// Electrolysis Made in Baden-Württemberg (BW Electrolysis)

Green hydrogen is an important enabler for exiting fossil and nuclear fuels. This climate-friendly energy carrier is produced by electrolyzing water with renewable electricity.  

Electrolysis Made in Baden-Württemberg is a project aimed to industrialize electrolysis technology and enable medium-sized enterprises from Baden-Württemberg to compete in the international arena. The centerpiece of this project is an electrolysis demonstrator, to be designed and operated at ZSW. An alkaline pressurized electrolyzer with an electrical output of around one megawatt, it is to be designed in a modular way. Then this smallest unit can serve as a platform for scaling up the technology to higher output classes in the two-digit megawatt range.

Baden-Württemberg-based companies are to contribute electrical and other components such as piping, pumps, valves and power electronics and production technologies to the demonstrator so its components will be suitable for real-world deployment. These enterprises are also going to help develop improved, standardized systems, with much of the value-add created in Baden-Württemberg.

The plant is to be automated and optimized with an eye to minimizing faults and maintenance. Participating enterprises can then integrate or apply these new developments in their products, thereby facilitating the direct transfer of technology from the lab to the shop floor.

This alkaline pressure electrolysis block designed by ZSW design delivers 230 kW output. Photo: ZSW

The four participating research partners are also working with companies to develop innovative materials and methods – particularly for the electrolysis block, a core component. This effort to make the technology even more efficient, robust and cost-effective entails:

  • Optimizing ZSW’s patented electrolysis block design
  • Developing efficient and robust alkaline membranes
  • Developing sensors that integrate into electrolysis cells to take operating and safety-related readings at the point of gas generation and transmit this data to the plant’s control system
  • Further developing a cost-effective plasma spraying process for coating electrodes

ZSW’s partners in this research venture are the German Institutes for Textile and Fiber Research (DITF) in Denkendorf, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and the Hahn-Schickard Society for Applied Research (HS) in Stuttgart.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Housing Baden-Wuerttemberg is funding the project.

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