Industrial–scale electrolysis goes into series production

25 January 2022

The first series production of electrolysis systems from the Baden-Württemberg Project gets under way this month. 

In order to make hydrogen technology sustainable for the future, there is a need for the roll-out of electrolysis on an industrial scale and for the rapid development of production capacity. To make this process more efficient, the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (Zentrum für Sonnenenergie und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg – ZSW) has joined forces with industrial parts cleaning company Ecoclean for the ‘EcoLyzer BW project, which is due to start this month, and together they plan to develop an internationally competitive electrolysis system and see it through to series production and market launch. There are currently about 10 companies in the world which are developing and supplying commercial electrolysis systems on a megawatt scale. So far, however, there has been no industrial provider of electrolysis system technology in Baden-Württemberg to act as a system integrator and bundle the expertise in the federal state, and which would be able to proceed quickly to competitive product development and serial production.?

In adopting the Green Deal, Europe has committed itself to becoming the first to be climate-neutral by 2050 and has introduced much stricter greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 from minus 40 % to minus 55 % compared to 1990 levels. 

EcoLyzer is a technique for water electrolysis in the 1 MW category developed by the ZSW over the past 10 years. It is an alkaline high-pressure electrolysis system. The electrolyser can be fitted with two electrolysis stacks, each with an output of 0.5 MW, and at maximum capacity it will deliver about 20 kg/hour of hydrogen, at a pressure level of 16 bar, with an efficiency of around 70 %. The ZSW chose this technology because it is already tried and tested, it is a robust technology, it lends itself to scaling, and it does not involve the use of precious metals and rare earth elements where resources are at critical levels. 

The technology developed by the ZSW has already been tested in practice since 2019 in the context of ‘Power-to-Gas Baden-Württemberg’, a flagship project in Grenzach-Wyhlen funded by the Baden-Württemberg ministry of Economic Affairs. 

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