Why Cummins selected Spain to expand its footprint for hydrogen generation

Cummins - Hydrogen Electrolyzer - Spain - web
Cummins is locating one of the world’s largest electrolyzer plants for the production of green hydrogen in Spain.

Cummins is locating one of the world’s largest electrolyzer plants for the production of green hydrogen in Spain. The 22,000-square meter facility will produce the world’s largest electrolyzer systems, with an initial production capacity of 500 MW/year and is scalable to more than 1 GW/year.

A site selection search is underway within Castilla-La Mancha, Spain, with the facility expected to open in 2023.

So, why Spain?

Government Support 

Spain’s government is committed to accelerating clean hydrogen production through its hydrogen roadmap. Cummins’ new electrolyzer plant will help the country make strides towards its goal of 4 GW of electrolyzer capacity by 2030. 

Large Hydrogen Market 

With this focus on shifting to hydrogen, Spain offers a large domestic market for hydrogen, both for current industrial and agriculture customers, as well as future mobility and other applications. The country’s goals include ramping up hydrogen-powered bus systems, light and heavy vehicles and commercial rail lines. 

Cummins Spain - Hydrogen Electrolyzer - Hydrogen Footprint
Take a glance at the new Cummins electrolyzer production plan in Castilla-La Mancha, Spain...by the numbers! 

Positive Economics 

Solar costs in Spain have been dropping and are now among the lowest in Europe. This provides a competitive advantage for green hydrogen, both domestically and for potential export to the rest of Europe and beyond. 

Workforce Poised for Innovation 

With one of the largest economies in the European Union, Spain’s robust technical and manufacturing workforce is a great home for expanded hydrogen production and innovation.

Spain offers an ideal environment to expand Cummins’ hydrogen production capacity, while supporting their renewable energy goals through our leadership in alternative power technologies. Together, we can further decarbonization and accelerate the hydrogen economy.

Learn more about our plans to build one of the world’s largest electrolyzer facilities in Spain.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Our next step in advancing fuel cell technology

Fuel cells have come a long way since they were first successfully demonstrated in the early 19th century by Humphry Davy. They were first heavily used for outer space missions, including the Apollo 11 flight in 1969, which not only carried the first man to the moon but also three fuel cell stacks to power all the equipment in the space module.

Each decade since has seen fuel cells advance, as commercialization in a variety of applications accelerated. The new millennium also saw a resurgence of interest in fuel cell capabilities due to the increased concerns over carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of traditional energy production.

Cummins has long been at the forefront of low-carbon technologies with the goal of reducing emissions, and we have been researching fuel cells for more than 20 years. In addition to offering Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells and electrolyzer technology, we are also working on the next step towards clean, reliable power sources with solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). 

Which industries are SOFCs most suitable for?

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are suitable for a variety of industries that may want to generate on-site power to achieve greater energy resiliency and lower emissions. These include commercial, industrial and institutional facilities (i.e., data centers, grocery stores and universities, etc.). SOFCs can also be centralized as fuel cell power plants where utilities sell the energy on to end customers as part of their power generation portfolio.

Why would a customer choose SOFCs over other technologies?

Generally, SOFCs are a more energy efficient option compared to traditional energy production sources and offer greater flexibility in the type of fuel that can be used. A number of fuel options include natural gas, propane, ammonia, hydrogen, hydrogen-blended gas and biogas. Even when using a carbon-based fuel like natural gas, SOFCs produce lower levels of carbon dioxide compared to traditional generators. This is due to the lack of combustion. Lack of moving parts also allow the fuel cell system to operate quieter with more reliability, making SOFCs a desirable power source for busy city centers.

Several fuel cells can be combined, or “stacked,” to achieve a high kW output from a single fuel cell module. A single fuel cell has the approximate thickness of a No. 2 pencil eraser (5mm) and produces a limited amount of power (a few watts). Because several fuel cell modules can be combined, their modular design provides increased flexibility for building generation capacity.

Beyond the efficiency and reliability advantages of fuel cells, a growing number of countries and regions are also offering incentives for businesses to invest in fuel cells. For instance, the U.S. has a long history of supporting energy infrastructure through U.S. tax code and offers the Federal Fuel Cell Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

What role do SOFCs play in the energy transition?

Cummins is using the SOFC technology as the basis for ongoing development work today. Within both the SOFC and PEM fuel cell space, Cummins is also working to leverage fuel cell technology for electrolysis to produce green fuels, like hydrogen, and synthetic fuels. These technologies are part of Cummins' broader energy production portfolio, including traditional combustion generators, electrolyzers, lithium-ion batteries and PEM fuel cells.

Currently, natural gas is the most suitable fuel to power fuel cells due to distribution infrastructure (well sites, processing plants and pipelines to move the gas) in place and the fact that it offers lower emissions than other fossil fuels, like oil and coal. As zero-carbon energy production advances, the goal is to fuel SOFCs using hydrogen or other zero-carbon fuels. When SOFCs run on zero-carbon fuels they become a zero-emissions power source.

Cummins continues to be a leader in the global energy transition through our participation in innovation conversations and leadership of a number of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects related to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. These initiatives align with the company’s larger environmental sustainability strategy, PLANET 2050. There are still more advancements to be made in the fuel cell space, and Cummins is forging ahead to unlock the full potential of solid oxide fuel cells.

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Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins is pioneering hydrogen generation in Spain

Cummins is pioneering hydrogen generation in Spain

We have to get going on lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The earth depends on us doing this. My children and their children will look back at us to say, “What did you do about this problem?”’ – Tom Linebarger, Cummins Chairman & CEO

So, what is Cummins doing? One of our latest investments in Spain, which includes a new facility to manufacture electrolyzers and a partnership with Iberdrola on large-scale electrolysis projects to produce green hydrogen, is helping us get one step closer to a carbon-neutral world.

