100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

ITM Power, the energy storage and clean fuel company, announces that it has received confirmation of a €1.35m grant award to a consortium to develop supply chains for PEM electrolyser components. The Company’s share of this award is €0.36m.

In the three year programme, ITM Power will be working with consortium members Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR-ITAE); European Commission, Directorate-General; Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport (JRC); Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS); Solvay Speciality Polymers Italy; and TRE S.p.A Tozzi Renewable Energy. CNR-ITAE will have overall management responsibility for the project. The programme, known as the ELECTROHYPEM project and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme  addresses the validation of developed materials for residential applications in the presence of renewable power sources.

The overall objective of ELECTROHYPEM is to develop cost-effective components with enhanced activity and stability in order to reduce stack and system costs and to improve efficiency, performance and durability. Presently, the active incumbent materials contribute to about 70% of stack costs. Thus, the focus of the project is on low-cost electrocatalyst, low-noble metal loading electrodes and membrane development.

In particular, the project addresses the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers based on such innovative components for residential applications (1 Nm3/h hydrogen production rate with an equivalent energy consumption lower than 4 kWh/Nm3) in the context of a suitable integration with renewable power sources. The aim is to contribute to the road-map addressing the achievement of a wide scale decentralised hydrogen production infrastructure.

ITM Power’s main role in the project is to further develop its hydrocarbon PEM electrolyser membranes and to evaluate the performance and durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA’s) developed in the project and undertake assessment of low noble metal loading approaches.

ITM Power CTO, Dr Simon Bourne, commented: “This project is a collaboration between the key European organisations in the component supply chain for green hydrogen production and we are delighted to be at the heart of it. We look forward to bringing our unique membrane materials to the project and benchmarking these against current best of breed.”