IMI VIVO electrolyser powers first hydrogen production and storage facility in South West England

IMI VIVO, a subsidiary of IMI Critical Engineering, has helped IAAPS, a leading advanced propulsion R&I centre, establish the first green hydrogen production and storage facility in South West England with the installation of a new PEM electrolyser.

As a commercial subsidiary of the University of Bath, IAAPS is at the forefront of the UK’s development and validation of zero-carbon propulsion technologies. Research and innovation is carried out at its state-of-the-art, 11,300 m2 facility at the Bristol & Bath Science Park, which features a large solar array to power the electrolyser plant and produce green hydrogen. The plant and respective storage will be sized to allow the operation of a 400 kW propulsion research facility.

The IMI VIVO electrolyser, which was delivered in July 2023, runs an electrical current through water via a membrane to split and separate hydrogen atoms. Delivery of the solution has greatly reduced the institute’s reliance on grey hydrogen for research purposes. The newly created H2 research capabilities will also form the basis for a regional H2 and Sustainable Transport Acceleration Hub which aims to stimulate green growth in the South West, providing an important link in the UK’s hydrogen research infrastructure.

“This is an important development for IAAPS as we assume a pioneering role in the hydrogen landscape. With efforts to decarbonise the transport sector gathering pace, it is evident that there is a critical requirement for R&I in H2 propulsion. Our new green hydrogen facility allows us to meet this need and provide vital H2 research capabilities,” said Professor Rob Oliver, Engineering Director, IAAPS.

“The research into hydrogen technology conducted on site will assist industry in the development of new, sustainable propulsion technologies that are fundamental to achieving clean mobility and meeting net zero targets. We are delighted to establish this new, industry-leading facility at IAAPS, which also marks a significant investment in the national green hydrogen economy. We are thankful for IMI VIVO’s support in specifying, supplying and installing this exciting technology.”

Any excess hydrogen produced by the electrolyser will be used in other applications within the IAAPS facility, such as powering boilers, lowering the building’s natural gas use, and aiding its transition to net zero emissions. This lead-by-example approach, alongside IAAPS’ research efforts in hard-to-electrify sectors such as aviation, marine, off-highway, and heavy-duty transport, will help the centre establish strategic partnerships across these industries.

“As well as being a cornerstone to IAAPS’ expansion and a major evolution in its remit and portfolio, the IMI VIVO Electrolyser has proven crucial to IAAPS solidifying its reputation as a leading adopter and supplier of sustainable solutions,” noted Jackie Hu, Divisional Managing Director at IMI Critical Engineering. “It is clear that IAAPS has great plans for both the electrolyser and its wider decarbonisation efforts, and we have been happy to help drive greener technologies and practices in the South West of England.”

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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