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Hydro Introduces New High-Output PEM Electrolyzer

Inergon unveiled at the Hannover Fair.

Hydro, the Norwegian energy and aluminum company, has launched a new high-output PEM electrolyzer for on-site hydrogen generation. The new Inergon offers up to 10 Nm3/hour hydrogen production capacity.

Electrolyzers based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology normally offer capacities of less than 1 Nm3/hour, according to Hydro.

Within fractions of a second, the electrolyzer can switch from 5 to 100 percent utilization.

This unmatched capacity range makes Inergon the perfect choice for generator cooling applications in power stations, but also opens up for usage in renewable source applications like wind and fuelling stations, where input power, or gas output requirements vary a lot.

—Knut Harg, head of Hydro’s hydrogen activities

The generator produces high-purity hydrogen at an outlet pressure of 30 bar g without a compressor, reducing complexity, and thereby cost, to an absolute minimum. The unit is designed to reduce downtime and simplify maintenance and repairs.

New features inside the cell stack ensure low and sustainable ohmic resistance. This reduces excess heat to a minimum and achieves a new level of energy efficiency for this kind of plant.

The unit is designed in a modular manner to reduce downtime and simplify maintenance and repairs. Malfunctioning modules can be rapidly replaced with new or repaired pieces, and then be fixed without disruption to the hydrogen generation process.

The cabinet contains hydrogen leak, smoke and temperature detectors. A forced air ventilation system ensures that the temperature inside the cabinet never exceeds 45 ºC. Inergon can be operated in a standalone configuration, either in manual or automatic mode.

Hydro Inergon Electrolyzer
Parameter Value Units
Hydrogen maximum output capacity 10 Nm3/h
Oxygen maximum output capacity 5 Nm3/h
Power consumption 4.4 kWh/Nm3
Hydrogen gas purity 99.9 ±0.1 %
Hydrogen outlet pressure 30 bar g
Electrolyte Pure water  
Operation 5–100 % of full capacity
Feed water consumption 1 liter/Nm3
Hydrogen gas purity after purification <5 ppm O2 in H2




How efficient is this ?
How much do they cost ? / could they cost ?

If it is 4.4 KW, would you need approx 600 of them to take the power from a 2.5MW windmill ?

Do they scale up ?

- JM

An Engineer

"New features inside the cell stack ensure low and sustainable ohmic resistance. This reduces excess heat to a minimum and achieves a new level of energy efficiency for this kind of plant."
What? Are we going from 30% to 35%? I can hardly contain myself...


Call yourself an engineer?

At 4.4Kwh per Nm3 this means that at an output of 10Nm3 you're looking at consuming 44kW.

10Nm3 roughly = 1kg of hydrogen which itself has 37kWh of energy.

So if you're only using 44kWh to make 1kg of Hydrogen which has 37kWh then your efficiency is more like 84%.

Plus the gas you're producing will have some of that input energy contained as part of the 30 bar pressure so the actual energy to hydrogen production efficiency will be even better. Say closer to 90%.

The 64million dollar question is, of course, how much does one of these cost. Will it be able to repay its capital over a working lifetime at an acceptable cost.

Or is it just a (very) expensive working demonstrator.


tom deplume

The 30 bar pressure inside the electrolyzer does nothing to improve conversion efficiency. A hydrogen car would need several hundred bar to have a useful range. The inefficiency of hydrogen is bigger at the fuel cell or ICE end of the system.


So all these H2 excitements, consider:

1) If using green energy sources(solar/wind) why not just transfer via electric grid->super caps/battery->EV/ETrain

2) If using fosil sources, why not just burn more efficiently with new hybrids?

My point is that US Big Motors tries to sell 84% H2 generation, and some not-yet-designed H2 engines to burn them. If the future H2 engines are 60% efficient, the overall is only 50%. Marketing hypes??


This is great!!!!, its in the infancy far as technology and effecncy. Keep up the good work,I hope this lot more better and smaller before the oil companies out price us major inflation or recession.

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