Europe’s path to net zero relies heavily on electrification and carbon neutral power, as well as carbon-neutral hydrogen as a fuel or feedstock. To enable this transition, in 2017 the Netherlands-based Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT) established its Hydrohub Innovation Program (HIP) to focus on developing knowledge and technology for large-scale, electrolysis-based production of low-cost green hydrogen. ISPT is a leading institute in the Netherlands for open innovation in the process industry. At the heart of ISPT’s efforts is the transition towards a CO2-neutral, circular economy in 2050.
One of the program’s projects is the Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Center (HMWTC), whose objective is development of an open-innovation infrastructure for stress-testing of water electrolysis technology at an industrially relevant scale. Construction of the HMWTC started in April 2021 at EnTranCe – Centre of Expertise Energy of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. In addition to ISPT, TNO and Hanze University of ed Sciences, it has involved collaboration between Shell, HyCC, Yara, Gasunie, PlugPower, Groningen Seaports, University of Groningen and Yokogawa.
In November 2022, ISPT announced that all equipment was in place, ready for commissioning of the test center, including the utility system, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Electrolyser and Alkaline Electrolyser (AE) units. Once commissioning is complete, companies will be able to utilize the facility for practical tests at scale.
Yokogawa's role in the Hydrohub Innovation Program
Yokogawa Europe’s involvement and contribution towards success of the project has been significant. Leveraging unique knowledge and experience in plug-and-produce technologies for modular facilities and standardization frameworks such as NAMUR’s Modular Type Package (MTP) and Open Process Automation Standard (O-PAS™), Yokogawa Europe has supplied material, engineering services and know-how for supervisory control and process safety. In addition, the company has increased knowledge and understanding of advanced control of the integrated system, especially efficient system ramp-up and ramp-down, as well as safe operation at low load rates.
Yokogawa is proud to be supporting this research project and co-innovating solutions to accelerate achievement of net zero. This research and ISPT’s mission are fully aligned with Yokogawa’s sustainability goals, which are to help industry to achieve net-zero emissions, make a transition to a circular economy, and ensure the well-being of all by 2050.
The use of renewable energy protects the environment and takes both society and industry closer to the goal of achieving sustainability. However, compared to conventional energy sources, there are certain challenges that stand in the way of its rapid adoption, such as higher production costs and greater instability in the supply of power to the grid. As a leading company in the control and instrumentation business, Yokogawa has always striven to help its customers in various industries achieve stable operations and improve productivity in their plants. Based on our VigilantPlant concept for attaining operational excellence, we are providing solutions that pave the way to the use of renewable energy sources.