Testing the next generation of electrolyser stacks
As part of the Gigastack consortium, ITM Power has significantly scaled up and has taken its clean technology into increasingly innovative places over the last few years. The company’s ongoing work in this sphere has once again been acknowledged after it was awarded £9.3 million to accelerate the commercial deployment of its ground-breaking 5 MW Gigastack testing platform.
The award comes from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as the government continues to boost the nation’s nascent hydrogen industry.
Development of the company’s 5 MW Gigastack platform began back in 2019 as part of Phase One of the Gigastack project aimed at proving renewable hydrogen at industrial scale, providing a roadmap for decarbonising large industrial clusters. A second phase followed – which concluded last year and, like its predecessor, was funded by the BEIS Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply Competition. It covered two streams: a FEED study for a 100 MW deployment in the Humber region, and the development and validation of the Gigastack platform. Now, ITM Power will test the platform both at a component level and a full-scale evaluation.
Gigastack is 2.5 times larger than ITM Power’s previous state-of-the-art stack platform and will undergo rigorous testing in representative conditions to validate the performance through real-world conditions. This will ensure that the technology is ready for large-scale commercialisation.
As well as its increased capacity, the fourth-generation stack also has lower capital costs and a smaller system footprint. These competitive advantages will enhance its ability to operate under flexible conditions when coupled to renewable energy sources, producing green hydrogen at low cost.
Gigatest will also enable the deployment and validation of key manufacturing equipment at the company’s existing Gigafactory in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and its second, larger facility which is due to break ground later this year. This validation will contribute to the subsequent initiation of semi-automated mass-production of electrolyser stacks.