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Cost-optimized Design Point and Operating Strategy of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Electrolyzers


Green hydrogen is a key solution for reducing CO2 emissions in various industrial applications, but high production costs continue to hinder its market penetration today. Better competitiveness is linked to lower investment costs and higher efficiency of the conversion technologies, among which polymer electrolyte membrane electrolysis seems to be attractive. Although new manufacturing techniques and materials can help achieve these goals, a less frequently investigated approach is the optimization of the design point and operating strategy of electrolyzers. This means in particular that the questions of how often a system should be operated and which cell voltage should be applied must be answered. As existing techno-economic models feature gaps, which means that these questions cannot be adequately answered, a modified model is introduced here. In this model, different technical parameters are implemented and correlated to each other in order to simulate the lowest possible levelized cost of hydrogen and extract the required designs and strategies from this. In each case investigated, the recommended cost-based cell voltage that should be applied to the system is surprisingly low compared to the assumptions made in previous publications. Depending on the case, the cell voltage is in a range between 1.6 V and 1.8 V, with an annual operation of 2000e8000 h. The wide range of results clearly indicate how individual the design and operation must be, but with efficiency gains of several percent, the effect of optimization will be indispensable in the future.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: Germany

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