IFE Hynor Hydrogen Technology Center (IFE Hynor)

IFE Hynor Hydrogen Technology Center (IFE Hynor) is a fuel cell and hydrogen technology test center owned and operated by IFE.

IFE Hynor consists of the following main laboratories:

  • PEM Water Electrolyser System Laboratory (33 kW)
  • PEM Fuel Cell System Laboratory (20 kW)
  • Liquid Hydrogen Experimental Setup
  • SER reformer pilot plant (20 kg H2 /day)

In addition, IFE Hynor includes the following infrastructure that can be used for this test campaigns:

  • PV-system (16 kWp)
  • Power conditioning systems (AC/DC, DC/AC)
  • Gas supply and storage systems (H2, CH4, N2)

The main purpose with the IFE Hynor laboratories is to do experiments on PEM water electrolysis and PEM fuel cell stacks and systems and to do experiments on the reforming of methane (CH4) rich gases to hydrogen (H2) with an integrated process for CO2-capture using a sorption enhanced reforming (SER) prototype pilot plant. The new IFE Hynor laboratories also contain a laboratory setup for production and experimental work with liquid hydrogen (LH2). IFE Hynor is located at Kjeller, Norway.

IFE Hynor contains The Norwegian Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Systems Laboratory, one of three nodes in the The Norwegian Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Systems Laboratory (N-FCH).

Water Electrolyser System
The water electrolyser system platform is designed to operate prototype PEM electrolysers up to 200 bar, 410 A, and 33 kW. This flexible testbed, designed and built by IFE, is well suited to study performance and degradation of next-generation stacks and systems, and to tailor and test control strategies that safeguards the system and maximizes efficiency and durability when operated with intermittent renewable energy sources.

More info about the High Pressure PEM Water Electrolysis System Laboratory

Fuel Cell System
The fuel cell testing system is designed to test and validate low temperature PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) fuel cell stacks. It is possible to test both full stacks with smaller electrode areas (high voltage, low current), as well as short stacks with larger electrode areas (low voltage, high current), with power ratings up to 20 kW. The Balance of Plant (BoP) components for the fuel cell test rig, designed and built by IFE, includes a monitoring- and control system. Reference fuel cell stacks, components, and control systems are delivered from well-known manufacturers, such as PowerCell, Busch, Bürkert, Vaisala and National Instruments.

Power System
In IFE Hynor the water electrolyser and fuel cell systems are connected to the same DC-bus via dedicated DC/DC converters (figure below).  The DC/DC-converters are custom-made to provide a large flexibility with respect to input voltages and currents, making it possible to test many different types of units.  The DC-bus is connected to the local grid via an AC/DC bidirectional converter, which can be programmed to emulate different types of loads or generators.  The power conditioning system also includes a bi-directional DC/DC-converter to charge/discharge Li-ion batteries.  The power system may also be connected to the 16 kWp PV-system.

Battery System
A Li-ion battery energy storage system (ESS) will be installed by Q3 2022.  This energy storage system will consist of three battery packs (type Dolphin ESS from Corvus Energy), each with a nominal voltage of 115 VDC. The Li-ion battery system will include battery pack and system controllers.

System Applications
The flexible power system setup makes it possible to emulate the operation and performance of several different types of FCH power system applications.  IFE is currently focusing on the following applications:

  • Fuel cell power systems for heavy-duty applications (road, rail, and sea)
    The laboratory can be used to emulate duty cycles (e.g. motors) and test corresponding performance of fuel cells, batteries, and hybrid fuel cell / battery system configurations.
  • Water electrolysis for renewable energy based power systems
    The laboratory can be used to emulate duty cycles (e.g. grid load profiles, solar and/or wind generation) and test the performance of water electrolysers, batteries and hybrid system configurations .

More info about the Norwegian FCH research infrastructure project: The Norwegian Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Systems Laboratory (N-FCH) – IFE

More info about MoZEES RA3 research topics: www.mozees.no

Liquid Hydrogen Experimental Setup
IFE Hynor contains a small-scale setup for production of liquid hydrogen (LH2) based on a Stirling-type cryomachine and a custom-made heat exchanger (cold-head). The equipment can conveniently be integrated into a complete LH2 experimental research infrastructure.  This LH2 laboratory will then be used for developing new knowledge, technology and concepts related to liquid hydrogen as a high-density energy carrier. Experiments on liquid hydrogen can also be used as a basis for developing modelling tools for calculating properties (e.g., thermal transport) for LH2 storage tanks, for studies of material integrity under long-term LH2-exposure, as well as for developing monitoring solutions relevant for liquid hydrogen use.

SER pilot plant
IFE Hynor includes a Dual Bubbling Fluidized Bed reactor prototype (DBFB) for continuous hydrogen production with integrated CO2 capture via Sorption Enhanced Reforming (SER) or Sorption Enhanced Water-Gas Shift (SEWGS). The plant can operate with various feedstocks including biogas, natural gas, syngas from gasification/pyrolysis, as well as co-rich gases from smelters. Also, it is design in a versatile fashion and can be used to test catalyst and sorbent materials, as well as to explore the integration with fuel-cells, hydrogen compression systems and syngas producing reactors.

Current projects using IFE’s Hynor SER plant.