Projects

Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Center

  • Status
    Ongoing
  • Start date
    September 1, 2018
  • Runtime
    48 months
  • Contact
    Carol Xiao
  • Project leader
  • Robbert van der Pluijm
  • ISPT

This project covers the design, realization and exploration of the Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Center at the Zernike Campus in Groningen.

The open-innovation infrastructure will be used to do research and perform series of stress testing at MW scale with water electrolysis (both alkaline and proton exchange membrane (PEM) as a stepping stone towards future gigawatt scale production of sustainable hydrogen by the process industry. Material and component suppliers for membranes, anodes, electrodes, pump, and so on, are facilitated to test the impact of their products. Since manufacturs of electrolysers do not offer this transparency, this is a unique feature.

In its Routekaart Waterstof the Topsector Energie and the TKI Energie & Industrie is calling upon the industry to start working on several promising initiatives, such as “stress tests of large-scale electrolysers in an industrial setting including one fluctuating supply of renewable electricity”. The Topsector Energie published an interview with projectleader Robbert van der Pluijm about the impact of the MegaWatt Test Center.

Hydrohub Innovation Program

This project is a building block of our Hydrohub Innovation Program and therefore aligned to other hydrogen initiatives by the process industry and academics like the so-called GW-study and some mid-term projected pilot projects (e.g. 20 MW demo in 2022 by Nouryon and Gasunie) and a new tenure track programme by NWO in the field of electrochemistry.

Advanced process control

Early 2021 TKI Energy & Industry granted the project with a first addition to the original project. The addition involves advanced process control and will be executed in parallel to the current Hydrohub MegaWatt Test Center. The consortium is happy to announce a new partner in advanced process control: Yokogawa, manufacturer of equipment for the process industry. Production of hydrogen from renewable power sources requires dynamic operation of electrolysers. The new additional, dedicated research project models and researches the impact of variable operation on electrolyser performance and the electricity grid. Optimal control strategies will be developed with the goal to improve overall operational efficiency.  

2-3% operational efficiency gain

Advanced process control has been implemented in other industries successfully to improve efficiency and optimize multiple parameters simultaneously by considering the interaction, process dynamics and buffering and release of mass and energy in reactions. In this case of the flexible production of the green hydrogen, this is a totally new way of process control for electrolysers. It isexpected that by applying advanced control strategies 2 to 3 % operational efficiency gain can be achieved. The research proposed in this project is aimed to research, model, and test this potential efficiency gain on the PEM unit.  

Grant provider

Dit project is medegefinancierd door TKI-Energie uit de Toeslag voor Topconsortia voor Kennis en Innovatie (TKI’s) van het ministerie van Economische Zaken en Klimaat

Sustainable development goals

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Project partners

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