World’s largest SOEC electrolyzer achieves record efficiency

GrInHy2.0 project team
German steel group Salzgitter AG has reported an efficiency of 84% for its EU-funded GrInHy2.0 hydrogen project with a high-temperature electrolyzer from the Dresden-based company Sunfire. The record value was achieved with the help of solid oxide electrolysis technology (SOEC).

To drastically reduce its carbon footprint by 2033, Salzgitter has implemented the program SALCOS® – Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking as an essential aspect of their new Salzgitter AG 2030 strategy. Part of this initiative is the EU-funded hydrogen project GrInHy2.0, demonstrating the world’s largest high-temperature electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen.

High level of efficiency 

“For many months, we have been working together with our partners on this lighthouse project. Now we reached another important milestone,” said project leader Simon Kroop from the Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung. “For the first time, the electrolyzer produced 200 Nm3 of green hydrogen per hour. We are also able to prove an electrical efficiency of 84% el, LHV. This is a level of efficiency that no one else has achieved before. By comparison: other electrolysis technologies such as Alkaline or PEM only reach efficiencies of around 60% el, LHV.”

Using waste heat 

The high-temperature electrolyzer based on the innovative SOEC technology was developed and manufactured by the German electrolysis company Sunfire. “Our electrolyzer runs at operating temperatures of 850°C and uses waste heat from Salzgitter’s steel production processes,” said Konstantin Schwarze, Head of Large Systems Product Development at Sunfire. “That is reason why our high-temperature electrolyzer requires much less electricity to produce hydrogen at a large scale than conventional technologies. As part of GrInHy2.0, we were finally able to demonstrate the high efficiency on a megawatt scale.”

“The limited resource of renewable electricity is being ideally used for generating hydrogen, which is another step towards green steel production. This is proven by the record efficiency which also supports our strategic vision Pioneering for Circular Solutions,” said Dr. Stefan Mecke, SALCOS Project Spokesman.

Besides Salzgitter Flachstahl and Sunfire, also the Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung, SMS Group company Paul Wurth, Tenova and the French research center CEA are part of the GrInHy2.0 consortium.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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