Hydrogen: Convion solid oxide electrolyzer exceeds 85% efficiency

HTE steam electrolysis, wins in efficiency

With 2,000 hours of work and over 1,000 rapid ignition cycles. Once put to the test in the field the innovative solid oxide electrolyzer Convion has brilliantly passed any test, showing enviable performance. First, the system is the result of technological collaboration between the British Elcogen and the Finnish Convion. Elcogen provided the solid oxide cell and stack technology that was implemented in Convion’s high-temperature electrolysis platform

The two companies have announced these days the conclusion of the practical tests held since June 2023 at a site of VTT, where the system – industrial size – was tested as part of an E-Fuel project (coordinated by VTT and funded by Business Finland). The plant is of the high-temperature type (HTE) or steam electrolyzer, which uses water vapor instead of liquid water, using its heat to feed and make more efficient the splitting of H2O molecules.

The performance of the Convion solid oxide electrolyzer

The new solid oxide electrolyzer Convin shows very high-performance thanks to an electrical efficiency of more than 85%, equal to 39 kWh of electricity per kilogram of green hydrogen produced. In the context of electrolysis, it is 20-30% less electricity than competing technologies such as PEM and alkaline electrolysers. Not only that. The company know-how put in place allowed to development the system in record time.

We are extremely pleased that the test campaign demonstrated excellent operability, flexibility and resistance to fluctuations in steam supply and validated the excellent efficiency designed,” said Kim Åström, CTO of Convion. “These results give us the certainty that our […] approach is suitable for large-scale industrial applications for electrolysis and bidirectional rSOC systems (reversible solid oxide cells)”.

The tests carried out were not only used to demonstrate the goodness of the system. In recent months the electrolyzer HTE has supplied green hydrogen for a synthetic fuel demonstrator. On 21 November, this paraffinic e-fuel was tested for the first time in Finland on a diesel tractor at AGCO Power’s Linnavuori plant.

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