The nondescript CQSola power regulator is an Australian innovation and has smart features that could significantly reduce the cost of hydrogen generated using solar energy.
May 3, 2021
Hydrogen from electrolysis for less than $ 2 a kilo? The Australian entrepreneurs Ian and Tony Schirmer have developed a missing link in the race for inexpensive hydrogen and proposed using their industrial solar power regulators CQSola to connect the solar energy directly to the connections of electrolysers – no double direct current-direct current ratio conversion – that saves the 9-15 % power loss for hydrogen that occurs during these processes.
This is on top of the additional 21% + output that CQSola claims that its device can aid solar farms in generation by ensuring that each panel reaches its maximum capacity without being hindered by its neighbors in a typical string arrangement become.
pv magazine Australia Originally, the solar optimizer developed by Schirmers was dealt with. Electrical engineer Ian, former Ergon Energy innovation manager for products and services, works tirelessly to improve the performance of clean energy. and his son Tony, who brings business, cloud systems and coding expertise to the mix August 2019.
The start-up was celebrated by the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur's office late last year and has since discovered other potential uses of its direct control and monitoring device that will greatly improve the economic case for solar-generated hydrogen.
The discovery came when CQSola “was contacted by a representative from the Asian Development Bank who was looking for new technologies for the production of green hydrogen,” says Ian pv magazine Australia. The discussion that followed prompted the Schirmers to examine their technology through a green hydrogen lens.
“We found that we can plug it into hydrogen electrolysers right from the solar panels and cut out a whole bunch of machines and electronics in the middle,” says Ian.
Since hydrogen production and regeneration are known to lose power with each round of conversion, reducing the number of processes involved is an obvious way to ensure that more green energy is produced and to lower the cost per kilo.
If electrolysers, why not batteries and UPS systems?
Ian adds that electrolysers are a form of energy storage – “They charge the electrolyser to get hydrogen and discharge it to get energy” – that the technology also includes battery energy storage systems (BESSs) and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs ) could be charged directly from the direct current side of solar parks, which in turn reduces energy loss through renovations.
The Schirmers say it was a natural evolution for CQSola to begin developing high voltage electrolysers by “connecting existing electrolysers in series to make a high voltage electrolyser,” says Ian.
“The problem,” adds Tony, “is that the controls for this system don't currently exist.” He explains that this would generally be accomplished through a DC bus bar. “However, in order to supply the DC busbar with power, the actual charge controller has to be converted from DC to DC and from DC to DC. We built all of that into our controller.
“When you connect our product in a row, you are essentially creating a bus bar with a charge controller and taking out those big conversion losses.”
CQSola plans to partner with an electrolyser manufacturer to enable high voltage systems with the goal of producing hydrogen more efficiently from the same amount of renewable energy.
Traction in the H2 ecosystem
As a solution to increase efficiency in the value chain for green hydrogen, the CQSola controller was recently confirmed in an industry webinar by Stephen B. Harrison, the founder of sbh4 Consulting based in Europe, who specializes in all aspects of hydrogen production .
As part of the EQ World Hydrogen Large-Scale Electrolysis In the webinar broadcast in mid-April, Harrison noted that efforts to improve the performance of photovoltaic modules have plateaued in terms of the return on research and development efforts – “we need to look at other weak links in the photovoltaic chain” and giga-scale electrolysers.
A higher productivity of the solar infrastructure will be one of the most important contributions to lowering hydrogen costs.
Harrison highlighted CQSola as “a very, very clever energy management device” that “solves a lot of solar farm problems” to provide “20-30%, maybe even 40%, increase in power generation.”
Increasing the productivity of solar parks and reducing the conversion losses from solar to electrolyser by the percentages that CQSola says can be achieved with its technology could bring in cents – perhaps enough to cross the line H2 for under $ 2 / kg Rubicon.
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