RWE recently announced that their gas-fired power plant based in Lingen, in Emsland, Germany, has produced its first kilogram of hydrogen, meaning this project can advance to the next stage of research and testing.
This plant was formed as a project called GET H2 TransHyDE, and was a joint effort between many different companies. These include Adlares, Evonik, Meter-Q Solutions, Nowega, OGE, Rosen, RWE and The DVGW Research Unit at the Engler-Bunte Institute of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, plus the University of Potsdam are also involved. All the companies have joined together as they have a shared interest in researching the infrastructure which would be required to enable green hydrogen to be stored and transported safely within a public space.
The project has recently had a breakthrough, as experiments have shown that by producing hydrogen through a high-temperature solid oxide electrolyser (SOEC), provided by Sunfire, the electrolyser has an output of 250 kW and has the capacity to provide 170 kg of hydrogen every day. This ability to produce 250 kw from the electrolyser is the equivalent of being able to power a car fuel cell for 17,000 km.
This is an incredible result and it means the project can move forwards to the next step in their plan, which is to focus on how hydrogen could be transported and stored, safely and reliably through pipes. In order to do this, a piston compressor will be installed next to the electrolyser, which will allow the hydrogen to be compressed to 58-bar pressure, making it suitable to travel and be stored in a pipe. Tests for this are expected to begin in 2024. The pipes will also be built and the hydrogen that the electrolyser is capable of producing currently will be used to run tests in the pipes, which will be built as a 130-metre-long test line.
The German led project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and so far, the project has been granted 11.63 million euros.
The COO Hydrogen at RWE Generation, Sopna Sury commented, “These 250kW of electrolysis capacity for the GET H2 TransHyDE research project are an important first step for us, and it will quickly be followed by others. In a few months, our 14MW pilot electrolyser at the Lingen plant, our first one that will produce hydrogen on an industrial scale, will also go into operation.”
The CEO of Sunfire, Nils Aldag added, “With our partner RWE, we are validating the next generation of electrolysers with high-temperature SOEC electrolysis. In parallel, we are building a pressurised alkaline electrolyser on an industrial scale in Lingen.”