Watch the video to learn how we are shifting our trajectories towards a greener future.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins CEO leading the charge to a greener future

Cummins CEO leading the charge to a greener future

As he guides Cummins and our customers toward a carbon-neutral world, Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger is taking the lead on alternative energy on another global stage.

The Hydrogen Council, a global CEO-led coalition working to accelerate the energy transition through hydrogen, has announced Linebarger as its new Co-Chair. He will take over the role from Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation Takeshi Uchiyamada, serving alongside fellow Co-Chair Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide.

Cummins has been a member of the Hydrogen Council since 2018, and this new opportunity to lead the group will create even more momentum for the company’s global decarbonization efforts.

"It’s encouraging to see major economies around the world advance clean energy technologies, and I’m especially proud that the United States is pushing forward with new policy initiatives to support the scale-up of hydrogen,” Linebarger said.

As the new Co-chair of the Hydrogen Council, I’m eager to work with all of our members to accelerate hydrogen deployment globally through strong international partnerships.”

The Hydrogen Council’s members span 123 companies across the globe in a variety of sectors — including utilities, chemical producers, energy companies, engineers, mobility providers and bankers — all committed to scaling up the hydrogen value chain to contribute to a clean and diversified energy system. The coalition believes that hydrogen has a key role to play in reaching global decarbonization goals by helping to diversify energy sources worldwide, foster business and technological innovation as drivers for long-term economic growth and decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors. 

Learn more about the Hydrogen Council.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Setting sail on hydrogen with Hydro Motion

Setting sail on hydrogen with Hydro Motion

A team of 20 ambitious students of various disciplinary backgrounds came together to form the TU Delft Solar Team 2021 and enter uncharted waters with Hydro Motion, a boat that not only sails, but flies on hydrogen. After 15 years of building boats successfully powered by sunlight, the 2021 team decided it was time to swap solar panels for a fuel cell to take the next step towards a more sustainable maritime industry.

The Netherlands-based team has spent the last nine months taking its new flying boat from concept to reality. With a focus on building a well-functioning hydrogen boat, they decided to refit the 2019 flying solar boat and use its three award-winning hulls and seaworthy trimaran. The solar panels were removed, and a hydrogen system was installed.

A TU Delft Solar Team member working to  install the Cummins HyPM-HD30 fuel cell
A TU Delft Solar Team member working to install the Cummins HyPM-HD30 fuel cell

The boat is powered by the Cummins HyPM-HD30 fuel cell and will convert 99.9% pure hydrogen into electricity to power the boat’s driveline, electronics and other devices. The hydrogen is stored in a gaseous state in the hydrogen system tank, which has a 350-liter capacity and can store more than 8 kg of hydrogen gas, exceeding 265 kWH energy.

The fuel cell generates electricity through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. To power the boat, the hydrogen gas from the storage tank will pass through the fuel cell stack and mix with atmospheric oxygen. In each cell of the fuel cell stack, the hydrogen splits off two electrons which cannot pass the proton exchange membrane that separates the hydrogen from the atmospheric oxygen. The hydrogen protons pass through the membrane to join with oxygen to form water vapor, and the two electrons travel around the membrane through a wire as electricity. That electricity will be used to power the boat’s motor. 

Hydrogen is an advantageous alternative power source for the boat because it produces no carbon dioxide, has an energy density greater than lithium ion batteries and is lighter weight than batteries. However, the boat’s large size makes it more challenging to maneuver on Mediterranean waters and while it can sail smoothly on hydrogen, it will need an extra boost to reach the right take-off speed to fly.

That extra boost is a small battery pack optimized for power density. Combined, the battery pack and the HyPM-HD30 power a 70-hp, three phase electric brushless motor, similar to a Toyota Yaris car. The combination of power sources ensures there is enough power to take off. Once the hulls of the boat are out of the water and the boat is only flying on its hydrofoils, the 30-kW fuel cell is again sufficient to power the boat. The take-off takes place at 13.6 mph. At this point, the hulls are lifted out of the water and fly 40 cm above the surface with a speed of more than 20 mph.

The team revealed its boat to the public via livestream on May 10 at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. Two weeks later, the team put the boat in open water at the Port of Rotterdam for the first time to conduct its first wet-test. Test 1 results showed the boat is watertight, sails stably on batteries and has a sailing speed of 20 km/h with 2000 rpm on the propeller. The students will continue testing and improving the boat over the next few weeks to increase speed, sail using the hydrogen system, and check for safety, efficiency and endurance. 

Once testing is complete, three team members will captain the boat in the Monaco Solar & Energy Boat Challenge. This international challenge invites students and professionals from across the world to compete in three classes: Energy, Solar and Open Sea Class. The TU Delft Solar Team will sail the open ocean and compete in the Open Sea Class.

Two TU Delft Solar Team members with Dutch politician, Jan Terlouw, at the christening of Hydro Motion
Two TU Delft Solar Team members with Dutch politician, Jan Terlouw, at the christening of Hydro Motion

Powered by hydrogen, using a Cummins fuel cell and the minds of 20 dedicated students, the first flying hydrogen boat is propelling the world another league further towards a zero-carbon future and a more sustainable maritime industry. As the TU Delft Solar Boat Team continues to work on Hydro Motion to get it competition ready, we look forward to the day they fly over the finish line on green energy.

Stay Updated with New Power News

From long-range possibilities to innovations happening now, our New Power Nine newsletter brings you the top nine things you need to know about low-carbon energy each month. Subscribe today to get your first issue in your inbox.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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