The power of Hydrogen
One of the most important challenges today is the decarbonization of the global economy. The key to meeting this challenge is to consistently expand renewable energy sources as well as the concept of sector coupling, meaning to integrate renewables in developed industry, energy, and mobility infrastructures with Power-to-X solutions using green hydrogen. We generate “green” hydrogen from renewable energy using PEM electrolysis, and in doing so make an important contribution to the global energy transition. The Silyzer product line helps you integrate fluctuating energy sources such as sun and wind in your process. We are setting the standards when it comes to sustainable hydrogen generation for the future. From planning and commissioning to operation, we support you as a reliable partner with a proven service concept tailored to your requirements.
Hydrogen – fuel of the future
Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role worldwide. It’s the backbone of a sustainable, CO2 free energy sector, and thus a key technology for achieving decarbonization by the year 2100. Its share in global power generation is growing daily. But how can fluctuating energy sources such as sun and wind be integrated in existing grids, ongoing industrial processes, and flexible, individual mobility?
Hydrogen isn’t just the fuel of the future – it’s the fuel of the present!
Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe. Almost all of our chemical fuels are based on hydrogen, although in a bound form as hydrocarbons or other hydrogen compounds. To limit climate change caused by the global increase in CO2 emissions, solutions must be found for generating carbonneutral and, therefore, sustainable fuels. This requires, among other things, that hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources.
Fraunhofer Hydrogen Lab Görlitz – An important step towards energy transition
A new research platform will move into the Siemens Energy Innovation Campus in Görlitz at the end of 2022. In the future, new technologies for the production, storage and use of hydrogen for fuel cells can be developed and tested.
Power-to-X describes methods for converting electrical energy into liquid or gaseous chemical energy sources through electrolysis and further synthesis processes. Using electrical current, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen – a 100% CO₂ emission-free process. Being a key technology for the energy transition, Hydrogen can be easily stored and further used or processed in many ways.
Sector coupling via power-to-X has the potential to reduce primary fossil energy consumption by 50% even while power demand grows by 25%
- Mobility: Power-to-X produces synthetic fuels for immediate application: e-Methane, e-Methanol, e-Diesel, e-Gasoline or e-Jet fuel – ready for instant use.They can be blended gradually with fossil fuels until they fully replace fossil fuels as a primary energy source.
Existing infrastructure such as gas pipelines, gas stations, or storage facilities can be used as well as existing and low-cost consumer applications, powered by e-Fuels.
- Power generation: Modern gas turbines can be operated with a mix of hydrogen and natural gas, with a hydrogen share of 5 to 100%. Hydrogen can be cached, transported in gas grids and re-electrified in gas turbines, combined cycles or fuel cell power plants.
Industry: Large heat demand; H2 enables CO2-free metal production; Green hydrogen as feedstock for production of ammonia and other products.
The opportunities of hydrogen economy
Using renewable electrical energy like wind or solar power for “green electrons” from the power sector to decarbonize energy across all sectors unlocks enormous environmental and business benefits. Through Power-to-X technologies, sectors beyond power generation will benefit from renewable power and become increasingly green over the total chain from production to application.
I strongly believe that the next step of the global energy transition will be based on the hydrogen economy – transforming “green electrons” to “green molecules” via water electrolysis. These chemicals can be transformed, stored, transported and used in various sectors. This sector coupling approach allows to decarbonize applications whose electrification will come to its limits.Prof. Dr. Armin Schnettler, EVP & CEO New Energy Business, Siemens Energy
PEM-Electrolysis – dynamic, efficient, clean
J. H. Russell and his colleagues first recognized the enormous potential of PEM electrolysis for the energy industry in 1973.
PEM takes its name from the proton exchange membrane. PEM’s special property is that it is permeable to protons but not to gases such as hydrogen or oxygen. As a result, in an electrolytic process the membrane takes on, among other things, the function of a separator that prevents the product gases from mixing.
