Electrolysis and Hydrogen represent vital options for a time when power will be supplied predominantly from intermittent solar or wind sources with the requirement of storing electricity on a TWh scale, for days to several weeks. Among outstanding features of hydrogen is its versatile use as a highly efficient and clean fuel for transportation in particular with fuel cell electric powertrains, its role as an important raw material in the chemical industry, its potential as a supplement of natural gas and as a basis for synthetic hydrocarbon fuels. Due to the presently high investment costs, R&D efforts for the polymer membrane electrolysis technology need to focus on cost reduction, efficient production and up-scaling. For solid oxide electrolysis new operational concepts, like operation with heat integration, co-electrolysis and bi-functional operation are envisioned. High pressure operational modes will be investigated as they promise improved efficiency and reduced system cost. In general, innovative system solutions for safe and efficient use of hydrogen need to be studied to strengthen their acceptance in society. These challenges will be addressed by an interdisciplinary approach involving material development, electrode and stack design, system layout and modelling/simulation. The Helmholtz research centres encompass the most significant and comprehensive expertise in electrolysis technology and the main activity on hydrogen safety in Germany.
Participating Institutes at KIT: ITES