An Interview with CPH2: Advancing the Industrialization of Membrane-Free Hydrogen Electrolysers with Pulsenics

March 19, 2024
Bridie Haxby (CPH2) and Mariam Awara (Pulsenics) at the CPH2 facilities in Doncaster, UK

Pulsenics, a leader in advanced diagnostics solutions, has joined efforts with Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2), a renowned UK-based electrolyser developer, to accelerate the industrialization of green hydrogen production through pioneering membrane-free electrolysers. 

By leveraging Pulsenics' proprietary impedance-based cell & stack testing capabilities, CPH2 gains invaluable insights into the performance of their membrane-free electrolysers without the historical need for destructive & manual evaluation methods. 

In an in-depth interview with Bridie Haxby, Laboratory Supervisor in the R&D department of CPH2, we discuss the innovative nature & impact of this shared endeavour on pushing the boundaries of membrane-free electrolysis.

Why membrane-free electrolysis?

“The membrane-free electrolyser is our key product at CPH2 and represents the heart of our electrolyser plants. The electrolyser we are developing is novel and has the potential for longer lifetimes and more efficient energy consumption that can be unlocked for scale with advancements in research & development.

Our team is heavily focused on fine-tuning the multitude of layers of materials, components and parameters that influence our electrolyser stacks, to achieve our performance, efficiency and durability targets at a price point that is required for mass adoption in the industry.” explains Haxby.

CPH2’s key metrics for optimizing electrolyser performance & economics

“Improving the performance of our electrolysers is centered around optimizing our stack’s current density, which means we can increase the current applied to the same surface area of our electrolyser’s cell plates. 

Higher current density means more hydrogen and oxygen is produced with the same stack parts, leading to lower capital expenditures for our clients. If we can keep the operating temperature the same, yet increase our current densities, we can introduce lower energy consumption for our clients, and reduce operating costs at an electrolysis plant significantly. 

Improving current density is an intensive R&D process that involves the investigation of an array of design choices on the short- and long-term performance of our stacks. We’ve got to consider the effects of a long list of parameters that include different materials, components, operating currents, voltages, temperatures and pressures, as well as flow velocities, just to name a few. It’s also important that we evaluate each of these parameters under real operating conditions, to qualify performance in a deployment environment.” 

Partnering with Pulsenics

“As an industry, we cannot afford to spend decades learning how best to scale up and operate electrolysers using trial-and-error. We are tasked with deploying gigawatt capacities in the next five years! 

Evaluating the effects of design choices on electrolyser performance for industrial R&D teams has always required running R&D stacks for thousands of hours, only to have to take them offline and apart to evaluate performance metrics using lab-based analytical tools. 

We initiated a collaboration with Pulsenics because we share a philosophy that evaluating the performance of electrolysers should be quantifiable, real-time, non-destructive and fast! 

Together, we developed an initial comprehensive test program that generated conclusive insights on the effects of different electrolyte flow velocities, electrolyte concentration, electrode spacing, operating temperatures and operating currents on our stack performance, all within less than a week of testing! These tests would have originally taken months to conduct using traditional evaluation methods!”   

Insights from Impedance-Based Stack Testing

“The objective of introducing impedance-based stack testing to our program was clear: to gain a deeper understanding into the behaviour of our electrodes and electrolyte from within each cell in our electrolyser. It has been an ongoing research focus to uncover what contributes to performance changes across our cells and our testing with Pulsenics has allowed us to do so. 

With Pulsenics, we were able to extract performance data on each of the components within our cells, which is data we were previously unable to obtain. Pulsenics made it possible to obtain this data while our electrolyser was experiencing real operating conditions, which allowed us to quantify the effects of our bipolar plate spacing, electrolyte concentration and electrolyte flow rates on the performance of each of our cells. Using Pulsenics’ software, we can quickly analyze large datasets, saving months of data analysis. CPH2 is using this data to constantly improve our designs to achieve even more durable stacks, with better efficiencies and lifetimes.”

Looking Ahead - Advancing Electrolysis with Speed and Certainty

“Working with Pulsenics is a testament to the power of collaboration in delivering innovative advancements toward electrifying our industries. 
Impedance-based testing with Pulsenics means making scale-up and operational decisions with more speed and certainty! 
Together, we have benchmarked the performance of different design considerations for our application requirements, and we look forward to continued collaboration to push the boundaries of membrane-free electrolysis together.”

About Bridie Haxby - Laboratory Supervisor, CPH2

Bridie joined CPH2 in March 2020 as a Laboratory Technician and has held roles including Lead Chemist and Lead Scientist. She was promoted to her current position of Laboratory Supervisor in August 2022.

Bridie manages all departmental activities at CPH2, including creating test schedules for the membrane-free electrolyser stack performance, efficiency, gas drying and measuring purity after cryogenic separation. Analysis and presentation of test results and continued research into scientific concepts is also a key responsibility. Bridie is heavily involved in stack build and testing and other lab-based testing and research.

About Pulsenics

Pulsenics is enabling the industrialization of electrochemical technologies with novel impedance spectroscopy and data solutions. By introducing real-time performance diagnostics, Pulsenics is making it possible to monitor the internal conditions of electrochemical systems without the need for shutdown. Through its use of spectroscopy, Pulsenics is able to non-disruptively monitor changing electrode, membrane and electrolyte conditions from within an electrochemical system in operation, leading to improved durability, efficiency and reliability. Partnering with industry leaders, Pulsenics is paving the way forward toward a more reliable and efficient electrochemical industry.

Press Release via Newswire

EIN Presswire