AC:DC rocks durability and performance of SOE green tech
Pergine Valsugana (Italy) and Viby Zealand (Denmark) January 9th 2024
AC/DC is no longer just an acronym for energizing rock music. AC:DC is now rocking the world of green tech by boosting durability and performance of Solid Oxide Electrolysis systems. It is an innovative operating method jointly validated by Italian SolydEra and Danish Dynelectro. A 15-month-test of the latest G8 stack provided by SolydEra in electrolysis mode has demonstrated exceptionally low degradation enabling a five-fold lifetime performance improvement.
The world demands cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. This is driving the need for dynamic and efficient systems converting surplus wind and solar power into high-value products such as hydrogen or ammonia. Among the technologies available, SolydEra’s SOE technology boasts the highest energy conversion efficiency. However, there’s a significant challenge that has until today hindered its widespread adoption: the standard operation of SOE systems introduces temperature variations that can lead to thermomechanical stress impacting durability, lifetime expectancy and overall performance.
Dynelectro has faced these challenges head-on in collaboration with SolydEra. Following an initial development phase, Dynelectro has been testing for 15 months a groundbreaking operating method that addresses these issues, offering a promising pathway towards more efficient and long-lasting systems. This innovative approach is referred to as AC:DC operation. It works by rapidly switching between two modes — electrolysis and brief pulses in fuel cell mode — several times per second. This seamless transition maintains a consistent temperature profile across SolydEra’s SOE stacks, preventing temperature fluctuations during the short switching periods. This method effectively mitigates thermomechanical stress and enhances the durability and performance of SOE systems.
“The results of the 15-months-test phase are very promising,” said SolydEra’s Chairman and CEO Martin Füllenbach. “The test phase involves a G8 stack provided by SolydEra with a nominal power of 4.5 kW in electrolysis mode. This innovation holds the key to furthering the development and commercialization of our technology, making it an even more valuable asset in the global quest for a sustainable and greener future,” Füllenbach added.
“We are validating the performance of AC:DC operation to enable dynamic operation in large SOE systems which addresses the unique challenges faced by Power-to-X-system developers,”. said Dynelectro Chief Technology Officer Søren Højgaard Jensen. “It demonstrates that we can simplify the path to a greener future with innovative energy solutions. We know that more work needs to be done to derisk the technology and are thus continuing the testing along with investigating the degradation observed in the initialisation period.”
SolydEra is a key world player in the market of Solid Oxide Cells, Stacks and Solutions, with the largest annual production capacity in Europe. Its Solid Oxide Technology has a proven track record and delivers best in class performance and durability in both fuel cell and electrolysis mode. The company has research & development and industrial manufacturing facilities in Italy, Switzerland and Australia. Its headquarters is in Trentino Alto Adige, Italy.
Dynelectro offers a unique method extending life expectancy of solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) from two years up to ten years. Dynamic control is deployed to offset intermittent power within green fuel production. We have proprietary technologies which can unlock significant potential to reduce the cost of green hydrogen. We design and manufacture a novel method to produce green hydrogen using commercially available hardware. The company has research & development facilities in Viby Zealand, Denmark.