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The RuggedCell™ High-Power Water Electrolysis System

Key Information for EPCs, EPCMs and Large Clean Hydrogen Project Developers

RuggedCell™ high-power unipolar water electrolysis technology is outlined on the Product page. This page is intended to provide some of the key information sought by large-scale project developers and the EPCs/EPCMs they work with, including:

  • How the RuggedCell™ is designed for the lowest levelized cost of clean hydrogen at large scale
  • Hydrogen Optimized’s advancement of reliable, low-cost manufacturing
  • RuggedCell™ shipping, logistics and installation
  • The benefits to customers of Hydrogen Optimized’s strategic collaboration with ABB
  • The company’s continuous customer support program

Hydrogen Optimized EPC/Client Specialists are available to provide further details upon request. Connect directly with an EPC/Client Specialist at EPC@HydrogenOptimized.com.


Rugged Cell

RuggedCell™ 950 kg/hr product
specification sheet – Click here to view

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Designed for the Lowest Levelized Cost of Hydrogen at Large Scale

The RuggedCell™’s configurable system architecture enables cost-effective clean hydrogen plants ranging from tens of megawatts to gigawatt scale. Fewer large modules means minimal replication of substations, rectifiers, balance of stack, and balance of plant. PEM and bipolar alkaline systems, in contrast, require each of these components to be replicated numerous times for large installations.

Scale also drives up plant operating efficiencies. With no requirement for electrolyte circulation pumps, the RuggedCell™’s electrolytic cell performance delivers a high hydrogen yield for every kW of electrical power.

The RuggedCell™ delivers the true economics of scale that are essential to achieving the lowest levelized cost of Hydrogen

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Dynamic Power Response

The patented RuggedCell™ system efficiently converts renewable electricity such as solar and wind power into clean hydrogen. Operating over the full dynamic range of available power, and capable of responding to full variations in loads in seconds, the RuggedCell™ is well-suited to variable renewable power inputs. This capability makes it possible to avoid shutdowns at low renewable energy intensity while maximizing the conversion of electrical power to hydrogen. High gas purities are sustained over the full operating range, further driving down the levelized cost of hydrogen.

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Over 20+ Year Lifespan with Minimal Efficiency Loss

The RuggedCell™ is designed to minimize the root causes of performance degradation over time, including under industrial operating conditions. The system delivers relatively stable efficiency over a long lifespan thanks to a proprietary electrode catalyst that is operated at a fraction of its capacity. Low system strain, and a unique unipolar electrochemical environment, provides mechanical and chemical stability over long timeframes.

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Reliable Low-Cost Mass Manufacturing

The RuggedCell™ is designed for reliable low-cost mass manufacturing and cost-effective scaling for large clean hydrogen projects up to gigawatt size.

To achieve this, Hydrogen Optimized is proceeding with an $11 million project that will increase RuggedCell™ electrolyzer production at the company’s Owen Sound, Ontario manufacturing facility five-fold to 5,000 electrolyzer units per year of clean hydrogen production systems. The increased output is made possible by cutting-edge automation that also reduces unit manufacturing costs.

The manufacturing scale-up is funded in part through an over $3.5-million repayable contribution from the Government of Canada, via the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

The Owen Sound facility is rapidly expandable to provide the space required for more than 2 GW/yr of finished product output in a fully automated factory.


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ABB Partnership Positions Hydrogen Optimized for Leadership in Large Scale Clean Hydrogen

Hydrogen Optimized formed a strategic relationship with ABB, a global leader in power and automation technologies, in August 2022. The collaboration, which includes an investment by ABB into Key DH Technologies Inc. (KEY), the parent company of Hydrogen Optimized, positions the partners for global leadership in large-scale green hydrogen production systems.

The combination of RuggedCell™ water electrolysis technology with ABB technologies and market reach has made it possible for Hydrogen Optimized to create a robust end-to-end solution for the world’s largest clean hydrogen facilities.

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A Stronger Technology Offering in Collaboration with ABB

RuggedCell™ clean hydrogen plants incorporate:

  • ABB high-power rectifiers with RuggedCell™ high-power electrolyzers.
  • An ABB Ability™ System 800xA® distributed control system, enabling 24/7 global operator and technical support. The system provides additional capabilities including electrical control and safety systems, and facilitates collaboration for improved engineering efficiency, operator performance and asset utilization.
    • The control system is managed at an ABB Extended Operator Workplace (EOW) with several displays featuring High Performance Graphics. This helps operators monitor potential faults and link multiple data sources to reduce response time and maximize up-time, production output, quality and safety.
  • ABB leadership in electrical engineering for renewable power connections to RuggedCell™ electrolyzers as well as grid stabilization.

Hydrogen Optimized also leverages ABB robotics technology for manufacturing automation.

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Shipping, Logistics, & Installation

The RuggedCell™ system was developed from the start for fast and efficient shipping, logistics and installation. This supports the overall mandate to keep costs as low as possible.

The largest individual components – the electrolytic cells – are designed to fit into standard shipping containers. These and other RuggedCell™ system components are placed in containers at the factory, where most fabrication takes place. Rectifiers are shipped separately to the installation site by Hydrogen Optimized strategic partner ABB.

On-site assembly of the components can be completed rapidly and is relatively simple, requiring minimal skilled labour. Similarly, connecting RuggedCell™ systems to the electricity grid is straightforward.

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Continuous Customer Support

The RuggedCell™ is designed for easy, low-cost on-site maintenance:

  • Each individual RuggedCell™ is instrumented for real-time performance monitoring
  • Maximizes plant up-time

Should issues arise, we have created the Hydrogen Optimized Global Interactive Customer Care Centre. This facility provides the infrastructure and personnel to keep each client’s RuggedCell™ hydrogen plant operating continuously at optimum performance.

We offer service packages that provide:

  • 24/7 interactive customer support, including directly to the plant operator
  • Service technicians for both remote and on-site visits
  • Plant data analysis to support optimal system performance
  • Customized predictive maintenance schedule
  • Plant maintenance support – on-site if required