New grant for experimental hydrogen test centre for open innovation

Hydrogen from renewable power sources plays a key role in the energy transition by reducing CO2 emissions related to industrial activity. It contributes not only as a sustainable industry feedstock, as well as energy carrier. As sustainability is high on our agenda, Yokogawa has joined ISPT’s Hydrohub Innovation Program. We aim to develop largescale, electrolysis-based production of sustainable and low-cost hydrogen, as a driver for circular industrial chains. Part of this program is the Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Centre project for experimentation with full-scale small industrial PEM and Alkaline units of 250 kW each. The project is led by ISPT and besides Yokogawa consists of Shell, Nouryon, Yara, Gasunie, Frames, Groningen Seaports, TNO, HanzeHogeschool Groningen and Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

The purpose of the hydrogen test centre
The experimental hydrogen test centre is being build this spring at Energy Research Centre EnTranCe of Hanzehogeschool at the Zernike campus in Groningen. The goal of the project is to run a series of studies to test basic operations, identify the window-of-operation and explore limitations in stress-tests to understand the optimal operation window and limitations of equipment. Another aim is to develop an open-innovation ecosystem in which the MegaWatt Test Centre supports further advanced technology development for electrolysis.

Advanced process control
Recently TKI Energy & Industry granted the project with a first addition to the original project. The addition involves advanced process control and will be executed in parallel to the current Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Centre. As a partner of this consortium, Yokogawa - manufacturer of industrial automation and test & measurement equipment for the process industry - will focus mainly on advanced process control. After all, the production of hydrogen from renewable energy sources requires the dynamic operation of electrolysers. The new additional, dedicated research project models and researches the impact of variable operation on electrolyser performance and the electricity grid. Optimal control strategies will be developed with the goal to improve overall operational efficiency.

2-3% operational efficiency gain
Advanced process control has been implemented in other industries successfully to improve efficiency and optimize multiple parameters simultaneously by considering the interaction, process dynamics and buffering and release of mass and energy in reactions. In this case of the flexible production of the green hydrogen, this is a totally new way of process control for electrolysers. It is expected that by applying advanced control strategies 2 to 3 % operational efficiency gain can be achieved. The research proposed in this project is aimed to research, model, and test this potential efficiency gain on the PEM unit.

Are you interested in learning more about the Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Centre? Read more at ISPT.

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