ITM Power reports its estimated cost of producing hydrogen via electrolysis down significantly from last year
ITM Power has provided an update on the cost structure of hydrogen generated by its HFuel electrolysis platform. The new estimated cost —US$4.13/kg after capital amortization—incorporates efficiency improvements, cost reduction of its HGas platform and data provided by Hyundai for the ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle (earlier post).
ITM Power projects hydrogen cost at £4.19/kg (US$6.44/kg), a 32.7% reduction from last year’s £6.23/kg (US$9.57/kg), within a 10-year capital amortization period and £2.69/kg (US$4.13/kg), a 22.9% reduction from last year’s £3.49/kg (US$5.36/kg), after capital amortization.
ITM Power recently announced an overall performance improvement to its rapid response stack platform, enabling hydrogen output to be increased by 11%. ITM Power previously described its HGas (25 kg/day PEM) stack module as being capable of self-pressuring up to 80 bar and responding to changes in power in less than 1 second.
Each stack is now able to generate up to 27.9 kg/day at full load at an efficiency of greater than 77%. This increased stack output means the hydrogen produced from a 1MW system consisting of 16 such stacks has increased from 400 to 446 kg/day.
Further, stack response time has improved. The response of an electrolyser stack is a function of both the electrochemistry of the stack and the power electronics. As part of the continuing assessment of the HGas stack platform, ITM Power has applied a suite of aggressive on/off cycles. These involve stepping the stack from 100% to 0% and back to 100% capacity every ten minutes to measure reaction time and any changes in performance. Changes in current are observed to take place in 0.2 seconds and are not changing during the testing to date.
For the cost analysis, ITM Power used a 1MW (446 kg/day) HGas Generation Module comprising 16 HGas electrolyzer stacks and associated balance of plant. In addition to capital cost and electricity consumption, the analysis includes an indicative annual maintenance cost and utilization factor. The assumptions used are:
|Generation capacity||446 kg/24h|
|Amortization period||10 years|
|Electricity price||3.5p/kWh (US 5¢/kWh)|
|Water price||0.13p/liter (US 75¢/gal US)|
|System efficiency||55 kWh/kg|
|Annual Service||5% of sale price|
The European cost targets for hydrogen generation are €9.90/kg (£7.92/kg, US$13.07/kg) in 2015 and €5.50/kg (£4.40/kg, US$7.26) in 2025, ITM Power notes. The refueling equipment is quoted separately and is typically tailored to the user’s specific requirements. The costs associated with shipping the unit to site are not included as they are location specific.
Increasing the utilization factor to 100% reduces the hydrogen cost to £3.52/kg (US$5.41/kg), a 29.6% reduction on last year’s £5.00/kg (US$7.68), during a 10-year capital amortization period and £2.47/kg (US$3.79/kg), a 19.8% reduction on last year’s £3.08/kg ($4.73/kg), thereafter.
The key to a low hydrogen price is a high utilization of assets combined with a low electricity price achieved by grid balancing payments, the company noted. One way of achieving high utilization is by combining Power-to-Gas energy storage with refueling. (Earlier post.)
Fueling cost comparison. The Hyundai ix35 FCEV has a hydrogen storage tank of 5.64kg with a driving range of 594 km, representing hydrogen consumption of 0.95 kg per 100 km. At a hydrogen price of £4.19 per kg that wrks out to a price of 4p per km (22.7¢ per mile). The diesel version of the Hyundai ix35 (2.0 liter CRDi 4WD) costs 7.9 pence per km (45.4¢/mile) to operate based on a fuel consumption of 5.7 liters of diesel per 100 km at a diesel price of 139.2 pence per liter (US$8.09/gallon US).