Hitachi Zosen Receives Order for Solid Polymer-type Hydrogen Generator

2016/09/23 15:57
Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP CleanTech Institute
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An image of the "Hydrospring," which Hitachi Zosen will deliver
An image of the large-size hydrogen generator under development

Hitachi Zosen Corp announced Sept 15, 2016, that it has received an order for hydrogen production equipment from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

The hydrogen production capacity of the equipment, "Hydrospring," is 5Nm3/h. Hitachi Zosen will deliver it to Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute of AIST (FREA) in January 2017.

AIST and Shimizu Corp have been developing an energy system that converts surplus electricity generated by using renewable energies such as sunlight and wind into hydrogen, stores it and uses it when necessary. The hydrogen production equipment, which is for outdoor use, is one of the important components of the energy system.

The hydrogen production equipment can be installed outdoors because its components are encased in a 12-foot container equipped with a ventilator. It has three main features. First, it produces hydrogen on site and on time by using only electricity and water, eliminating the need to carry, store and replace hydrogen cylinders.

Second, with a solid polymer-type electrolytic bath, the equipment can efficiently produce hydrogen and cope with the rapid power load fluctuation of solar and wind power plants. Third, it can produce hydrogen with a purity of 99.999 to 99.9999% and a dew point (under atmospheric pressure) of -50 to -70°C.

Hitachi Zosen has been engaged in the development of hydrogen generators since 1974, when the company started "Sunshine Project." It is also developing a large-size (200Nm3/h) solid polymer-type hydrogen generator using water electrolysis in view of a future hydrogen society and continuing the research and development of methanation, which generates methane by making renewable energy-derived hydrogen react with CO2.