New horizons for hydrogen technology
At the 2017 Davos Economic Forum, 13 prominent global companies formed a ‘Hydrogen Council’ – committing to invest 10 billion euros in the hydrogen economy and infrastructure over the next five years. Siemens experts believe this versatile fuel will play a larger role in the future with possible applications ranging from stabilising energy grids, to a renewable and clean mobility fuel source and even a renewable export industry.
As Australia’s energy landscape enters a transition phase from a traditional model of linear power generation and delivery to a more diverse and complex multiway system, new ideas are being sought. Could hydrogen technology play a role in Australia’s future energy and transport industries?
Australia’s Energy TransitionSiemens AG managing board member, Cedrik Neike
Hydrogen from Electrolysis: The Most Versatile Fuel
Although electrolysis, which was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, is far from new, it has recently become the focus of a great deal of innovation. Siemens researchers are concentrating on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis, which is the basis of Siemens’ second generation SILYZER electrolysis technology. Through this technology, Siemens can transform electrical power into hydrogen without releasing carbon dioxide (CO2).
In contrast to traditional alkaline electrolysis, PEM technology is ideally suited to harvesting energy generated from wind and solar power, which are irregularly generated, because it can be quickly switched on and off without any need for preheating. Hydrogen will increasingly facilitate Sector Coupling, whereby the electrical network, transport fuels and industry will interplay more heavily to support times of excess renewable energy generation and shortfalls.