Enea (the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) will lead a consortium of nine organisations to develop high-temperature solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) prototype using renewable solar heat and power to produce green hydrogen continuously.
The € 2.7 million (US$ 3.2 million) funded project will use solid oxide technology to build a 25 kWe prototype electrolyser capable of producing 15 kg/day of hydrogen. The prototype will be modular and can be replicated on the MWe industrial scale. The project tries to produce hydrogen from water through high-temperature electrolysis by integrating it with renewable power sources (solar thermal, photovoltaics, wind). The project aims to build a technology that can increase the penetration of renewable sources across various industrial sectors.
The issue with renewables is that they are unstable. To overcome the intermittency of renewable solar energy, Prometeo (Hydrogen PROduction by MEans of solar heat and power in high TEmperature solid Oxide electrolysers) will develop a system to manage the energy conversion and regeneration phases and maintain the required balance between the grid and solar power.
The project will use industrial end-users input to fit the prototype’s performance with the requirements for hydrogen production in final applications.
The consortium includes the following:
- Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy), research institute
- Imdea Energy (Spain), research institute
- EPFL (Switzerland), research institute
- Solidpower (Italian-Swiss) to supply solid oxide electrolysers and the thermo-regulation system.
- Maire Tecnimont Group (Italy), two subsidiaries, will be involved in the project.
- NextChem (Italy) will do the engineering, prototyping and start-up of the plant. It will transform the proposal into a prototype to demonstrate the technology and contribute to strategies for scale-up on an industrial base.
- Stamicarbon (the Netherlands) will be responsible for developing activities to use green hydrogen in chemical industries such as ammonia and fertiliser production.
- Snam (Italy) will contribute to fit Prometeo to inject green hydrogen into the gas grid.
- Capital Energy (Spain) will provide input for the use of Prometeo in the chemical storage of renewable electricity.
Giorgio Graditi, Head of Department of Energy Technologies and Renewable Sources at ENEA, said, “Prometeo will allow us to take an important step towards the production and use of green hydrogen in industry.”
Dina Lanzi, Head of Technological Development at Snam’s Hydrogen business unit, said, “The first major challenge is to produce hydrogen with zero emissions on a large scale and at low costs to decarbonise the energy-intensive industry and heavy mobility.”
Luigi Crema, Director of FBK’s Sustainable Energy Centre, said, “The project Prometeo represents an excellent opportunity for developing the European value chain in the green hydrogen sector.”
Barbara Morico, Project Manager for NextChem, said, “Prometeo represents a relevant step for decarbonisation, as it aims at improving the integration of water electrolysis with renewable power sources (solar thermal, photovoltaics, wind).”