Electrolysers – the climate-neutral technology of the future

Green hydrogen is becoming increasingly significant in the field of renewable energy. A recent study by the management consultancy Roland Berger, for example, predicts that European demand for hydrogen will be around 45 million tonnes by 2050.

“Electrolysis made in Baden-Württemberg” research project

“Electrolysis made in Baden-Württemberg” research project

A research project on the production of green hydrogen was carried out by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). Under the title “Electrolysis made in Baden-Württemberg”, the project’s goal was to develop – in collaboration with companies from Baden-Württemberg – alkaline electrolysis for efficient and cost-effective production of green hydrogen. 

During the project, various aspects of electrolysis technology were investigated with the aim of increasing both their performance and their economic efficiency. One area of focus was on optimising the electrolysis process for more efficient hydrogen production. By using advanced materials and innovative approaches, the researchers aimed to reduce the energy consumption of the electrolysis cells and increase the durability of the plant technology. 

Another important aspect concerned the optimal design of the cooling system. The heat generated during electrolysis must be dissipated in order to guarantee the optimum process temperature and thus greater efficiency. As specialists in the field of industrial refrigeration technology with over 60 years of experience, FrigorTec took on this task. The resulting solution not only reliably overcame the specific challenges of heat generation in the electrolysis process, but was also scalable to different plant sizes – from stationary electrolysis systems to transportable container solutions. In any event, thanks to FrigorTec’s
worldwide sales and service network it is ideally equipped to deploy the new solution worldwide.

After about four years of development work, the project was completed after a long test phase at ZSW. The final result of the project thus makes hydrogen production competitive and positions the participating companies worldwide as competent system suppliers for state-of-the-art electrolysis plants. 

Green hydrogen – a versatile energy source

Green hydrogen has a promising future and will be soon used in various sectors to support the transition to cleaner, climate-neutral energy sources. It is expected to play a key role in the following areas:

Energy storage: 
Green hydrogen can be used to store surplus renewable energy and release it as needed. This is especially important when it comes to balancing out fluctuations in the energy generated by wind farms and solar power plants. In this context, the comparatively low efficiency of this process – a frequently heard criticism of green hydrogen storage – becomes irrelevant, since without electrolysis all the surplus green electricity would be lost in any case.

Hydrogen is predicted to play a similarly important role in the area of mobility. Unlike battery technology, green hydrogen production does not depend on the extraction of raw materials. With an electrolysis capacity of 1 MW, about 20 kg of hydrogen can be produced per hour – enough to power a car for around 2,000 km. Other advantages include the fact that the existing infrastructure can be used and that refuelling a car with hydrogen only takes around five minutes. The same advantages apply to commercial vehicles.

Industrial processes:
Above all, energy-intensive industries such as fertiliser production, fuel purification and steel production can use green hydrogen as a clean fuel or as a raw material for the production of

Heat and power supply:
Hydrogen can be used in heating and cooling systems to generate carbon-free heat. However, it can also be used in fuel cells to generate electricity as a sustainable energy source for buildings and off-grid regions.

Overall, the future of green hydrogen holds the potential to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and pave the way to a more sustainable energy network. The development of key technologies such as alkaline electrolysis and efficient cooling methods is therefore of great

FrigorTec is helping to safeguard this process by developing reliable cooling technology for a wide range of process conditions – at home and abroad.

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