Green hydrogen - energy carrier of the future
Climate change and the energy transition make it necessary to significantly reduce the use of fossil fuels. In addition, dependence on supplier countries and rising import prices for crude oil and natural gas are increasing interest in energy solutions that can be produced independently, are climate-friendly and can be used flexibly.
One such solution is green hydrogen. It is produced by electrolysis, i.e. the splitting of water into its components oxygen and hydrogen, using electricity from renewable sources such as wind power and photovoltaics. Since this electrolysis process does not produce any CO2 emissions, green hydrogen is an important building block for the energy transition and climate neutrality. The focus is primarily on areas and applications that can only be electrified to a limited extent or not at all using green electricity.
To meet the growing demand for efficient electrolysis systems, the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and Ecoclean have combined their expertise in the "EcoLyzer BW" research project.
The aim is to develop a scalable, internationally competitive electrolysis system and rapidly build up the corresponding production capacities. The design of the electrolyzers as a modular system with compact standard modules in power classes initially ranging from 1.0 to 10 MW and an operating pressure of up to 30 bar enables the cost-efficient and simple construction of electrolyzers. They can be adapted to a wide range of applications by coupling several modules with little design effort. These include decarbonization of energy-intensive processes, for example in the steel, chemical, metal and glass industries. Generation of green hydrogen as a fuel that provides climate-friendly transportation for both short- and long-distance passenger transport as well as for freight transport on land, in the air and on water. In addition, the hydrogen can be further processed into synthetic fuels (e-fuels). Hydrogen is also ideal for storing surplus renewable energy that can be used across sectors, for example electricity and heat, in modern district concepts.
Technologically, the electrolysers "Made by Ecoclean" are based on a system technology for alkaline pressure electrolysis in the megawatt power class developed by ZSW over the last ten years. The already well-tested and robust technology can also be scaled up to larger power classes. A further advantage is that, unlike other electrolysis processes, neither resource-critical raw materials such as precious metals nor rare earths are required. We combine this experience and expertise in the field of the electrolysis block with our know-how and decades of qualification in process engineering mechanical and plant engineering as well as industrial production technology. Aspects such as low space requirements and ease of maintenance are thus incorporated into the design of the electrolyzers. In addition, our worldwide sales and service network ensures fast spare parts supply and maintenance. Production of the electrolysis plants is scheduled to start in 2023.