Siemens Energy has announced plans to begin industrial production of electrolysis modules in Berlin in 2023. The 21,527-sq.ft. (2000-m2) site is currently used to manufacture gas turbines. The company is spending around 30 million Euros to install new production lines for electrolyzers at its Huttenstrasse plant.
“With the new production facility for hydrogen electrolyzers, we are reinforcing our claim to play an active role in shaping the energy transition,” said Christian Bruch, president and CEO of Siemens Energy. “To this end, we are pooling our knowledge in the field of various energy technologies in Berlin. For us, hydrogen is an important component of the future energy world. For this to be economically viable, the manufacturing costs for electrolyzers must be significantly reduced. With our new production facility, we are helping to make hydrogen competitive sooner.”
At the Berlin location, the individual electrolyzer cells will be manufactured and combined to form functional modules, or “stacks.” Depending on the required capacity, these will then be assembled into larger process-based units. In Germany, this last stage will take place at Mülheim, which is closely associated with the new Berlin plant and complements it perfectly.
According to Siemens Energy, the critical element is that production is being switched over to mass production. Reasonably priced and affordable electrolyzers are the prerequisite for being able to cover growing demand and the future costs of hydrogen. For this purpose, Siemens Energy is relying on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis, in which water is separated into hydrogen and oxygen using a proton-permeable membrane and electricity from renewable sources. The key aspects of this process are its high level of efficiency, high product gas quality, and reliable operation with no chemicals or impurities. The latest and most powerful PEM electrolyzer product line from Siemens Energy is optimized for applications up to the high hundreds of megawatts, enabling systems of this size to generate several metric tons of green hydrogen every hour. The electricity used in electrolyzer manufacturing will be sourced entirely from renewables.