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ITM Power to launch 100 MW electrolyzer plant designs at Hannover Messe 2017

13 December 2016

ITM Power will showcase a series of large scale electrolyzer configurations up to 100MW in size at Hannover Messe 2017 (24 - 28 April). This is in response to utility and oil and gas industry demand for larger scale industrial installations.

ITM Power 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 refueling stations in the 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 ITM Power’s electrolyzer systems enables 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 standardization for manufacture while minimizing development and design time when scaling up, the company said. The advantages of compact size, fast response time, high operating efficiency and high pressure are maintained. This approach serves the requirements of the current electrolyzer market, while providing a route to access growing markets in the multi-MW scale.

The designs to 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.

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. Emissions from steam reforming natural gas are about 10 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of hydrogen produced, nearly 50% of direct refinery CO2 emissions.

The EU Fuel Quality Directive states that fuels in Europe must reduce their carbon emissions by 6% by 2020. Furthermore, The EU Emissions Trading System threshold, will be reduced by 1.74% (based on the 2010 cap) annually. UKPIA has calculated that the total additional costs for UK refineries are up to £75 million/year (US$95 million/year) using an allowance cost of £10.50/t CO2 (US$13.27/t CO2).

If using green hydrogen can cut 50% of direct CO2 emissions, this represents a saving of £37 million/year (US$46.8 million/year) for UK refineries and small emitters (<25 ktCO2e a year) could be allowed to opt out entirely. Refineries need a cost-effective solution that reduces carbon emissions, allowing them to comply with stringent legislation and avoid fines, while maintaining output.

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 electrolyzers 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 oxidized, 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.

December 13, 2016 in Fuels, Hydrogen, Hydrogen Production, Manufacturing | Permalink | Comments (11)


Good that we are commoditizing super large hydrogen electrolyzers. They can be used when renewable electricity is low priced due to favorable weather conditions.

What we also need is a sustainability mandate for hydrogen production. Start to phase out all gas reforming of hydrogen and have that done by 2030.

'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 oxidized, 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.'

It is often the non-obvious things which can have the greatest impact.

Another technology I am interested in is using wood instead of concrete for buildings.
Modern technology has made wood a sophisticated construction material, and the emissions from concrete production are vast:

' According to a 2014 study from researchers at Yale and the University of Washington, up to 31 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided by building with wood instead of steel and concrete.'

They make a change from the ocean of concrete too, and combined with green roofs ( sorry, solar! ) and vertical gardens would transform our cites, as is happening in Singapore with those two

Both concreate and steel can be made with renewable energy we just need to build new plants that uses other techniques than the current fossil based ones. Use a sustainability mandate to phase out steel and concreate made with fossils.

Its a lot simpler so long as it is suitable to use something which inherently does not need so much energy to produce.

But whatever works as far as I am concerned.

I am never prescriptive about the means so long as we get to the objective.

Henrik, please note that the suggested uses of hydrogen, with the exeption of power-to-gas storage, are steady, round-the-clock consumers, which is hard to service with intermittent production. Thus, the electrolyzers become just another consumer of electricity, rather than a 'swing-consumer'.

The effect of displacing natural gas for steam reforming is still there, though.

Injecting hydrogen into natural gas is only viable up to a certain (low, single digit) percentage by volume. Above that combustion problems ensue at the consumer end.

Ultimately, hydrogen could/should be combined with CO2 to generate CH4 + O2 - the so-called Sabattier reaction - however this process is quite wasteful.

If ITM can get the cost of their electrolyzers down enough, we can start talking about hydrogen storage, although hydrogen is notoriously expensive to store, both in terms of energy and capital.

You can make it steady by pumping the hydrogen into a depleted gas field and use it as you need it subsequently. We need these massive hydrogen storage facilities anyway to deal with seasonal renewable intermittency. There will be efficiency losses by pumping and the electrolysis but it does not matter much as wind power is already 3 cents on average per kwh and in favorable weather the price drops to nearly zero cents and this is when these electrolyzers should be maxed out.

As I get it the cost of elextrolysers is that they break down (and loose efficiency) as a proportional function of usage and need to be replaced after xx thousands hours of use. If you do not use them they do not wear. So you could operate them say at the 2000 hours per year when renewable electricity is cheap and plenty.

A lot more clean H2 will be required (by 2025) or before. According to a very recent survey by Green Car Reports, the most significant cars in 2025 will be:

1) FCEVs at 47%
2) ICEVs at 26%
3) BEVs at 22%
4) PHEVs at 5%

It is surprising to see PHEVs so low in the list. Toyota, Hyundai, Honda and many others will have to multiply FCEVs production much faster than expected to meet demands.

Sorry, Harvey, but the Least Significant cars will be the FCEV's, while the PHEV's will be the most significant cars, according to a Twitter survey by GCR.

I stand corrected. You are correct Roger.

Ucla has built a system to pull CO2 out gas flues from power plants to make 3D printed concrete. Carbon fiber is stronger then steel especially if graphene layers are used. Some genius like Elon Musk is going to figure out to make alot of money on these building technologies and actually curb the CO2 cycle.

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