Hydrogen produced by water electrolysis is a key component for the intersectoral coupling in the energy economy!
The electrochemical splitting of water by electrolysis is a clean and efficient process to generate hydrogen if the electricity used for splitting the water comes from renewable energy sources. The resulting “green” hydrogen is an universal fuel that can be easily stored and used in many applications in the energy economy, transport sector or the chemical industry. Given the strongly fluctuating and steadily increasing supply of electricity from renewable energy sources, hydrogen can ensure a reliable energy supply and even provide long-term or seasonal storage in future energy systems.
In particular, PEM water electrolysis, which applies a proton exchange membrane (PEM), is well-suited for combination with renewable energy sources. PEM electrolyzers have very good efficiency values at high current densities and they operate very dynamically at high pressures within a broad operating range. Fraunhofer ISE has been working for more than 25 years on component and system development as well as the integration of PEM electrolyzers in the energy system.
Current research focus in this area:
- Develop standardized measurement procedures for characterizing PEM electrolyzers
- Evaluate new cell components and stacks for PEM water electrolysis
- Develop coating strategies for bipolar plates and porous transport layers
- Investigate degradation mechanisms in PEM electrolysis cells and develop accelerated stress tests
- Characterize complete prototypes up to the three-digit kW range
- Perform stationary balancing and dynamic system modeling of electrolyzers and Power to Gas systems to create hydrogen yield prognoses and optimize operating concepts
- Investigate the grid service capability of electrolyzers
- Analyze cost structures of different electrolysis technologies
- Develop business models for the cost-effective implementation of electrolyzers in the energy system
- Carry out technological and market studies