With the growing use of renewable energy, the share of electricity that is generated by intermittent energy sources is inevitably increasing. Hydrogen is a secondary energy carrier which can be produced by electrolysis using climate-friendly renewable energy sources. Unique among energy carriers, hydrogen has the potential to chemically store extremely large amounts of energy over long periods of time. Water electrolyzers serve as decentralized, controllable loads that are proving to be increasingly useful for electricity grid operators. They are taking on a valuable role in grid control, by quickly being able to match supply and demand and aid in grid stability. Used as fuel in fuel cell vehicles, hydrogen is the vital link between the energy economy and zero emission mobility.
In the business area Hydrogen Technologies at Fraunhofer ISE, we offer R&D services for the production, conversion and storage of hydrogen. For the electrochemical production of hydrogen, we focus on using renewable power to split water in a so-called polymer electrolyte membrane, or PEM, electrolyzer. We also work on developing fuel cell systems for operation under real outdoor conditions, especially for applications in automotive engineering and decentralized stationary systems.
In addition, Fraunhofer ISE holds long-standing experience in process engineering, specifically the thermochemical processing of fossil and biogenic energy carriers. Our competence includes techniques such as reforming and pyrolysis as well as synthesizing hydrogen and CO2 to liquid fuels.
To assist with the transition from a fossil fuel-based energy system to a CO2-neutral energy economy, Fraunhofer ISE investigates the technical feasibility of new, energy-efficient and resource-friendly processes and offers an economic feasibility analysis at the same time.