State-of-the-art hydrogen research
The HyCentA at the Campus Inffeldgasse of the Graz University of Technology is the only non-university research institution in Austria exclusively dedicated to research and development on green hydrogen technologies. Since its foundation in 2005, HyCentA has been conducting joint projects with leading companies and scientific partners on the production, distribution, storage and application of renewable hydrogen – covering the entire value chain.
As of the beginning of the year 2023, HyCentA has advanced from a COMET project to a COMET center in the COMET funding program of the FFG. “We want to significantly advance the sustainable hydrogen society, because we are convinced that green hydrogen must be part of the solution for a climate-neutral energy system. The approval of the COMET K1 center enables us to conduct comprehensive research into the hydrogen technologies of particular relevance for the future: electrolysers, storage systems and fuel cells. We can now also devote more attention to the overall consideration of hydrogen in the areas of electricity, heat supply, transport and industry,” says Alexander Trattner, scientific director of HyCentA.
“The new COMET center ‘HyCentA’ specifically addresses the challenges in decarbonizing industry and in a sustainable circular economy,” emphasize the two FFG managing directors Henrietta Egerth and Klaus Pseiner.
“With HyCentA, Styria has a COMET center of excellence that is of great importance, especially in light of the energy transition. Styria is already a pioneer in the development of this forward-looking technology, as 60 percent of all Austrian research activities in the field of hydrogen take place in our province,” says Economic Affairs and Research Provincial Councilor Barbara Eibinger-Miedl.
From power-to-X to circular economy
HyCentA operates one of the most modern hydrogen research infrastructures in Europe with laboratories, test benches and hydrogen refueling facilities and has comprehensive know-how in the field of safety, testing, approval, certification and legal frameworks of hydrogen technologies. The focus is on the production of renewable hydrogen by means of electrolysis and the storage of electricity surpluses in the event of a temporal and/or local oversupply of renewable energies (power-to-X). Furthermore, work is being done on innovative storage technologies and fuel cells for the energy and fuel sector and on sustainable drive solutions for mobility with new fuel cells and storage systems. The topic of circular economy of hydrogen technologies and technological system optimization for the use of renewable hydrogen is also a focus.
"Research center" Green Tech Valley
The fact that the south of Austria in particular, the Green Tech Valley, is particularly fertile ground for world-class research achievements is also emphasized by GTV Cluster Managing Director Bernhard Puttinger: “Currently, the Green Tech Valley is home to 15 of Austria’s 20 green Comet centers, projects and modules.”