DTU Energy Strengthens Collaboration with China on Fuel Cells and Electrolysis

Researchers from DTU Energy have co-organized a Sino-Danish forum on solid oxide fuel cells and electrolysis to strengthen their collaboration with the Chinese research community within a technology area of great importance for both Denmark and China.

fuel cells and electrolysis

Both China and Denmark face large challenges in the transition to an energy system based on renewable sources. Today, fossil energy is still the primary energy resource in China, as it is in Denmark and the rest of the world. However, the two countries have ambitious plans to increase the fraction of renewable energy supply over the coming years. This creates the need for large-scale energy storage, as electricity from fluctuating sources such as wind and solar power needs to be stored for later use. One of the most promising options for such energy storage is Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOECs) in which electricity is converted into chemical energy stored in compounds such as hydrogen or CO, later to be re-converted to electricity using Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs). In recognition of the potential importance of the technology both Denmark and China have major research efforts on such solid oxide cells. Now, to move the development further ahead, researchers from the two countries strengthen their collaboration.

As a native Chinese who has worked at DTU Energy for more than 10 years, I can see the large potential for a closer collaboration between Denmark and China within solid oxide fuel cells and electrolysis

Senior scientist Ming Chen

The first steps were taken at a three-day Sino-Denmark Bilateral Forum: Possibilities and Challenges of Solid Oxide Cells in Energy Transition, which included a scientific workshop and a panel discussion. This event was co-organized by DTU Energy and the Department of Thermal Engineering at Tsinghua University. The workshop took place in Kunshan City, 50 km from Shanghai, and attracted close to 70 participants despite being held on a short notice. More than half of the Chinese research groups working in the area of SOEC/SOFC were present. The workshop provided a unique opportunity for the Chinese and Danish researchers to present their up-to-date research, to exchange new ideas, and to explore collaboration opportunities.

The panel discussion took place at the Innovation Centre Denmark in Shanghai. It had participation from academia as well as several Chinese energy companies. The discussion focused on how to facilitate research collaboration and joint projects, and how to attract Chinese and Danish industry for the commercialization of the solid oxide fuel cell and electrolysis technology. As a follow-up, a Chinese delegation of researchers, industry representatives and potential investors will visit DTU Energy in October 2016 to further consolidate the proposed collaboration.