Initial implementations of fuel cells and hydrogen infrastructures are required in the EU to demonstrate the potential of these technologies to decarbonise energy and transport sectors. A wide portfolio of research and development actions have been carried out to reduce costs and increase efficiency, but it still remains unclear in which direction incremental improvements should move to. Then, to achieve cost reduction in the operation of electrolysers, efforts are needed to align them with the provision of specific electricity grid services, which are going to be required by EU transmission and distribution grids due to the foreseen high penetration of renewable energy sources (RES).
Based on the study “Development of Water Electrolysis in the European Union”* providing grid services is expected to require start-stop and dynamic operation and high efficiency across the load curve. On the other hand, future technological targets- as stated in the MAWP 2014-2020 – have overlooked the different services brought to the grid, specifically when regarding flexibility of operation and cold-hot start features.
Although the importance of dynamic operation to provide grid services is clearly stated in both documents, no special indication has been made to consider or segregate the performance of the systems depending on the specific services to be provided, the scale of the electrolyser or the load to be covered (depending on end uses for the generated hydrogen). The technical innovations required for electrolyser systems to be able to perform grid services are clearly pointed out, but also there is a requirement for economic analyses for identifying the business case advantages if electrolysers are able to offer higher levels of response, or various combinations of service, to the electricity grid.
The challenge is not only for efforts focused on developing better components and systems able to meet the already proposed KPIs, but also to further develop and prepare benchmarks at component and system levels. Additionally, set up standardized tests to study which are the specific indicators and performance requirements for each grid service to be provided, considering the feedback from Transmission/Distribution system operators (TSO/DSO). The grid needs balancing at all levels within the electricity high, medium, low voltages network (HV, MV, LV) and with reference to the distinct variabilities caused by solar PV and/or wind power. And further that the aggregation of individual electrolyser loads can make a large contribution to grid services in a region.
*Available at: http://www.fch-ju.eu/sites/default/files/study%20electrolyser_0-Logos_0.pdfScope:
Proposals should aim to achieve the following advances:
The consortium should have 1 manufacturer as a partner, and both TSOs and DSOs representation in an advisory board. Preferably the advisory board should also include further electrolyser manufacturers and organisations relevant to grid services or hydrogen applications". To be eligible for participation a consortium must contain at least one constituent entity of the Industry or Research Grouping.
Projects are expected to start at TRL 4 and to reach TRL 6 regarding protocols development (not electrolyser development).
Proposals should build upon experience and results from previously funded projects both on national and/or European levels, including results from previous FCH JU projects.
The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected Duration: 3 years
A maximum of 1 project will be funded under this topic.Expected Impact:
The project should achieve the following impacts: