For hydrogen energy technologies to be able to compete in the energy storage market, the power-to-power round trip efficiency must be improved reducing at the same time costs.. Using two separate devices, namely an electrolyser and a fuel cell means both will be used part time, which increases the investment cost. Solid Oxide Cells (SOC) are intrinsically reversible and thus can be operated either in electrolysis mode to produce hydrogen from steam, or in fuel cell mode to produce electricity, depending on the needs. Thus, only one device is required, which is operated almost full time with fewer start/stops. In addition, Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) and Solid Oxide Electrolysers (SOE) can achieve higher efficiencies while in SOFC mode electricity can be produced from H2 and/or CH4 using the same device, offering an additional flexibility.
The ability of reversible solid oxide cell (rSOC) devices to perform real dynamic cycling between power storage and power generation modes (SOE to SOFC and back) while keeping an acceptable degradation is still to be demonstrated though. Improvements to cell materials and construction are required as well as enhancements to system level issues of steam supply management, gas composition change during inversion from one mode to the other, thermal management, etc. The extensive cycling requirements to create a commercial rSOC system that can be coupled to renewable energy production systems such as wind and solar power has not been addressed to date.
This project will focus on enabling more widespread integration of renewables through the use of r-SOC technology. Two business cases can be particularly addressed:
For both cases, the rSOC technology, which allows a higher power-to-power efficiency and a maximized utilization rate, is beneficial for OPEX and CAPEX respectively. The development of these market segments will allow creating technological learning so that the larger energy storage market could be also assessed in the near future with such systems. In the project, one of those business cases, or any other documented business case will be targeted.
The following specific issues should be addressed:
The consortium should include at least one SOEC stack/module manufacturer, research institutions and academic groups.
Liaison with representative bodies developing standards and procedures for rSOC operation is recommended.
It is expected that the technology starts at TRL 3 and reaches TRL 5 at the end of the project
Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD (dedicated mailbox JRC-PTT-H2SAFETY@ec.europa.eu).
The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
Expected duration: 3 years
 FCH-JU, “Commercialisation of energy storage in Europe”, 2015
 Rasmus Luthander, « Photovoltaic self-consumption in buildings: A review”, Applied Energy 142(2015) 80–94
The project should show a functional rSOC system operating in both modes allowing a proper validation of the performance characteristics (efficiency, modulation, operation dynamics) for future application scenarios. The following KPIs are expected to be reached at system level: