Opening of the electrolysis plant for MPREIS in Tyrol (Video english)

Opening of europes largest single stac alcaline electrolysis plant at MPREIS in Völs near Innsbruck in the frame of the EU Project Demo4Grid

A milestone in the field of hydrogen technology in Austria could be celebrated at the beginning of March 2023 at the MPREIS company together with FEN Systems. Simultaneously with the handover of the keys of the 1st hydrogen truck, the electrolysis plant responsible for the production of the hydrogen was handed over.

As early as 2016, the initiative of the Tyrolean start-up FEN-Systems, based on the Green Energy Center Europe in Innsbruck, the Demo4Grid (1) project was brought to Tyrol as part of an EU tender in a competitive process. Initiator Ernst Fleischhacker explains the acceptance of this project worth millions.
Ernst Fleischhacker: The decisive factor was that we were able to demonstrate a business case that proves that we can use the hydrogen generated from the power grid control – green hydrogen – in our own operations, in production operations, but also for logistics. The project itself is a 3 megawatt alkaline pressure electrolysis plant built at the MPREIS production and logistics center in Völs. The plant was co-financed in equal parts by the European Union and the Swiss government to the sum of around 7 million euros and is primarily used to research and demonstrate electricity grid balancing services under real operating and market conditions. At the same time, it also produces green hydrogen, which is temporarily stored on site for use as needed in various industrial and logistics processes. It also supplies the fuel for the 1st hydrogen truck in Austria, which recently went into operation.
Christian von Ohlshausen: It’s a big plant. You can see it behind us, that’s the stack that, if you build it with a little bit of modification, then this has 5 megawatts as a single stack. You can easily duplicate that and put it next to each other so that you get it to a tens or multiple tens of megawatts range. The second thing is, we’re working under pressure here – and pressure means you have the hydrogen available right away as you need it, or if you still have to pressurize it, like here at the gas station, then you start with a higher pressure level, and that saves a lot of plant technology and energy. For MPREIS, this research project is an essential factor for the implementation of renewable energies in the power grid under real economic conditions.
Ewald Perwög: We are researching sector coupling. This means how an electrolyzer can be operated in a way that serves the grid, i.e. we have the challenge in the grids that intermixing renewable feed-in makes it necessary to react very quickly in order to relieve the grid. We are researching how this can be done with such an electrolyzer and how the process must be adapted in order to achieve this. In the future, this experience and expertise will serve to further disseminate this technology and make it usable for other partners in the field of business and industry.
Nikolaus Fleischhacker: The next steps are now,we have now produced the first green hydrogen, it is purified behind me so that it is suitable for fuel cells. We can now also transport it in the HyWest project, the next logistical step that we are setting up We have now purchased two multi-element gas containers from MPREIS in the HyWest project, which can be filled here and taken to the partners, where the hydrogen can be used and then collected again. Our next step, which follows on from HyWest, is to use this green hydrogen to convert industrial processes. In other words, wherever we cannot convert the processes directly through electricicity, we can use the first green hydrogen from the MPREIS project.
This project and others from the area of competence of the Green Energy Center Europe (Innsbruck) and its partners contribute to the conversion of the energy system, which, in view of the current and future global challenges, must be implemented more quickly than many believe and would like.

(1) Demo4Grid stands for “Demonstration for Grid Services” and was funded by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership (formerly Fuel Cells & Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking) of the European Commission under grant agreement No. 736351 and by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation under contract number 17.00002. The Clean Hydrogen Partnership is supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program and by Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research.