Back to search

FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt

Norwegian Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Centre

Alternative title: Norsk brenselscelle- og hydrogensenter

Awarded: NOK 28.0 mill.

A fuel cell is a device that converts chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction. Typically, hydrogen gas molecules are split into hydrogen ions and electrons on one side of the fuel cell, and then the hydrogen ions go through the electrolyte to the other side, while the electrons go through an external circuit producing direct current electricity. On the other side the hydrogen ions and electrons react with oxygen from the air to produce water. Hydrogen is an attractive fuel for fuel cells as the only emission is water, but hydrogen fuel does not occur naturally on Earth and thus is not an energy source; rather it is an energy carrier that has to be produced. Hydrogen can be produced from renewable energy sources by electrolysis of water, which is in principle a reverse fuel cell process. Fuel cell and hydrogen technologies are currently competitive with other energy conversion technologies in certain niche markets and the international market is growing rapidly. An increasing number of suppliers are launching commercial products for portable electronics, stationary energy production and transportation. A major milestone was reached at the end of 2014 when Toyota began series production of fuel cell cars which is backed by government support for construction of hydrogen fueling infrastructure in areas such as California, Germany, Japan and Norway. Research and development within fuel cell and hydrogen technology now move from small scale and short duration tests to larger scale and long term tests to become more application-oriented. This research infrastructure focuses specifically on testing of fuel cells and electrolysers; from single cells to system integration and verification. Through this infrastructure, Norwegian actors will be well positioned to secure a significant share of the rapidly expanding markets within fuel cell and hydrogen technologies which will be key enabling technologies for a future zero emission society.

Fuel cells and Hydrogen (FCH) technologies are currently competitive with other energy conversion technologies in certain niche markets and the international market is growing with 60% annually. An increasing number of suppliers are launching commercial products for portable electronics, stationary energy production and transportation. A major milestone was reached at the end of 2014 when Toyota began series production of fuel cell cars which is backed by government support for construction of hydrogen infrastructure in areas such as California, Germany, Japan and Norway. For research and development, the move from small scale, short duration tests to larger scale and long term tests as well as prototype testing and product roll-out is clearly seen. In Europe's largest research program, Horizon 2020, the projects will be more applied and innovation oriented, the competition within fuel cells and electrolysers are increasing and R&D institutions (and countries) which can offer advanced infrastructure for testing and technology validation will be prioritized when the growing European industry chooses their collaboration partners. Through this infrastructure, Norwegian actors will be well positioned to secure a significant market share in the rapidly expanding markets withing fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. This proposal focuses specifically on fuel cells and electrolysers, from single cells to system integration and verification which will be key enabling technologies for a future zero emission society.

Activity:

FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt