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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/W003597/1
Title High efficiency reversible solid oxide cells for the integration of offshore renewable energy using hydrogen
Status Started
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Ocean Energy) 20%;
Renewable Energy Sources(Wind Energy) 20%;
Energy Efficiency(Other) 20%;
Other Power and Storage Technologies(Energy storage) 20%;
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells(Hydrogen, Hydrogen transport and distribution) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Mechanical, Aeronautical and Manufacturing Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor NP (Nigel ) Brandon
No email address given
Earth Science and Engineering
Imperial College London
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 10 January 2022
End Date 09 January 2025
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £723,105
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region London
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor NP (Nigel ) Brandon , Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Dr H Wang , School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University (0.001%)
Professor G (Goran ) Strbac , Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Ceres Power Limited (0.000%)
Project Contact , Scottish Power Ltd (0.000%)
Project Contact , National Grid plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Health and Safety Executive (0.000%)
Project Contact , SP Energy Networks (0.000%)
Project Contact , BP PLC (0.000%)
Project Contact , Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (0.000%)
Project Contact , Cadent Gas (0.000%)
Project Contact , FTI Consulting, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , WH Power System Consultant (0.000%)
Project Contact , TechnipFMC plc (0.000%)
Project Contact , Simec Atlantis Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Siemens Gamesa (0.000%)
Project Contact , INEOS Group (0.000%)
Project Contact , Port of Cromarty Firth (0.000%)
Project Contact , Simply Blue Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , The National HVDC Centre (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract The production, storage, distribution and conversion of hydrogen is a rapidly emerging candidate to help decarbonise the economy. Here we focus on its role to support the integration of offshore renewable energy (ORE), a topic of increasing importance to the UK given the falling costs of offshore wind generation (with prices expected to drop to 25% of 2017 by 2023) and Government ambition. Indeed, the latest BEIS scenarios include more than 120 GW of offshore wind, and even up to 233GW in some scenarios. This brings with it significant challenges to the electricity infrastructure in terms of our ability to on-shore and integrate these variable energy flows, across a wide range of timeframes.Current ORE plants composed of fixed offshore wind structures are sited relatively close to land in shallow water and use systems of offshore cables and substations to transform the electricity produced, transmit it to the shore and connect to the grid. However, in order to exploit the full renewable energy potential and requirements for the 2050 net zero target, offshore wind farms will need to be sited further offshore and in deeper waters. This brings possibilities into consideration in which transporting the energy to shore via an alternative vector such as hydrogen could become the most attractive route. Hence we consider both on-shore and off-shore hydrogen generation.Not only can hydrogen be an effective means to integrate offshore wind, but it is also increasingly emerging as an attractive low carbon energy carrier to support the de-carbonisation of hard to address sectors such as industrial heat, chemicals, trucks, heavy duty vehicles, shipping, and trains. This is increasingly recognised globally, with significant national commitments to hydrogen in France, China, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Portugal, Australia and Spain in the last three years alone, along with the recent launch of a European hydrogen strategy, and the inclusion of hydrogen at scale in the November 2020 UK Government Green plan.Most of the focus of these national strategies is on the production of 'green' hydrogen using electrolysis, driven by renewable electricity. However, there remains interest in some countries, the UK being one example, in 'blue' hydrogen, which is hydrogen made from fossil fuels coupled with carbon capture and storage and hence a low carbon rather than zero carbon hydrogen. Today, 96% of hydrogen globally is produced from unabated fossil fuels, with 6% of global natural gas, and 2% of coal, consumption going to hydrogen production, primarily for petrochemicals, contributing around 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.Currently green hydrogen is the most expensive form of hydrogen, with around 60-80% of the cost coming from the cost of the electrical power input. A critical factor that influences this is the efficiency of the electrolyser itself, and in turn the generator used to convert the green hydrogen back into power when needed. In this work we focus on the concept of a reversible electrolyser, which is a single machine that can both produce power in fuel cell mode, and produce hydrogen in electrolyser mode. Electrolysers and fuel cells fall into one of two categories: low-temperature (70-120C) and high temperature (600-850C). While low temperature electrolyser and fuel cell systems are already commercially available, their relatively low combined round-trip efficiency (around 40%) means that the reversible solid oxide cell (rSOC), which can operate at high temperatures (600-900C) is of growing interest. It can achieve an electrolyser efficiency of up to 95%, power generation efficiency of up to 65%, and hence a round-trip efficiency of around 60% at ambient pressure using products now approaching commercial availability. This project considers the development and application of this new technology to the case of ORE integration using hydrogen.

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Added to Database 09/03/22