Module électrolyseur pour la production offshore d’hydrogène renouvelable

 

Specific challenge:

The foreseen magnitude of renewable electricity (RE) production requires the development of large-scale offshore wind and potentially floating solar PV. Significant challenges lie ahead regarding the implementation of such renewable electricity generation, especially because of the required investments in electricity infrastructure to transport peak RE production to shore and the increasing variability due to the substantial temporal mismatch between supply and demand.

The offshore conversion of renewable electricity to renewable hydrogen by electrolysis overcomes several of these challenges, as hydrogen transportation and storage can be done at large scale and relatively low cost. Many offshore oil and gas assets in the North Sea and elsewhere will also soon be out of purpose because EU’s natural gas sources are declining, so re-purposing these for renewable hydrogen production and transport to shore may accelerate and de-risk the implementation of an offshore energy system.

The foremost technical challenge for producing renewable hydrogen offshore is the development of an electrolyser module which is compatible with that environment, while being sufficiently compact to achieve very high rates of hydrogen production per platform or per wind turbine, and able to survive long term when connected directly to an intermittent variable renewable power supply. Different specific conditions, including the marine environment, stringent safety requirements, commercial terms of existing delivery contracts and the difficult accessibility make it very challenging.

 

Scope:

This topic aims to develop and test an offshore electrolyser module of >1MW at an onshore, seafront location. The electrolyser should form one component of a proposed multi-module design solution for a stand-alone offshore renewable hydrogen production facility, in order to facilitate a subsequent demonstration programme at scale. All factors pertaining to the exacting offshore environment should be considered (including the electrolyser’s requirement to desalinate and purify sea water, operating in a high salinity environment, pressurizing the hydrogen output to enable it’s transfer by pipeline to shore, surviving periods of zero renewable power input, transportation to site, commissioning, ease of operation and maintenance).

Laboratory tests should already verify that the developed electrolyser will still reach the MAWP Addendum 2024 KPIs for hydrogen production [59]. This should be followed by a field test programme of at least 12 months, with operating conditions reflecting the variability and capacity factor of the renewable power input. The test programme should be sufficiently comprehensive and qualified to clarify what performance to expect from offshore renewable hydrogen production (in terms of efficiency, degradation, maintenance cost etc.) and to convince stakeholders that a multi-module facility based on the developed electrolyser module could subsequently be installed offshore. Hydrogen should preferably be injected in a Hydrogen or Natural gas grid.

Permitting and regulatory approval should be sought for the developed electrolyser module and certification obtained before completion of the project. A techno economic assessment of installing and operating offshore electrolyser facilities should be undertaken, with consideration given to transferring hydrogen or hydrogen admixtures to shore, and candidate business cases identified.

The consortium should include the offshore energy sector, an electrolyser manufacturer and a systems engineering company or a qualified competence center with strong links to hydrogen safety expertise. The consortium should possess the necessary contractual and commercial expertise to analyse the market for hydrogen if the considered offshore hydrogen approach is widely applied.

 

Expected Impact:

The projects are expected to contribute to all the following impacts:

  • Deliver a certified electrolyser as a basic module ready for replication and deployment in an offshore environment;
  • Demonstrate the first worldwide field test of an offshore electrolyser;
  • Determine the long-term performance of offshore power-to-gas in terms of efficiency, system balancing, performance degradation, operational cost aligned with MAWP Addendum 2024 KPIs;
  • Evaluate the operational, inspection and maintenance requirements of the offshore electrolyser and BoP;
  • Act as a stepping stone for deploying future offshore electrolysers which are directly connected to both offshore wind-farms and existing or new dedicated pipelines for transferring RH ashore;
  • Improve understanding of the technical, economic, regulatory and operational benefits and hurdles of re-using existing natural gas assets for transition to hydrogen;
  • Help to prepare natural gas consumers for the hydrogen economy, at minimum cost and environmental impact.

 

Dates clefs de l'appel à projet

  • 14 janvier 2020 - Ouverture de l'appel
  • 21 avril 2020 - Fermeture de l'appel