The next generation water electrolysers must achieve better dynamic behaviour (rapid start-up, fast response, wider load and temperature ranges) to provide superior grid-balancing services and thus address the steep increase of intermittent renewables interfaced to the grid. The HPEM2GAS project aims to develop a 180 kW (nominal) low cost proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolyser, optimised for grid management through both stack and balance of plant innovations, culminating in a six month field test. Implementation of the advanced balance of plant and improved stack design will contribute significantly to reducing the electrolyser’s CAPEX and OPEX costs.
In order to be able to benchmark balance of plant innovations developed during the project, a reference point is required based on the state of the art currently available. ITM Power manufactures PEM water electrolyser systems to provide clean sustainable energy solutions for energy storage and clean fuel. A system manufactured by ITM Power, already deployed in the field, was therefore chosen to act in this role. The system selected was based on an early ITM Power design, with an overall system efficiency independently measured at >70%, based on the energy content of the hydrogen produced and the measured power consumption of the system. The review covered a number of areas, including; load behaviour, performance and efficiency of various sub-systems. Data from the report has been provided to the TRUST platform, as part of the annual data reporting exercise for the FCH Knowledge Management Tool.