As part of "Degrad-EL3-Q", Fraunhofer IPA is investigating how quantum computers can be leveraged to obtain advantages over classical computing technologies for conducting degradation analyses in electrolysers.
Hydrogen will play a major role in the transition towards a carbon-neutral energy generation. For example, it can be used directly as a propellant for fuel cell vehicles or as a base material for synthetic fuel to power Germany’s current fleet of over 60 million vehicles. To generate such quantities, high-performance electrolysers in the gigawatt range are needed. Smaller, less powerful electrolysers could then provide the necessary hydrogen locally at fueling stations. To be cost-effective, the electrolysers must have a long service life.
In the “Degrad-EL3-Q” project, IPA experts draw on expertise gained from the SEQUOIA project, which uses the “IBM Q System One quantum computer” located at an IBM data center near Stuttgart.
On the one hand, the Degrad-EL3-Q project will explore the benefits of quantum computers in terms of technology, application scenarios, and algorithms relating to the degradation of electrolysers. On the other hand, the work with quantum computers will build up skills and increase competitive advantages for both industry and science. Quantum computers are capable of efficiently simulating quantum mechanical systems. Potentially, this gives quantum computers a major advantage over conventional computers, especially when it comes to developing innovative catalysts in the field of material sciences.
Fraunhofer IPA is therefore investigating how quantum computers can be leveraged to obtain advantages over classical computing technologies for conducting degradation analyses in electrolysers. It will be examined to which extend hybrid methods, that use classical and quantum-based computations synergistically, can offer cost and performance advantages compared to traditional methods. To generate the necessary data, the scientists will construct an endurance test facility for alkaline electrolysis cells.
Degrad-EL3-Q is a sub-project of the H2Giga lead project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and coordinated by Project Management Jülich. The H2Giga project centers around the development of mass-produced electrolysers all technologies. Established electrolyser manufacturers, suppliers from various technology sectors, including many medium-sized and small companies, as well as research institutes and universities, are driving existing electrolysis technologies forward together.
Funding number: 03HY111C