Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Operates Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell at Takasago Hydrogen Park

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) began operation of a 400 kW-class solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) test module at its Takasago Hydrogen Park in Japan.

MHI has commenced operation of a SOEC test module, based on the previously developed technology for solid oxide fuel cells, at the Takasago Hydrogen Park in Japan’s Hyogo Prefecture. The SOEC test module has a capacity of 400 kW and the core technologies were developed at the Nagasaki Carbon Neutral Park. It also has a high efficiency and MHI’s tubular cell stack supports operation at high pressures. The results of this SOEC operation and will be used to support the development of higher output and increased capacity.

The SOEC has a module with multiple cartridges of 500 cell stacks packed together. Test operation results displayed the electrolytic efficiency of the module was 3.5 kWh/Nm3 (101% - higher heating value), confirming high efficiency for the SOEC. These results represent a step towards satisfying MHI’s goal of building a system with an efficiency of 90% - higher heating value.


"The expectations placed on Takasago Machinery Works, both internally and from society at large, to implement MHI Group's MISSION NET ZERO and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040, are higher than ever,” said Takuya Murase, Senior Fellow, Senior General Manager for the GTCC Business Division of Energy Systems and Head of Takasago Machinery Works. “The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of Takasago's founding. We will continue to pursue the energy transition with THP at the core of our efforts and make further leaps forward."

MHI also successfully performed cartridge tests under higher amounts of electric current condition per cell stack at the Nagasaki Carbon Neutral Park—marking progress toward the development of a MW-class SOEC with greater power density. The company plans to install a MW-class SOEC system demonstration facility at Takasago within the next few years and will prepare for integrated verification in the park, aiming to commercialize the system following actual operation.

Takasago Hydrogen Park (THP) began full-scale commercial operation in September 2023 and is separated into three areas according to functions for hydrogen production, storage, and utilization. The production area is headed by HydrogenPro AS of Norway, manufacturing alkaline electrolyzers with a hydrogen production capacity of 1,100 Nm3/h. Processed hydrogen will be stored in equipment with a total capacity of 39,000 Nm3.

In late 2023, Mitsubishi Power conducted a successful power generation test using a 30% hydrogen-natural gas blend at partial and full load in a 1,650ºC J-series air-cooled (JAC) gas turbine. The demonstration took place at the T-Point 2 combined-cycle power plant validation facility within THP. Fueled with hydrogen produced at THP, the large-frame gas turbine was connected to the local power grid and operated with a 30% hydrogen fuel mix to assess the technology’s potential integration at scale. The test demonstrated low NOx emissions, stable combustion during hydrogen co-firing, and the ability to switch from natural gas to hydrogen fuel blending during partial-load and full-load operation.

"We see THP making a contribution to the implementation of hydrogen power generation through improvements in product reliability based on verifications and accelerated commercialization,” said Mr. Takashi Tozawa, Senior Fellow, Senior General Manager, GTCC Business Division of Energy Systems at MHI. “The 30% hydrogen co-firing demonstration with the JAC gas turbine is a significant milestone toward the energy transition, and we are proud that MHI is able to play such an important role."