Edison's 100 year old technology has paved the way for 100% clean hydrogen!

Edison’s technology is becoming a gateway to clean hydrogen. Battolyser Systems is using the century-old invention as a revolution in renewable energy and clean hydrogen production.
Edison's 100 year old technology has paved

With his inventions in electricity, sound recording, and cinema, Thomas Edison continues to illuminate the modern world. More than a century after its development, Edison’s nickel-iron (NiFe) battery serving as a catalyst for today’s renewable energy solutions isn’t entirely surprising. Battolyser Systems, a company named after Edison’s technology, is achieving 100% clean hydrogen production.

Edison enables clean hydrogen production

In 1901, Thomas Edison patented the NiFe battery. Originally intended for electric vehicles, safety concerns arose due to its tendency to produce unwanted hydrogen emissions. Despite this, NiFe batteries found applications in mining, military, and railway sectors for over 70 years. Some railway vehicles still use versions of NiFe batteries produced by other companies today.

Edison's 100 year old technology has paved the way for

After more than 100 years since its invention, Fokko Mulder, a professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, discovered a new potential for the NiFe battery. According to Professor Mulder, the battery’s hydrogen output posed a significant advantage for renewable energy. Drawing inspiration from Edison’s battery, Mulder and his research group invented the world’s first integrated battery and electrolyzer: the Battolyser. The Battolyser combined unique potential for both electricity storage and hydrogen production. Operating as both a battery and an electrolyzer, the Battolyser efficiently stores electricity and, when charged, splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

How does the Battolyser work?

Edison's 100 year old technology has paved the way for 100% clean hydrogen!

The design of the Battolyser uses the same nickel-iron electrodes seen in Edison’s designs. However, researchers combine these electrodes with a modern alkaline electrolysis system available on the market today. The resulting product can be charged with renewable energy generated from solar or wind farms.

The Battolyser functions like a regular battery, charging when renewable energy is available and prices are low. Once fully charged, it transforms into an electrolyzer, automatically producing hydrogen that can be stored or used. During times of grid interruptions or high energy costs, it can feed stored electricity back into the grid. The system ensures continuous operation with its capability to switch between electricity storage and hydrogen production. According to the company, its automatic operation is one of its most innovative features.

Edison's 100 year old technology has paved the way for clean hydrogen_0

The company claims that its device achieves 85% efficiency and can produce pressurized hydrogen at lower costs compared to similar technologies. Moreover, the energy storage and hydrogen production unit is made from readily available materials found in nature, contributing to lower costs. The venture states that the device has a lifespan of 20-30 years.

Battolyser Systems offers three models based on this technology. The 2.5 MW module is targeted for release in the first quarter of 2025, followed by a 5 MW system in the second quarter of 2025, and 25 MW modules by the third quarter of 2026. The company aims to target installations ranging from 100 to 500 MW with the 25 MW modules.

Overall, Battolyser Systems’ technology offers a versatile platform for both energy storage and hydrogen production, with high capacity capabilities. Companies like this Dutch firm are crucial for the region, especially during a time when Europe aims to increase hydrogen production to 10 million tons, shifting away from the 96% of hydrogen produced from natural gas in 2022 to cleaner options provided by technologies like the Battolyser.

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