Sygnis has achieved a breakthrough in ceramic 3D printing for energy.


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Sygnis, in collaboration with the Polish Institute of Power Engineering, has made a significant contribution to the advancement of renewable energy through its participation in a groundbreaking project. The focus of this project was the development of a prototype hydrogen generating system known as “HYDROGIN” using a new ceramic 3D printing solution. Hydrogen is widely regarded as a key fuel for our sustainable future, as it produces only water vapor when burnt, minimizing environmental impact.

Unlike oil, which is readily available for extraction and use, hydrogen requires an energy-intensive process called electrolysis to be produced. This is where the challenge lies – striking a balance between energy consumption and efficiency. To overcome this hurdle, the HYDROGIN design incorporates a new technology called “reverse solid oxide cells” (rSOC), which boasts an impressive efficiency level of over 92%. In simpler terms, for every 100 units of electricity supplied to the cell, it produces 92 units of energy in the form of hydrogen. This level of efficiency is remarkable and holds great promise for the widespread use of hydrogen as a renewable energy source.

One particularly exciting application for this technology lies in its ability to capture energy from surplus renewable sources. For instance, when wind turbines generate more power than what is needed, the excess energy is typically wasted. However, by utilizing the HYDROGIN system, this surplus energy can now be harnessed to produce hydrogen for future use. This approach significantly increases the overall energy efficiency of the system, making it even more advantageous.

In addition to its hydrogen generation capabilities, the HYDROGIN cells can also function as fuel cells, producing electricity on demand. This versatility adds another layer of value to the technology, making it a highly attractive option for further development and implementation.

Sygnis played a crucial role in the project by utilizing its expertise in 3D printing to create complex ceramic seals for the HYDROGIN cells. This additive manufacturing process was chosen because it allows for the flexibility to adapt the cell geometry based on specific application requirements, necessitating the production of various types of seals. By employing their specially-designed 3D printing machines, Sygnis was able to successfully manufacture sealing material from ceramic paste, tailored to the flat and corrugated surfaces of the rSOC stack elements. This approach enabled the creation of multilayer seals, optimizing their thickness based on application needs, resulting in increased process efficiency and repeatability.

It is worth noting that Sygnis’ involvement in this project is built upon their prior experience in 3D printing with glass, which has been previously covered. The company’s dedication to utilizing 3D printing technology to drive breakthroughs in addressing the climate emergency is commendable and pushes the boundaries of what is possible.

In conclusion, the collaboration between Sygnis and the Polish Institute of Power Engineering has resulted in significant advancements in renewable energy through the development of the HYDROGIN system. The use of ceramic 3D printing technology, combined with the innovative rSOC cells, has allowed for exceptional energy efficiency and the capture of surplus renewable energy. This is undoubtedly a major leap forward in our efforts to combat the climate crisis.

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