Research Projects

      Overview

      ecoPtG – Transferring technology to promote the energy transition

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      The "ecoPtG" project uses experience from the automotive industry for developing low-cost electrolyzers

      Reconciling supply and demand is one of the major challenges of the energy transition. Here, hydrogen lends itself as an energy source, produced by electrolysis from surplus wind and solar energy. IAV has teamed up with partners to work on an alkaline water electrolyzer with an output of 100 kilowatts that will benefit from automotive engineering.

      Project objective

      In the course of the energy transition, electricity is increasingly being generated from fluctuating sources. Solar and wind energy generation depends on the weather and is subject to significant fluctuations. At times, renewable energy production thus temporarily exceeds regional demand.
      Hydrogen plays a key role in resolving this challenge and also in de-carbonizing the transport sector, i.e. changing over from fossil to renewable energy sources. The high-energy gas is generated by electrolysis from surplus eco-electricity and can be stored for long periods of time (power-to-gas method). If required, hydrogen can be reconverted into electricity or used as environmentally compatible fuel for fuel cell vehicles.

      Up until now, high investment costs were a barrier to market entry for power-to-gas technology, especially in the case of smaller electrolyzers. IAV and its partners ZSW (Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg), RLI (Reiner Lemoine Institute) and HT (Wasserelektrolyse Hydrotechnik GmbH) have set up the "ecoPtG" project to change this situation. Using a straightforward concept with simplified production processes and affordable materials such as plastics, they intend to make the envisaged alkaline electrolyzer fit for the market in an output range of 100 kW to 1 MW. To achieve this aim, the project partners are mainly reverting to the experience of the automotive industry.

      The partners are focusing on power electronics, open-loop control and sensor technology as well as process components for temperature control and fluid circuits. Many of these components are already being made in cost-effective mass production for vehicles with various drive technologies and also meet electrolysis requirements. The “ecoPtG” project is investigating exactly how to implement this technology transfer.

      Partners
      IAV (project coordination), ZSW (Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg), RLI (Reiner Lemoine Institute) and HT (Wasserelektrolyse Hydrotechnik GmbH)

      Funding body
      German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy

      Project sponsor
      Project sponsor Jülich

      Project duration
      November 2015 to October 2018

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