Comparison of electrical energy efficiency of atmospheric and high-pressure electrolysers

Amitava Roy, Simon Watson, D.G. Infield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Efforts are being made to produce highly pressurised electrolysers to increase the overall energy efficiency by eliminating mechanical compression. However, in-depth modelling of electrolysers suggests that electrolysis at atmospheric pressure is electrically more energy efficient if parasitic energy consumption and gas losses are incorporated in both cases. The reversible cell voltage increases with increasing pressures. The electrode activation and Ohmic losses, leakage current and inevitable heat losses increase the electrolysis voltage beyond the thermoneutral voltage and consequently heat removal from the stack becomes essential. The expected gas loss at various operating pressures is incorporated to reveal the energy consumption that would occur in practice. Comparison of total energy consumption at various operating pressure up to 700 atm is performed and atmospheric electrolysers are found more efficient at all levels. Practical considerations such as corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, operational complexity, dynamic response and cost are less favourable for pressurised electrolysers.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1964-1979
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Volume31
Issue number14
Early online date3 Apr 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Fingerprint

electric power
Energy efficiency
atmospheric pressure
energy consumption
Energy utilization
Electrolysis
Electric potential
electrolysis
electric potential
Hydrogen embrittlement
hydrogen embrittlement
Heat losses
Gases
Leakage currents
heat
Atmospheric pressure
Dynamic response
Chemical activation
dynamic response
gases

Keywords

  • atmospheric electrolysers
  • pressurised electrolysers
  • thermodynamic analysis
  • gas loss
  • energy efficiency
  • practical considerations

Cite this

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Comparison of electrical energy efficiency of atmospheric and high-pressure electrolysers. / Roy, Amitava; Watson, Simon; Infield, D.G.

In: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol. 31, No. 14, 11.2006, p. 1964-1979.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - Efforts are being made to produce highly pressurised electrolysers to increase the overall energy efficiency by eliminating mechanical compression. However, in-depth modelling of electrolysers suggests that electrolysis at atmospheric pressure is electrically more energy efficient if parasitic energy consumption and gas losses are incorporated in both cases. The reversible cell voltage increases with increasing pressures. The electrode activation and Ohmic losses, leakage current and inevitable heat losses increase the electrolysis voltage beyond the thermoneutral voltage and consequently heat removal from the stack becomes essential. The expected gas loss at various operating pressures is incorporated to reveal the energy consumption that would occur in practice. Comparison of total energy consumption at various operating pressure up to 700 atm is performed and atmospheric electrolysers are found more efficient at all levels. Practical considerations such as corrosion, hydrogen embrittlement, operational complexity, dynamic response and cost are less favourable for pressurised electrolysers.

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