On the front and back of the membrane are electrodes that are connected to the positive and negative poles of the voltage source. This is where water molecules are split. In contrast to traditional alkaline electrolysis, the highly dynamic PEM technology is ideally suited to harvest volatile energy generated from wind and solar power. PEM electrolysis also has the following characteristics:
- High efficiency at high power density
- High product gas quality, even at partial load
- Low maintenance and reliable operation
- No chemicals or impurities
Our Silyzer portfolio: the optimized solution for your requirementsGenerating sufficient amounts of hydrogen requires innovative solutions – like the Silyzer product family from Siemens, an innovative PEM electrolysis system that uses wind and solar energy to produce hydrogen and is totally CO2-free. That makes Silyzer twice as useful – and twice as clean.
The next paradigm in PEM electrolysis
Silyzer 300 is the latest, most powerful product line in the double-digit megawatt range of Siemens’ PEM electrolysis portfolio. Silyzer 300’s modular design makes unique use of scaling effects to minimize investment costs for large-scale industrial electrolysis plants. The optimized solution results in very low hydrogen production costs thanks to high plant efficiency and availability.
Decarbonize your industry with a system that
- offers the highest level of efficiency and extraordinary dynamics at a competitive price and with low maintenance requirements,
- is free of hazardous substances,
- delivers nothing but pure hydrogen of the highest quality.
We put together the perfect package for your individual needs. Our services range from basic maintenance activities to comprehensive all-round service using state-of-the-art data analysis. In this way, we guarantee smooth operation.
Our service offerings are tailored to individual customer requirements:
- Basic: Support and troubleshooting on demand
- Advanced: Preventive maintenance, remote service, condition monitoring, 24/7 hotline, and more
- Integrated: Performance based maintenance contracting
For over 170 years, we and our products have been meeting the highest quality standards. With our extensive knowledge of the industry, mobility, and energy sectors, we’re able to develop cross-industry solutions that are designed to generate added value for our customers. From grid integration to innovative control technology, you benefit from Siemens’ decades of experience and innovative strength. We also have access to an extensive network of select partners who optimally complement our offerings. This knowledge and experience enables us to create tailored solutions based on individual customer requirements, and thus exploit the full potential.
Silyzer is loaded with high technology and expertise – naturally, in Siemens’ proven quality – including our SIMATIC PCS 7 control system and converters in the SINAMICS DCM series. We ensure that all the components work together reliably and optimally while guaranteeing maximum availability, reliability, and safety. You can be sure that we’ve combined all our experience and expertise in a high-quality system and are available to you around the clock as a dependable partner.
FAQ – The most common questions on hydrogen
It is not inherently more dangerous than other fuel sources. Hydrogen is flammable and must be handled with care, just like other flammable fuels. To ignite, the hydrogen must be combined with an additional oxidizing agent (air, pure oxygen, chlorine, etc.) in a specific concentration and an ignition source (a spark). If, in a worst-case scenario, the hydrogen ignites, it burns upwards very quickly. It creates no dangerous heat radiation above the accident site, as petrol or kerosene do.
The facilities are designed to be permanently leak proof. Flange connections are designed especially for hydrogen and the number of detachable connections are minimized. Furthermore, in buildings a steady air exchange is ensured and the facilities are equipped with safety valves and pressure reliefs. Additionally explosion prevention zones are designated. In these zones, electrical and other equipment needs to be in accordance with 2014/34/EU (ATEX Directive).
Electrolysis processes can be categorized as follows: alkaline electrolysis with liquid alkaline electrolytes, acidic electrolysis with a solid polymer electrolyte (as PEM) and high temperature electrolysis with a solid oxide as electrolyte.
PEM electrolysis and alkaline electrolysis systems are available at an industrial scale. The solid oxide electrolysis technology is in an early development phase.
Hydrogen enables the long-term storage of large quantities of surplus renewable energy. It is allows new ways to use green electricity, i.e. by using hydrogen as substitute for natural gas by feeding it into existing pipelines, as fuel for fuel-cell vehicles or power plants, or as feedstock for the hydrogen processing industry. It opens the possibility to connect energy generation with the industry and mobility sectors, the so called “sector coupling”.
‘Green’ hydrogen is sourced by 100% renewable energy. That means that the needed energy to produce hydrogen by electrolysis has emitted zero emissions. Hydrogen produced from fossil fuels releasing emissions such as CO2, may be referred to as ‘grey’ or ‘brown’ hydrogen. If the emitted carbon dioxide is captured, stored (carbon capture storage) and re-used, it is often called ‘blue’ hydrogen.