GRASSHOPPER (GRid ASsiSting modular HydrOgen Pem PowER plant) aims to create a next-generation MW-size Fuel Cell Power Plant unit (FCPP), which is more cost-effective and flexible in power output, accomplishing an estimated CAPEX below 1500 EUR/ kWe at a yearly production rate of 25 MWe.
Large MW size PEM FCPP have been demonstrated, such as in the DEMCOPEM-2MW project, however at too high a CAPEX level and without dynamic operation features for grid support. GRASSHOPPER tackles these issues, enabling a controlled, renewables-based energy infrastructure.
The power plant will be demonstrated in the field as a 100 kW sub-module pilot plant, implementing newly developed stacks, MEAs and BoP system components, combining benefits of coherent design integration.
Cost and technical optimisation will be achieved with improvements targeting MEAs (increasing current density, active area, reducing material costs including Pt loading), stack design (increasing stack size, power density and operating pressures, while streamlining manufacturability) and overall system balance of plant (modular design, simplified header and manifolds for gas distribution, high efficiency photovoltaic inverters, using off-the-shelf equipment where possible).
This unit will be operated continuously for 8 months in an industrially-relevant environment for engaging grid support modulation as part of an established on-site Demand Side Management (DSM) programme.
Innovative DSM programmes will be completed to establish the best path forward for commercialisation of the technology for a fast response FCPP.