Tubular Solid Oxide Electrolysis

“Green” hydrogen, which can be generated from electrolysis of water using electricity from renewable sources, is positioned to become an energy storage media to enable decarbonisation of the global economy. The cost of green hydrogen is a key barrier to displacement of hydrogen produced from fossil fuels for existing applications and adoption for emerging ones.

CSIRO’s vision is to enable low-cost hydrogen generation at scale by commercialising its tubular Solid Oxide Electrolyser (SOE) technology. Design and materials advantages offer a lower cost for generating green hydrogen than competitor technologies including Alkaline, PEM and alternative planar SOEs. Lower capital and operating costs are expected when CSIRO’s tubular SOE technology is manufactured and operated via scalable modules, each of size 500-1,000 kW.

Preliminary estimates indicate that a target cost for hydrogen production below $2/kg can be achieved in the long-term using CSIRO’s tubular SOE technology through targeted improvements in materials performance and when optimised and scaled to an appropriate commercial configuration with expected reductions in renewable electricity costs.

A three phased development program is envisaged over the next decade to address the cost and efficiency targets required for this technology to reach technical and commercial goals. SIEF funding, complemented by industry partner contribution will support the demonstration and start-up of experimental program and parallel activities for scaling and growth.

Successfully demonstrating the technology in partnership with a major Australian steel manufacturer will provide the platform for commercial development in the mid-2020s and growth beyond that.