France’s CEA LITEN (Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials) has developed a new high-temperature electrolysis system for more efficient hydrogen production. The system delivers hydrogen from steam at 150 °C and electricity with power consumption of 3.9 kWh/Nm3 (normal cubic meters) H2 with efficiency exceeding 90%.
|CEA LITEN electrolyzer prototype. Click to enlarge.|
This system includes the stack of cells as well as the balance-of-plant—auxiliary components necessary to fluid management, thermal and electrical system in order to make it autonomous. The complete system is compact, about the size of a refrigerator. It can produce between 1 and 2.5 Nm3/h of hydrogen.
The heat of the exhaust gases is recovered to preheat the inlet gas with high-temperature heat exchangers when the system operates in a slightly exothermic mode. The performance of this system was measured and exceeds 90%, confirming the potential of this technology, CEA said.
We are convinced that the energy carrier hydrogen will play a major role in the energy transition. These results across the system confirm that the high-temperature electrolysis is a credible alternative to produce economically viable hydrogen without using fossil resources. Our many years of experience on the electrochemical converters and thermal optimization of processes leads us today to a maturity level ever.—Florence Lambert, Director of CEA Liten