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Techno-economic Analysis of Large-scale Green Hydrogen Production and Storage


Producing clean energy and minimising energy waste are essential to achieve the United Nations sustainable development goals such as Sustainable Development Goal 7 and 13. This research analyses the techno-economic potential of waste heat recovery from multi-MW scale green hydrogen production. A 10 MW proton exchange membrane electrolysis process is modelled with a heat recovery system coupled with an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) to drive the mechanical compression of hydrogen. The technical results demonstrate that when implementing waste heat recovery coupled with an ORC, the first-law efficiency of electrolyser increases from 71.4% to 98%. The ORC can generate sufficient power to drive the hydrogen's compression from the outlet pressure at the electrolyser 30 bar, up to 200 bar. An economic analysis is conducted to calculate the levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) of system and assess the feasibility of implementing waste heat recovery coupled with ORC. The results reveal that electricity prices dominate the LCOH. When electricity prices are low (e.g., dedicated offshore wind electricity), the LCOH is higher when implementing heat recovery. The additional capital expenditure and operating expenditure associated with the ORC increases the LCOH and these additional costs outweigh the savings generated by not purchasing electricity for compression. On the other hand, heat recovery and ORC become attractive and feasible when grid electricity prices are higher.

Funding source: This research work was funded by the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council of UK (Grant numbers: EP/T022949/1).
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: United Kingdom

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