ITM Power plc 100MW electrolyser plant designs to be launched at Hannover + Zeus Comments

4 januari 2017

The company has sold a number of MW scale plants over the last year and is now responding to enquires for much larger plant for bus and heavy goods vehicle refuelling stations in the 1MW to 10MW range and, increasingly, industrial applications ranging from Power-to-Gas, refineries and steel making in the 10MW to 100MW range.

The modular design of the electrolyser systems enables easy scale up. The use of integrated modules enables a wide customer offering based on the Company’s existing core PEM stack technology. This approach maintains standardisation for manufacture while minimising development and design time when scaling up. The advantages of compact size, fast response time, high operating efficiency and high pressure are maintained. This approach serves the requirements of the current electrolyser market, while providing a route to access growing markets in the multi MW scale.

The designs that will be showcased include the new 2.2MW unit which is at the heart of the 10, 30, 60 and 100MW designs created for this new market demand.

The electrolysers can be implemented for: 

Refinery hydrogen

Refineries currently use hydrogen to improve the quality of fractional distillation products and most of this hydrogen is produced from steam-reforming. About 17% of the total CO2 emissions from the European refinery sector can be attributed to hydrogen production.

Chemical Industry

The chemical industry has traditionally used the reformation of natural gas as a source of hydrogen. However, reformers have start-up times in excess of three hours, leading to unwanted periods of downtime for planned and unplanned maintenance. With their rapid start up times, PEM electrolysers are able to provide an immediate backup solution to prevent production downtime and security of hydrogen supply.

Power-to-gas energy storage

The recent Winter Package of Directive proposals from the EC includes energy storage involving the conversion of electricity to another energy carrier, such as hydrogen. Ongoing work by CEN/CENELEC is investigating hydrogen/methane blends and establishing admissible concentration levels for hydrogen in natural gas grids across Europe. These developments will enable Europe-wide deployment of power-to-gas plant for injecting hydrogen into the gas grid while offering balancing services to the electricity grid

Steel making

Iron ore requires chemical reduction before being used to produce steel; this is currently achieved through the use of carbon, in the form of coal or coke. When oxidised, this leads to emissions of about 2.2 tonnes of CO2 for each tonne of liquid steel produced, equivalent to 5% of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 emissions. The substitution of hydrogen for carbon has the potential to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, because hydrogen is an excellent reducing agent and produces only water as a by-product. Furthermore, electrolytic oxygen may be injected into furnaces, including electric arc furnaces, to remove impurities, reduce NOx emissions, reduce fuel consumption, and improve flame stability and rates of heat transfer.

Full article can be found: here.