Rolls-Royce has announced that it is developing mtu electrolysers with outputs of up to 2MW and which can be scaled up to over 100MW. This follows the move by the firm to acquire a stake in Hoeller Electrolyzer, a specialist company that develops and manufactures the cell stack, the core component of the electrolyser. The shared aim of Rolls-Royce and Hoeller is to develop a solution to produce hydrogen cheaply and on a large scale using green electricity. This is a key move as an add-on for an mtu microgrid, providing the ability to store and use solar and wind power, making an important contribution to the energy transition.
In an electrolyser, water is broken down into its components hydrogen and oxygen by an electrochemical reaction. A membrane is used for this purpose. Current is passed through this membrane into the water, producing hydrogen at the negative cathode and oxygen at the positive anode. This process takes place in a cell, hundreds of which are stacked on top of each other in such a way that they produce the required amount of hydrogen economically and effectively.