closed Opened: 30 March 2022 | Closes: 31 May 2022
Hydrogen is stored, transported or used pressurised with variable pressures depending on user cases, e.g., between 7 and 70 bar for various industrial applications and grid injection, up to 200 bar for filling gas cylinders, as well as up to 350 and 700 bar in refuelling stations. Hydrogen compression requires energy, which negatively affects overall process efficiency and hydrogen molecule final cost. Pressurised electrolysis therefore has the potential to provide an efficient solution for delivery of pressurised hydrogen at reduced cost. It also enables a low emissions form of hydrogen production, including down to zero emissions if powered solely by renewables.
It is expected that this topic will provide breakthrough and game changing technologies for energy efficient pressurised hydrogen production using Proton Conducting Ceramic Electrolysis (PCCEL) and contributing to the overall objective of the SRIA of the Clean Hydrogen JU, namely the hydrogen production cost of 3 €/kg by 2030.
The project outcomes will pave the way for the deployment of pressurised hydrogen production units based on proton conducting electrolyte to accelerate uptake in one or more applications (for example: injection into the gas grid, onsite production at HRS, feedstock for industry, such as steel plants, refineries, chemical plants).
The project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Contributions to demonstration on stack level for a pressurised steam electrolysis solutions by 2025;
- Contributing to European leadership for renewable hydrogen production based on PCCEL;
- Solutions for pressurised hydrogen production will open new target applications (e.g. gas grid injection, HRS) contributing to defining user cases and showing the applications and benefits of the novel technologies
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following objectives of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA:
- Reduction of CAPEX 2,000 €/(kg/d) and OPEX 130 €/(kg/d)/y (of the overall system costs when also taking into account compression.
- Ensure circularity by design for materials and for production processes, minimising the life-cycle environmental footprint of electrolysers;
- Achieving a current density of 0.5 A/cm2;
- Achieving a pressure at stack level of at least 5 bar;
- Faradaic efficiency above 90% at operational pressure and temperature.
For High Temperature Steam Electrolysis (HTSE), the Protonic Conducting Ceramic Electrolysis (PCCEL) operating at 500-700 °C can be a promising solution. PCCEL technology has emerged over the past decade with strong development in materials and cells research, while activities towards stack and system development have been marginal. There have been previous FCH JU projects dedicated to pressurised HTSE at small scale for PCCEL. For instance, pressurised PCCEL electrolysis cells with tubular geometry are showing high Faradaic efficiency (> 90%) and stable performance at 600°C up to 3 bar. These previous activities highlighted the needs for more research efforts directed to the optimisation of components, cells and stacks to improve current density and stability in pressurised operation for both technologies. Furthermore, additional efforts should focus on system integration and on defining optimal boundary operations for dedicated user cases in order to maximise the efficiency of the integrated scenarios (e.g. taking into account thermal integration and possible side stream products). This opens for the development of novel and/or improved systems concepts, where the benefits of pressurised electrolysis should be leveraged for deployment in large-scale centralised systems with economies of scale, hydrogen distribution to end uses, as well as distributed systems located at demand centres.
Proposals for this topic should set out a credible pathway to contribute to the development and validation of pressurised PCCEL with technological breakthroughs aiming at designing and operating a stack at an optimal pressure with eventual assistance of a downstream compression process to reach higher delivery pressure. Electrochemical compression in the stack can also be considered. To tackle these challenges, the proposals should focus on system and stack design, as well as fabrication, assembly and testing of stack in the conditions suitable for the relevant business cases as follows:
- System design should be defined based on an optimal integration of the PCCEL in selected application(s) while taking into account the operating limits of the PCCEL. This activity will entail defining optimal operating pressure of the stack and system to balance electricity consumption and heat demand at nominal capacity;
- A techno-economic evaluation of the PCCEL integrated in given application(s) will provide the Levelised Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) of the pressurised PCCEL system taking into account economy of scale and will be used to evaluate the impacts of the various modes of operation. (e.g. atmospheric PCCEL + pressurisation afterwards, pressurised PCCEL, electrochemical compression in the PCCEL, and combination of modes) Comparing the technology with e.g. other alkaline and PEM electrolysers, operating in pressurised mode using similar boundary limits should also provide insights into relevant business models. The proposals should furthermore aim at reaching the capital costs below 2,000 €/(kg/d);
- The project should also compare the efficiency gains between pressurised electrolyser and unpressurised with compressor for various system sizes and propose the most efficient solution;
- A stack designed for high current density (0.5 A/cm2), should be successfully operated over one long term test of at least 2,000 hrs and 4,000 hours of aggregated testing time in relevant pressurised operating conditions at a minimum pressure of 5 bar and conforming to the envisaged use case;
- Degradation mechanisms and boundary operation of the stack and its components should be identified and measured with respect to pressure, temperature, load, in stationary and transient conditions;
- Modelling should be used to support the development of cells and/or stacks;
- The stack(s) should be tested at scale of minimum 5 kW; the considered pressure will be selected in relation to the targeted use case (s) to minimise energy loss;
- The stack should be operated in representative conditions to evaluate its efficiency, as well as its durability during a 2,000 hours long term test. This should include pressurisation/depressurisation cycles;
- The applicants should provide thorough analysis of safety aspects, such as safety shut-off, and focus on establishing smooth operation modes including pressurisation and depressurisation.
Consortia are expected to build on the expertise from the European research and industrial community to ensure broad impact by addressing several of the aforementioned items.
Proposals should demonstrate how they go beyond the ambition of WINNER and GAMER projects and be complementary to them.
Proposals are expected to address sustainability and circularity aspects.
