The Netherlands develops photovoltaic electrolysis cells and photovoltaic electrolysis

by:CTECHi     2021-08-26
Introduction: Dutch researchers analyzed the two most promising solar-assisted technologies to produce green hydrogen, based on the average cost of hydrogen. They found that the cost of hydrogen production from photovoltaic power generation was the lowest at $6.22 per kilogram, and the efficiency ratio of solar energy to hydrogen was 10.9%. A research team from Utrecht University in the Netherlands compared two most promising solar-assisted hydrogen production technologies: a photoelectrochemical (PEC) system that directly converts solar radiation into hydrogen and an off-grid photovoltaic-powered electrolyzer (PV- E). They published their research report in the 'International Hydrogen Energy Journal' on the technical and economic comparison of renewable hydrogen production photovoltaic cells and photovoltaic electrolysis. Their conclusion is that the potential technical and economic benefits of photoelectrochemistry related to electrolyzers are uncertain and limited. The scientists calculated the horizontal cost of hydrogen (LCOH) for the two technologies by considering the standard electrolyzer design and the anticipated photoelectrochemical design for large-scale applications in the future. The researchers said: 'Despite intensive and promising research on photoelectrochemical technology in the past few years, there is currently no system that can be put into commercial use. This paper will analyze whether and under what conditions photoelectrochemical devices can pass photovoltaic Hydrogen production by electrolytic solar energy.” The group calculated the lowest cost of technology based on investment expenses, income and the cost of the entire life cycle of the plant, discounting to the reference date. The production rate of the two systems is set at 10 tons per day, and the time frame for hydrogen production is 20 years. They conducted a demonstration in Daget, California, where the daily irradiance was 6.19 kWh per square meter. The installation cost is assumed to be 20% of the capital cost of the two systems. Scholars said: 'The installation of the electrolyzer system requires more cables and the installation of electrolyzers. On the other hand, the photoelectrochemical system requires more pipes, in addition to installing compressors.' The electrolyzer system is designed to pass Optimize the scale of the photovoltaic generator set and the scale of the electrolytic cell to balance the high cost of the electrolytic cell. The total efficiency of the electrolytic cell demonstrated is 10.9%. Regarding the photoelectrochemical system, the researchers chose a non-concentrated panel with an efficiency of 10%. It is based on a single-liquid-consolidation design, in which one side of the photoelectrode is immersed in the electrolyte. The researchers said: 'One part of the solar panel must withstand electrochemical reactions and corrosion, and the other part must be in contact with ambient air.' The researchers show that the electrolyzer system can achieve LCOH of US$6.22 per kilogram. They concluded that due to economies of scale, the balance of system (BoS) cost of the electrolyzer may drop again in the future. The researchers said: 'The cost of the electrolyzer is higher than the cost of the photovoltaic system. If the scale of these two plant components is not optimized, the gap will be even greater.' The researchers also said that if the cost of BoS and the price of photovoltaic modules are reduced by 50%. %, the future LCOH can reach 3.76 US dollars/kg. The LCOH of the photoelectrochemical system is 2 US dollars higher than the photoelectrochemical system, which is 8.43 US dollars/kg, and the photoelectrochemical module accounts for almost half of the total system cost.
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