Gas compression is a key process for transporting, distributing, storing and dispensing hydrogen. It accounts for a relevant share of costs and energy consumption in most hydrogen supply chains from initial hydrogen sourcing to final hydrogen use. Today, various compression technologies are applied, depending on use cases, flow rates, and input and output pressure levels.
The European Hydrogen Association has reorganised itself. In June 2021, Hydrogen Europe announced that Jon André Løkke would henceforth be the Chairman of the Supervisory Board. Løkke succeeds Valerie Bouillon-Delporte, who had held the post since 2017.
The time has come for new collaborations in the hydrogen sector. As noted in this year’s May issue, the number of reports about company mergers and new partnerships has increased steadily over the past months. One example of this is the partnership formed by electrolyzer manufacturer Nel after its recent foray into the solar market. In early May, the group announced that one of its subsidiaries, Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser, is now working with First Solar, a manufacturer of PV modules, to design integrated solar-hydrogen power plants.
A short time later, news broke that Danish hydrogen business Everfuel and Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk Hydro signed a memorandum of understanding to improve conditions for electrolyzers in Europe. The agreement contemplates installing the Hydrogen Distribution Centers that are being developed by Everfuel at electrolyzer sites near Norsk Hydro’s aluminum smelters to ensure the fast and safe refueling of the latter company’s hydrogen trailers.
US manufacturer Nikola is the company currently making the most waves in the nascent hydrogen market, emerging as another success story similar to Tesla‘s. Its critics, however, consider the Phoenix-based would-be truck maker to be just as overrated as its competitor from Fremont, as it has yet to deliver on most of its promises.
The topic of hydrogen and fuel cells is also becoming increasingly hotly debated on the stock exchange. The takeover of Hydrogenics, the Canadian frontrunner in fuel cell systems for trucks and rail vehicles as well as for electrolysers, by the US company Cummins Engine, should make people sit up and even trigger a wave of further takeovers or participations of listed companies in the industry.
The hydrogen and fuel cell units deployed in heavy-duty applications have been mostly test systems for onboard energy supply. Even those systems are far from being finished products. The shared opinion among research and development laboratories is that the technologies could be used to power cars and trucks, but only up to a certain weight or load.
There has been quite an interest in energy storage recently. And as ever more power-to-gas systems have been popping up all over Germany, project planners are increasingly turning their attention to the key elements found on-site: electrolyzers. These electrochemical units to create hydrogen have been around for a long time.