Sunfire GmbH has delivered a steam electrolysis moduel to Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, in the context of the Horizon 2020 project ‘Green Industrial Hydrogen via reversible high-temperature electrolysis’ (GrInHy).

With an input power of 150 kWel the module produces 40 Nm3 per hour of hydrogen (H2). It can also be reversed into fuel cell mode with an output power of 30 kWel.

A particular feature of Sunfire technology is the high electrical efficiency of more than 80% with reference to the lower calorific value of H2. The steam required is provided in the form of waste heat from the processes of the smelting plant at Salzgitter Flachstahl and supplied to the steam electrolysis unit.

After purification, the crude H2 is fed directly into the local H2 pipeline and recycled. The delivery from Dresden to Salzgitter took place in June 2017. Two smaller modules were put into operation at Boeing back in 2015.

In fuel cell mode, the module can be operated with both H2 and natural gas. In demo operation, one of the points being investigated is the extent to which the plant can contribute to the provision of grid services (energy balancing, load management).

The GrInHy project has received support from the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, in addition to Salzgitter Flachstahl, BR&T-E and Sunfire. The following partners are also involved: Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland; European Institute of Energy Research (EIFER); Institute of Physics of Materials; Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Politecnico di Torino.

The steam electrolysis module

The steam electrolysis module

Source: Sunfire