Questions and answers about green hydrogen and electrolyzers

The market for green hydrogen is rapidly expanding, and so are questions about how the technology, market and leadership role of Verdagy. Here are some answers!

The term applies when a hydrogen production plant is powered by a renewable (or “green”) energy source. The color-descriptors change when other energy sources are used. For example:

  • Green hydrogen — when coupled with renewable energy sources 
  • Gray hydrogen — when coupled with fossil-fuel energy sources
  • Blue hydrogen — when coupled with natural gas and using carbon capture and storage
  • Pink hydrogen — when coupled with nuclear power (also referred to as red or purple)

Our electrolyzer technology and our plant design are agnostic when it comes to energy sources. That said, our eDynamic cell and the plant architecture based on it seamlessly integrate with renewable energy sources, and deliver industry-leading performance with green energy.

Green hydrogen will play a critical role in decarbonization of the industrial landscape and is expected to become a primary source of clean energy for a large portion of the global energy supply. Unlike today’s hydrogen which is produced from fossil fuels, this green hydrogen will be generated using electrolyzers powered by renewable energy. We are seeing more and more hydrogen projects being announced, driven by expanding renewable energy resources, expansion of hydrogen infrastructure and regulatory directions.

In decarbonizing large sectors of the industrial landscape, Verdagy is addressing the largest near-term markets and helping customers transition to green hydrogen and replacing their CO₂ and greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting production assets. We already see interest in steel, oil & gas, chemical and energy infrastructure companies.

Our large-scale electrolyzers generate hydrogen at scale, driving economics that make it easier for industry to replace fossil fuel with hydrogen. By engineering the industry’s lowest CapEx and highest efficiency electrolyzer solutions, we can deliver best-in-class levelized costs of hydrogen for our customers.

Levelized cost of energy (LCOE) is a common benchmark in the energy market. The basic idea is to estimate the lifetime cost of producing a form of energy and divide that by projected lifetime output. The measure allows reasonable comparisons of fundamentally different energy technologies with different cost structures. 

The same approach can be used to compare the variants within a single energy technology category. Levelized cost of hydrogen (LCOH) allows reasonable comparisons of the different hydrogen production technologies.

There are different types of electrolyzers. The three main types are described as:  

  • polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM). This is also referred to as a proton-exchange membrane. 
  • alkaline electrolyzers (AE), which include alkaline-water electrolyzers (AWE). 
  • solid oxide electrolysis cells (SEOC)

Our patented eDynamic® electrolyzer utilizes advanced AWE technology that incorporates anion exchange membranes.  The electrolyzer is designed to run at high current densities within a wide dynamic range.

The different types have distinct combinations of characteristics, and choosing which to adopt involves balancing tradeoffs. 

Ours is the only electrolyzer that is at once very low CapEx, very high current density, and operates across a wide dynamic range so that plant managers can easily adjust production rates depending on energy price, green energy availability, and/or demand for hydrogen. 

Our patented very large single element architecture cells using membranes are designed to run at very high current densities. The cells are nearly three square meters in size and operate at industry leading current densities that far exceed any other alkaline water electrolysis technologies. Bigger cells operating at higher current densities means more hydrogen production at every level. 

Additionally, with the wide dynamic operating range with load shedding ability of 95%, there is an opportunity to reduce energy costs and load gaining ability to maximize H₂ production. Our recent launch of the commercial module illustrates the benefits of large-cell design, with the three 28,500 square cm cells producing hydrogen at a rate of >3.0kg/hr per cell.

Other benefits include seamless integration with renewables, as Verdagy’s eDynamic™ process is designed to rapidly change operating parameters to capture the most optimal input energy pricing. Without dependency on costly noble metals such as platinum and titanium, and due to the very large size and ability to run at high current densities, we’ve achieved lowest CapEx in the industry and the lowest H2 production costs when coupled with renewable energy.

Verdagy’s technology is designed to grow with our customers. The membrane-based water electrolysis is engineered to make it easy to scale and maintain into the future. Our eDynamic 20MW electrolyzer and the200MW plant can rapidly change operating parameters in order to meet changing conditions, such as fuel demands of industrial processes, or to fluctuations in energy pricing. This helps to optimize facility design and ongoing operating costs. 

In addition, we build our electrolyzer and plant using very large active area cells with the ability to run at industry-leading current densities. Taken together, these attributes add up to the lowest upfront capital costs and the lowest unit production economics. We also facilitate scalability with the ability to replace key components over time as we continue to innovate, ensuring our customers have access to the most advanced technologies.

We started with scalability as the problem we wanted to address.  Scalability and growth are unlocked by having the lowest CapEx possible. Verdagy’s approach to electrolysis lends itself to scaling up easily and rapidly.  We have engineered our product solution to address the GW-scale challenges and use-cases needed to decarbonize industrial processes.  Further, our cell architecture and operating approach enable innovations of all kinds going forward, which means we can continue to lower both CapEx costs and improve efficiencies and lower unit costs over time.

Not with Verdagy. We are constantly innovating, so we have deliberately designed our electrolyzing cells, our electrolyzers, and our hydrogen plant architecture to easily accommodate updates. If we devise new catalysts and coatings, or if we create a membrane more effective than the AEM we are currently using, we can switch our membranes entirely. 

Our basic eDynamic electrolyzer is a 20-megawatt unit (currently incorporating 160 cells). Our plants scale to gigawatts by combining eDynamic units. Any single eDynamic unit can be shut down for maintenance or upgrading while all other units keep running. Cells can be swapped out in mere hours.

While “eDynamic” is an entirely new category of electrolyzer and plant, it comes from a team with solid industry experience and proven base technology. We know how to successfully operate our very large cell at high current densities and in highly dynamic operations. At our world-class lab and pilot plant in Moss Landing, CA., we have everything needed onsite to quickly scale innovation from the lab to the pilot plant to commercialization. We also understand how to work with customers to manage risks and unlock the potential of industrial hydrogen as a fuel.

Our veteran team has been working tirelessly to design the best, most advantageous features of large cells, while designing out all the aspects that cause failures. As we are gearing up to bring our electrolyzers to market, we recently brought in a new CCO and COO to facilitate manufacturing and commercialization.

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Verdagy’s team are the experts in scalable electrolyzers for green hydrogen. Let us know what questions you may have about how to apply it in your operation.