Industrial Scale Renewable Hydrogen Project advances to Next Phase.

A recently completed R&D-project shows good test results and are now in a long-term testing phase to confirm results over longer period. Test results reveal significant efficiency improvements on electrolyser cells due to a new electrode coating solution. The Norwegian company HydrogenPro together with other expert companies in an interdisciplinary research consortium are reaching a breakthrough improvement for novel cell coating of large-scale high-pressure alkaline electrolysers. Once put into production this new technology will make green hydrogen competitive against carbon-based alternatives.

Hydrogen is a highly effective energy carrier across the industry and transport sector and can be produced entirely based on the use of renewable sources as a green alternative opposed to oil and gas-based hydrogen. Replacing hydrogen production from carbon-based resources with a green production based on electrolysis relaying on renewable energy (solar, wind, water), will contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas reduction to a competitive price.

As part of the large Horizon 2020 EU development program a consortium where HydrogenPro participate together with Elplatek and partners, expects to mature optimized electrodes on the market within 24-30 months, creating 150-200 new jobs in EU within the next five years with an additional turnover of more than MEUR 100. Over the next 10 years, the consortium expects to create 800-1.000 jobs in the EU (minimum 3 large factories for electrode production within the EU and 5 assembly plants for assembly of alkaline electrolysis) and additional turnover of more than MEUR 500 for the consortium members.

The H2GREEN R&D-program is now at a stage where the new key enabling technology can be demonstrated in relevant industrial environment (TRL6). The optimized electrodes have recently been tested in reduced size (electrodes 60 cm in diameter @ 30 bar) in Germany. The results have been even better than the laboratory tests conducted in Denmark with experiments based on smaller prototype cells. There is a high probability that the standard size electrodes (170 cm in diameter) once customized, tested and installed will perform even better. The 428 novel electrodes will be installed, and test validated at the Les Hauts de France hydrogen plant (H2V Product) in North East France. H2V is a company focused on applications for the massive use of carbon-free hydrogen.

This is an industry-driven project. The partners being Elplatek (DK) and HydrogenPro (NO) together with key partners.

The project is an ambitious power-to-gas project aiming to build five hydrogen electrolyser production plants of 100 MW each over a five-year period. The instalment of 600 MW offshore wind energy close to the hydrogen electrolyser production units will be the primary energy source for the hydrogen production. This new generation electrolyser in this project will give our customers a better business case making it easier for them to attract investors due to a significant CAPEX reduction.

The scope of this project is to produce hydrogen at lower cost by using optimized electrodes for alkaline electrolysis. With an efficiency of approx. 93% (according to HHV) it is a significant step forward compared to alkaline electrolysis with current state-of-the-art electrodes (that has an efficiency of approx. 80 % according to HHV).

Beside the savings of electricity there will be an additional approximately 75% reduction for infrastructure associated with cooling water since the energy losses now are limited to a minimum. The electrodes are not based on noble metals (such as palladium and platinum), so it is expected to outperform other alternatives.

Through the EUROSTAR project RE-Storage (project # 10788/16/Q) HydrogenPro, Danish Technological Institute and Elplatek have already proven that the developed technology is mature enough to bring the technology the final step of market introduction. Therefore, it is now time to test the technology on industry-sized electrodes together with H2V.

As of today, the maturity of technology is considered as TRL6, but as an outcome of the present project we expect to lift H2GREEN technology to TRL8. Prototype electrodes have been successfully tested in an operational environment and the technology can be commercially released to the market within a few months after completing this project.

HydrogenPro is in dialogue with more than 50 customers, which all have planned start-up of hydrogen plants for the coming five years. The reference project showed positive results but testing the optimized electrodes on industry scale basis will be crucial for commercial release to the market and scaleup activities. The consortium partners are:

  • Elplatek A/S is s a specialized coating company participating in different national and international development projects. Elplatek will deliver optimized electrodes to HydrogenPro, who will be responsible for selling the optimized high-pressure alkaline electrolysers to the industry, transport and renewable energy sectors.

  • HydrogenPro AS is as supplier of high-pressure alkaline electrolysers and is already supplier to the renewable energy sector, but the new solution with optimized electrodes will increase this market share significantly.

  • Additional partners and world leading windmill suppliers are involved in the project proposal.

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