Activities developing test protocols and procedures for the performance and durability assessment of electrolysers and fuel cell components proposals should foresee a collaboration mechanism with JRC (see section 220.127.116.11 "Collaboration with JRC"), in order to support EU-wide harmonisation. Test activities should adopt the already published EU harmonised testing protocols to benchmark performance and quantify progress at programme level.
Activities are expected to start at TRL 2 and achieve TRL 4 by the end of the project.
The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter 18.104.22.168 of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan and in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021–2022 which apply mutatis mutandis.
- Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes
Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System
Additional condition: For all Innovation Actions the page limit of the applications are 70 pages.
- Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide.
- Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
Additional eligibility condition: Maximum contribution per topic
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to limit the Clean Hydrogen JU requested contribution mostly for actions performed at high TRL level, including demonstration in real operation environment and with important involvement from industrial stakeholders and/or end users such as public authorities. Such actions are expected to leverage co-funding as commitment from stakeholders. It is of added value that such leverage is shown through the private investment in these specific topics. Therefore, proposals requesting contributions above the amounts specified per each topic below will not be evaluated:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-01-07 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 9.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-03 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 30.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-03-05 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 15.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-04-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 7.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-01 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 25.00 million
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022-06-02 - The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 8.00 million
Additional eligibility condition: Membership to Hydrogen Europe/Hydrogen Europe Research
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, an additional eligibility criterion has been introduced to ensure that one partner in the consortium is a member of either Hydrogen Europe or Hydrogen Europe Research. This concerns topics targeting actions for large-scale demonstrations, flagship projects and strategic research actions, where the industrial and research partners of the Clean Hydrogen JU are considered to play a key role in accelerating the commercialisation of hydrogen technologies by being closely linked to the Clean Hydrogen JU constituency, which could further ensure full alignment with the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the Industry and the SRIA188 of the JU. This approach shall also ensure the continuity of the work performed within projects funded through the H2020 and FP7, by building up on their experience and consolidating the EU value-chain. This applies to the following topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -07-01
Additional eligibility condition: Participation of African countries
For one topic the following additional eligibility criteria have been introduced to allow African countries to i) participate in proposal, ii) be eligible for funding and iii) ensure a sufficient geographical coverage of the African continent. This concerns the following topic:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-5
Manufacturing Readiness Assessment
For some topics a definition of Manufacturing Readiness Level has been introduced in the Annexes of the Annual Work Programme. This is necessary to evaluate the status of the overall manufacturing activities included in the following topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01
- Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Evaluation and award:
- Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Submission and evaluation processes are described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes and the Online Manua
Exemption to evaluation procedure: complementarity of projects
For some topics in order to ensure a balanced portfolio covering complementary approaches, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one additional project that is / are complementary, provided that the applications attain all thresholds
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-09
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-10
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-04
Seal of Excellence
For two topics the ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be awarded to applications exceeding all of the evaluation thresholds set out in this Annual Work Programme but cannot be funded due to lack of budget available to the call. This will further improve the chances of good proposals, otherwise not selected, to find alternative funding in other Union programmes, including those managed by national or regional Managing Authorities. With prior authorisation from the applicant, the Clean Hydrogen JU may share information concerning the proposal and the evaluation with interested financing authorities, subject to the conclusion of confidentiality agreements. In this Annual Work Programme ‘Seal of Excellence’ will be piloted for topics:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02
- Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes
In addition to the standard provisions, the following specific provisions in the model grant agreement will apply:
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), background and results, access rights and rights of use (article 16 and Annex 5 of the Model Grant Agreement (MGA)).
- An additional information obligation has been introduced for topics including standardisation activities: ‘Beneficiaries must, up to 4 years after the end of the action, inform the granting authority if the results could reasonably be expected to contribute to European or international standards’. These concerns the topics below:
Additional information obligation for topics including standardisation activities
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-09
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-04
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-02
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-03
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -05-04
- For all topics in this Work Programme Clean Hydrogen JU shall have the right to object to transfers of ownership of results, or to grants of an exclusive licence regarding results, if: (a) the beneficiaries which generated the results have received Union funding; (b) the transfer or licensing is to a legal entity established in a non-associated third country; and (c) the transfer or licensing is not in line with Union interests. The grant agreement shall contain a provision in this respect.
Full capitalised costs for purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action
For some topics, in line with the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA, mostly large-scale demonstrators or flagship projects specific equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action (or developed as part of the action tasks) can exceptionally be declared as full capitalised costs. This concerns the topics below:
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-07: electrolyser and other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project, (e.g. compression of hydrogen, storage and any essential end-use technology)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-08: electrolyser, its BoP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for the implementation of the project (e.g. hydrogen storage)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -01-10: electrolyser, its BOP and any other hydrogen related equipment essential for implementation of the project (e.g. offshore infrastructure, renewable electricity supply infrastructure, storages, pipelines and other auxiliaries required to convey and utilise the hydrogen)
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -02-08: compression prototype/s and related components
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-03: trucks, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen truck
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -03-05: vessels, fuel cell system, on-board hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen fuel cell hydrogen vessel
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -04-01: manufacturing equipment and tooling
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-01: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses
- HORIZON-JTI-CLEANH2-2022 -06-02: hydrogen production plant, distribution and storage infrastructure and hydrogen end-uses
- Specific conditions: described in the chapter 22.214.171.124 of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2022 Annual Work Plan
Application form — As well available in the Submission System from March 31st 2022
Model Grant Agreement (MGA)
Clean Hydrogen JU - Annual Work Programme 2022 (AWP 2022)
- AWP 2022
Clean Hydrogen JU - Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA)