General Lab Information

Energy Systems Division

Hydrogen Testbed Facility

Northeast Solar Energy Research Center (NSERC) serves as a solar energy research and test facility for the solar industry.

Brookhaven Lab is planning to develop a hydrogen testbed facility that will include an electrolyzer for hydrogen (H2) production, H2 and electrical storage, and H2 end-use. The end-use facilities will focus on H2 use in fuel cells, direct combustion applications for areas that are hard to decarbonize, and biofuel synthesis. This proposed testbed is planned to integrate with Brookhaven’s Northeast Solar Energy Research Center (NSERC)—a 1 Megawatt (MW) solar research array—and will seek to assimilate and augment the overall system’s efficiency by minimizing and reallocating individual component losses. The success of the testbed will facilitate in-field testing of pre-commercial electrolyzers (or individual components), alleviating a shortage of testing sites and performance characterization with variable solar production in the Northeast.

Hydrogen Production and Integration

Energy resilience demonstration. Four 1.5kW Solid Oxide Fuel Cells interconnected in an island mode configuration with waste-heat recapture, plumbed into the building hot-water system, and electrical output connections to a local battery storage system and to building power.

Brookhaven Lab is collaborating with Stony Brook University to develop DC/DC controls to optimize the energy flow and increase the overall efficiency of the hydrogen production process from electrolyzers (PEM and AEM)—specifically control strategies that consider dynamic environmental and operational conditions and investigation of emerging power electronics technologies, such as wide-bandgap semiconductors, for increased efficiency. The Energy Conversion team is working with the renewables and grid modernization group to develop power management and control systems and algorithms to manage the power flow between the solar PV array, the electrolyzer, storage units, and the grid. Additionally, the group is studying the interactions between the system and the grid to address issues with grid stability, frequency/voltage regulation, and power quality.

Hydrogen End-Use

From left to right: Rebecca Trojanowski and Yusuf Celebi inspecting the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell’s onboard water purification system.

Brookhaven Lab is working on the R&D needed to understand the compatibility of hydrogen-natural gas blends with existing residential and commercial heating appliance components. The team is focused on investigating the combustion characteristics of hydrogen-natural gas blends and their impact on burner performance such as flame stability, ignition characteristics, flame speed, heat release rates, and NOx formation.