Compression in one single stage

28 augustus 2020

HyET’s Electrochemical Hydrogen Compression technology is specifically designed to perform the purification and compression step using one piece of equipment. This results in an energy efficient, cost-effective and compact process.

What do we mean by Hydrogen compression?

In order to become climate-neutral by 2050, the European Union requires the development of a Hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel that can be used as an alternative to fossil fuels. For an effective use of Hydrogen as fuel or energy carrier – in for instance cars – it needs to be compressed to increase the energy density. Firstly, Hydrogen should be generated and purified after which it is compressed or liquified and stored.

High compression ratio

HyET’s Electrochemical Hydrogen Compression technology (EHC) is based on solid-state electrochemical cells, which means that it contains no moving parts and therefore free from wear and tear. Using EHC technology, a hydrogen compression ratio of up to 2000 can be achieved in one single stage. Hydrogen is pumped through a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) by applying an electrical current. The applied current is used to set the output pressure and flow capacity. This allows for a more compact and flexible design which results in an easy scalable compressor system. Scalability is achieved by using multiple modular stacks in one system, which ultimately results in a flexible Hydrogen production capacity.

Importance of reliable hydrogen compression

Modern Hydrogen cars have tanks containing Hydrogen at 700 Bar. Currently Hydrogen is compressed in the ordinary way by using multi-stage mechanical compressors. When one of the compressor stages fails or needs maintenance, the whole system is out of use. The lack of reliability and high maintenance cost are the main issues of conventional Hydrogen compressors that can jeopardize an efficient Hydrogen infrastructure. HyET’s EHC systems offer a unique of single stage, silent and compact compression system with virtually zero maintenance and downtime.

Benefits of electrochemical compression

HyET’s EHC systems minimize downtime because electrochemical compression stacks are static equipment and therefore not subject to wear and tear. Moreover, the modular design of EHC systems enable concurrent operation if one of the compressors stacks would require inspection or maintenance after some period. These unique features enable the client to continue operation at the desired specifications, even during maintenance cycles. The modular EHC systems offer flow capacity control from 0 – 100%  without loss of efficiency and are flexible to ramp-up to 150% of design capacity when required for temporary peak-shaving. Unlike mechanical compressors and ionic-liquid compressors, EHC system operate fully silent which make these systems most suitable for operation in residential areas.

Integration of Hydrogen

As quoted by the European Commission: “In an integrated energy system, Hydrogen can support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings across Europe. The EU Hydrogen Strategy addresses how to transform this potential into reality, through investments, regulation, market creation and research and innovation. Hydrogen can power sectors that are not suitable for electrification and provide storage to balance variable renewable energy flows, but this can only be achieved with coordinated action between the public and private sector, at EU level. The priority is to develop green Hydrogen, produced using mainly wind and solar energy. However, in the short- and medium-term other forms of low-carbon Hydrogen are needed to rapidly reduce emissions and support the development of a viable market and to kickstart the Hydrogen Economy.”

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