Integrated Renewable Hydrogen Utility System

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Products based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology offer a unique solution to today's energy conversion storage needs. PEM products have undergone continual development since the late 1950's for many diverse applications. Rooted in rigorous aerospace applications, this technology is now ''breaking away'' to provide commercial solutions to common power, energy, and industrial gas feedstock problems. Important developments in PEM electrolyzers and various energy conversion devices (e.g. engines and fuel cells) can now be combined to form the basis for a revolutionary energy storage system that provides a much needed link to renewable resources, and offers a credible alternative for ... continued below

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27 pages

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Systems, Proton Energy April 1, 2003.

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Description

Products based on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology offer a unique solution to today's energy conversion storage needs. PEM products have undergone continual development since the late 1950's for many diverse applications. Rooted in rigorous aerospace applications, this technology is now ''breaking away'' to provide commercial solutions to common power, energy, and industrial gas feedstock problems. Important developments in PEM electrolyzers and various energy conversion devices (e.g. engines and fuel cells) can now be combined to form the basis for a revolutionary energy storage system that provides a much needed link to renewable resources, and offers a credible alternative for off-grid power applications. This technology operates by converting electrical energy into chemical energy in the form of hydrogen as part of a water electrolysis process when excess power is available. When the primary source of power is unavailable, chemical energy is converted into electrical energy through an external combustion heat engine or other energy conversion device. The Phase II portion of this program began in May of 2000. The goal of Phase II of the project was to cost reduce the hydrogen generator as a critical link to having a fully sustainable hydrogen energy system. The overall goal is to enable the link to sustainability by converting excess renewable power into hydrogen and having that hydrogen available for conversion back to power, on demand. Furthermore, the cost of the capability must be less the $1,000 per kW (electrical power into the generator) and allow for a variety of renewable technology inputs. This cost target is based on a production volume of 10,000 units per year. To that end, Proton undertook an aggressive approach to cost reduction activities surrounding the 6kW, 40 standard cubic foot per hour (scfh) HOGEN hydrogen generator. The electrical side of the system targeted a number of areas that included approaches to reduce the cost of the power supply and associated electronics as well as improving efficiency, implementing a circuit board to replace the discreet electrical components in the unit, and evaluating the system issues when operating the unit with a variety of renewable inputs. On the mechanical side of the system the targets involved creative use of manifolds to reduce components and plumbing, overall fitting reduction through layout simplification and welded tube assemblies, and the development of an inexpensive gas drying methodology to remove moisture and improve gas purity. Lastly, activities surrounding the electrolysis cell stack focused on lower cost stack compression approaches and cost reduction of critical components. The last year of this project focused on validating the cost reductions mentioned above and advancing these cost reductions forward into a larger hydrogen generator. This larger hydrogen generator is a 60kW, 380 scfh, HOGEN hydrogen generator. Most of these efforts were in the control board and manifold development areas. The results achieved over the life of this program are in line with the goals of the Department of Energy. Proton projects that the current design of the 40 scfh generator projected to a volume of 10,000 units per year would be in the range of $1,500 per kilowatt. Furthermore, continuing efforts on materials substitution and design enhancements over the next few years should bring the cost of the system to the $1,000 per kilowatt goal for a system of this size. This report provides the technical details behind the cost reduction efforts undertaken during the Phase II portion of the program.

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27 pages

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OSTI as DE00815054

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Apr 2003

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  • Report No.: FC36-98GO10341
  • Grant Number: /GO/10341
  • DOI: 10.2172/815054 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 815054
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc735458

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • April 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Aug. 9, 2016, 8:21 p.m.

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Systems, Proton Energy. Integrated Renewable Hydrogen Utility System, report, April 1, 2003; Golden, Colorado. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc735458/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.