HYPOS has been successful in making the transition from an idea on the drawing board to a big consortium that has sparked a variety of projects. Ten years ago, almost nobody knew of the combined hydrogen expertise in mid-Germany. Now, HYPOS has amassed a network of 116 partners, 75 from business and 41 from the scientific community.
HYPOS is short for Hydrogen Power Storage & Solutions East Germany (see HZwei issue from July 2013). The project was initiated by the Central German Metropolitan Region, the Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems, and the Chemistry/Plastics Cluster Central Germany and is part of the Entrepreneurial Regions initiative, launched by the German education ministry (BMBF) to strengthen ties between businesses.
The main office of HYPOS is in Halle, but the network partners are not all based in the middle of Germany. Organizations from Rostock and Freiburg have joined the project, although most enterprises are indeed headquartered in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia as well as North Rhine-Westphalia. Together, they intend to provide a big boost to the energy industry’s transformation and establish a hydrogen showcase region by 2020. The tasks range from making the chemical industry more sustainable to supplying renewable power for electric transportation.
HYPOS is part of the …
Testing any and all electrolysis technologies
There are yet other methods being tested to make the most of economically feasible, large-scale wind and solar-based hydrogen production through electrolysis. Spring 2017 is said to be the starting point of a new AREVA H2Gen project that seeks to develop a cost-effective and efficient 2 MW system to produce hydrogen through PEM electrolysis. The project is called MegaLyseur, has a budget of EUR 14.2 million and is reported to lead to the construction of a pilot system in Leuna (more about the project can be found in the HZwei issue in Juli 2017).
But PEM-based production is not the only electrolysis method being researched: Kumatec intends to enhance a process that is already thought of as technologically mature: alkaline electrolysis. The development of a high-pressure unit with a outlet pressure of 100 bar was rewarded in June 2016 with the IQ Innovation Award Central Germany, endowed with EUR 15,000 (see figure 1). The comparably efficient units could be of particular interest to hospitals, as the oxygen produced during electrolysis can easily be converted into ozone. Kumatec’s managing director, Joachim Löffler, believes that this selling point will lead to breakeven relatively quickly. For the moment, however, the business based in Neuhaus-Schierschnitz and its seven project partners from Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt and Hesse will focus on wastewater treatment plants.
The third technology is high-temperature electrolysis, which is being tested by sunfire (see FC on board – MFC & SOFC in maritime applications). The principal research …
Funding is available
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