructure and the amount of renewable energy that can be buffered versus time varying demands will be evaluated. This will form the basis to develop future scenario roadmaps and prepare for demonstrations.
CORDIS link, Project’s website