Modular electrolyser stack to cut hydrogen generation costs

March 31, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
The US subsidiary of Nel in Norway is to develop a modular electrolyser stack to produce hydrogen based on the same fuel cell technology used in electric cars
The US subsidiary of Nel in Norway is to develop a modular electrolyser stack to produce hydrogen based on the same fuel cell technology used in electric cars

The US subsidiary of Nel in Norway has been awarded a $1.85 million grant by the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a new containerised electrolyser cell stack approach to enable higher efficiency, low cost hydrogen generation.  

The project by Proton Energy Systems aims to develop a highly efficient modular reversible fuel cell (URFC) system based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. A URFC is in principle an electrolyser stack which can be operated in reverse, to also produce electricity as a fuel cell.

State of the art fuel cells exhibit higher efficiency and lower cost compared to electrolyser cell stacks. Developing the electrolyser operating conditions to enable configurations that have more in common with the fuel cells used in electric vehicles will enable lower cost and higher efficiencies.

“We are very excited to receive this award from the DOE. Success of this project will not only demonstrate a cost-effective pathway for hydrogen energy storage, but it will also help further improve our electrolysers in general, enabling lower cost hydrogen generation for all other customer segments,” says Kathy Ayers, Vice President R&D of Nel Hydrogen US.

The project is funded by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office within DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as part of the H2@Scale initiative. This aims to improved efficiency and resiliency in multiple sectors including transportation and industry.

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