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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Electrolyser 2030 - Cell and stack designs

Alternative title: Elektrolysør 2030 - Elektrolysecelle og stack design

Awarded: NOK 8.8 mill.

Hydrogen is a clean fuel that can help us achieve a zero-emission society and protect the climate. In Norway, hydrogen can play a role in transitioning away from fossil fuels and ensuring the sustainable use of energy resources. One thing that makes hydrogen special is that it can be generated from water! A device called an electrolyser uses an electric current to break water molecules in to hydrogen and oxygen gas. Combining electrolysers with renewable energy from wind farms or hydroelectric dams offers a promising path towards abundant and clean energy. To reach this vision, the cost of electrolysers must be reduced to make so-called Green Hydrogen competitive with natural gas. A better understanding of the materials and components lifetime, optimal electrolyser cell and stack design should be established to pave the way for reducing the cost of electrolyser stack manufacturing and operation. Based on experimental and computational approaches to respond to that need, Electrolyser 2030 Cell and Stack Design consortium aims at developing and providing design and decision tools for enabling the realization, mass production, and integration of low-cost, highly efficient, durable, and reliable, electrolyser stacks. Supported by Research Council and led by SINTEF Industry, the consortium is constituted by three national and international universities, four research institutes, and six industrial partners covering competencies from the fundamental processes inside electrolyser cells to the design and operation of large-scale electrolyser plants.

The hydrogen strategy from EU identifies renewable hydrogen as a key priority to achieve Europe's clean energy transition. The European Green Deal recognizes hydrogen as one of very few options for replacing fossil fuels in carbon intensive industrial processes, in the transportation sector and to play a role in the integrated energy system of the future. EU will install at least 6 GW of electrolysis by 2024 and at least 40 GW by 2030. Hydrogen production by electrolysis is still more expensive than other methods due to high capital costs and the higher cost of the electricity compared to natural gas. Hydrogen Europe has in its Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda for the new Clean Hydrogen for Europe IEP identified that reduction of electrolyser costs and improving efficiency, with high durability and reliability, are the key steps to realising the strategic goals of the EU. The overarching research question for the Electrolyser 2030 project is how Norwegian industry can utilize water electrolysis and green hydrogen production for sustainable value creation both as technology/service providers, as hydrogen suppliers and exporters of hydrogen or hydrogen derived products. This question will be answered by focusing on identified technical, commercial, and regulatory challenges for industrialised renewable hydrogen systems in the GW scale. To answer these questions, the project will perform research and in-depth analysis at levels of electrolysis development ranging from single cells to stack level. The project will perform interdisciplinary work, combining input and data between the different levels for analysis. Experiments will be performed to provide data on the latest advances for beyond state-of-the-art electrolysers as a foundation for further analysis and modelling on higher levels and to investigate electrolyser performance and lifetime.

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ENERGIX-Stort program energi