closed Opened: 30 March 2022 | Closes: 31 May 2022
Reversible Solid Oxide systems (rSOC) have a huge scope in the stationary energy sector because both power generation, in Fuel Cell operation (FC mode), and hydrogen production, in Electrolyser operation (EL mode), can take place within the same system. What this means is the CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) costs can greatly be reduced. Another key advantage with the rSOC technology is the possibility for sector coupling. This means rSOC systems coupled to industrial processes can help industries go down the zero emission or carbon neutral path.
Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Enable Renewable hydrogen production and its injection in the gas or hydrogen grid at a distributed level, offering new business models for hydrogen supply for gas and energy companies;
- Allow the balancing of power grids when excess renewable energy is flowing in, leading to new and attractive practices for electric power companies and new businesses;
- Enable localised storage of hydrogen in a micro-grid scenario. This would help in the development of new concepts for delivery of hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles (also off-road, construction machines etc.), similar to the concept of localised battery charging points;
- Pave the way for large (10 MW onwards in Fuel Cell Mode/30 MW in electrolyser mode) reversible solid oxide systems parks (similar to solar or wind parks). Such large parks will be capable of absorbing excess renewable energy and transforming it to renewable hydrogen and other useful fuels/chemicals in a green way.
Project results are expected to directly contribute to the following objectives of the Clean Hydrogen JU SRIA:
- For Pillar 3, ‘Hydrogen End Uses: Clean heat and Power: Improve flexibility of systems in operation in particular with reversible fuel cells;
- For sub-pillar 1 ‘Electrolysis’: Demonstrate the value of electrolysers for the power system through their ability to provide flexibility and allow higher integration of renewables’.
In doing this the following KPIs should be addressed:
- Transient operation of the final system:
- Number of switching cycles between FC & EL Modes – at least two per day;
- Time for transition (in minutes) from one mode to another in the range of below 30 min.
- System Roundtrip efficiency – at least 38% (with hydrogen) or higher (with natural gas) for 2024. The efficiency should be computed for a configuration where the rSOC is connected to the gas grid which acts as supplier and receiver of the gas needed or produced;
- Degradation rate (quantified with combined FC & EL Modes) below 0.4% per 1,000 hours on stack level after 2024;
- Projected system capital cost below 6,000 EUR/kWe after 2024 and going down to 3,500 EUR/kWe by 2030. This refers to the overall reversible SOC system costs whose reference power is the nominal one in fuel cell mode.
This topic will also contribute to set the basis for solutions aiming at facilitating sector coupling and hence contributing to the objectives of the Hydrogen Valleys pillar.
Reversible solid oxide systems are expected to play a major role in future seasonal/periodical energy storage methods. Previous FCH JU projects such as BALANCE, SElySOs, ECO and NewSOC have explored some of the most promising proposals with respect to systems, materials and process chains that are suitable when using a reversible solid oxide system. In BALANCE the concept of rSOC was the highlight and activities focussed on rSOC operation and implementation. The projects REFLEX and SWITCH also include rSOC at the core of their systems. In REFLEX, hydrogen is generated locally and re-used by the same system. The system can be operated in island mode or in electricity grid connected, no connection is made to the gas grid. SWITCH focuses on the continuous supply of hydrogen for industrial or mobility use. The rSOC at the heart of the systems provides the arbitrage of using either electricity or methane as source of hydrogen, according to the best available source at any moment. The SWITCH system can operate on methane from the gas grid although reinjecting hydrogen back into the grid is not foreseen at any moment. Moreover, other projects dealing with monitoring, diagnostics and control for SOC have provided a reference framework for the implementation of solutions that are able to guarantee optimal operation and durability of stack and BoP (Balance of Plant).
The current rSOC stacks/systems lack clear performance specifications when used on blends of natural gas and hydrogen. Therefore, still a large gap needs to be filled both at the system and cell/stack level that call for further research. Learnings and findings from the above projects should form the base for the investigations proposed in this topic.
The scope of this topic is to design and develop a reversible solid oxide system of at least 5 kWe in fuel cell mode and capable of absorbing at least 15 kWe in electrolysis mode. The solution developed should be validated in a relevant environment. Continuous operation of at least 3 months should also be demonstrated.
The reversible solid oxide system (rSOC) should be designed and developed to allow for:
- Full compatibility with the existing natural gas grid of today and the hydrogen grid of tomorrow in addition to the electricity grid. This will in turn contribute to achieving to the following major objectives i) transition from natural gas to hydrogen as an energy vector ii) decentralised energy production, iii) balancing the high variability of electric energy from renewables and iv) energy security;
- Connection to both the gas grid and the electricity grid. The gas for FC Mode operation will be taken from the gas grid and the hydrogen produced from EL Mode operation (with or without processing) will be fed back to the gas grid;
- Reinjection of gas/hydrogen into the gas grid. In the case of reinjection as hydrogen, local concentration monitoring and mixing with natural gas (diluting it) is of essence. The alternative option of performing co-electrolysis raises the challenge of collecting and storing CO2 of sufficient purity for co-electrolysis operation. This can potentially be coupled to the storage of oxygen produced in the electrolysis mode. Proposals can adopt any of these approaches;
Addressing the issues above will help promoting a prosumer hydrogen-based stationary sector.
Proposals should address the following at the system level:
- A rSOC system capable of generating at least 5 kWe in fuel cell mode and capable of absorbing at least 15 kWe in electrolysis mode needs to be developed, in line with the KPIs mentioned in the expected outcomes;
- The concepts used in developing the system should allow scalability to higher powers not only by adding individual stacks but also by increasing the stack power;
- The system should be able to operate not only with 100% hydrogen as fuel but also with mixtures of hydrogen and natural gas in Fuel Cell mode. In Electrolysis mode the system should be able to operate either in steam electrolysis or co-electrolysis mode, depending on the best possible approach leading to compatibility with the gas grid;
- A functioning prototype of the system should be validated in a relevant environment. A mix of hardware and hardware in the loop components can be chosen, to demonstrate how the system would work when deployed in the real world. A set of suitable algorithms and logics should also be implemented in order to monitor, diagnose and control the system for optimal operation in both modes and during switching. Safe operating strategies and appropriate design maps for system operation should be addressed. Electrical load following in electrolysis mode is quite critical; hence, performance with respect to load following should be quantified in a suitable manner;
- The reversible solid oxide system should have a common set of BoP (Balance of Plant) for both modes of operation. This is to ensure that the CAPEX cost stays low. The downstream gas/chemical processing system is a separate system of its own and is not part of the rSOC system which is to be developed and tested.
Proposals should address the following at cell & stack level:
- On the cell level, either commercially available cells may be used, or electro-catalytic materials can be specifically engineered keeping reversible operation in mind. The cells should perform up to the current standards or higher and should meet the KPIs given above. The same should be replicated on the short stack and full stack levels. The cell should be able to operate at a current density of at least 1.5 A/cm2 or higher in both modes of operation. Transient time during switching between modes should be quantified and kept low for practical operations;
- Appropriate State of health monitoring methods and monitoring tools should be developed and implemented which can predict performance degradation when cell is operated the two modes EL (with steam electrolysis and/or co-electrolysis) and FC (with several combinations of feeding mixtures);
These methods and tools should be translated for use on stack level and implemented on the full system.
Proposals should also demonstrate how the solution developed would allow to create a synergy between the gas transmission system operator and electric transmission system operator. In addition proposals should develop and propose early business models targeting at energy companies including gas and power utilities.
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 3 and achieve TRL 5 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 inAnnex 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 inAnnex 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 thechapter 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)