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Submerged passively-safe power plant

Description: The invention as presented consists of a submerged passively-safe power station including a pressurized water reactor capable of generating at least 600 MW of electricity, encased in a double hull vessel, and provides fresh water by using the spent thermal energy in a multistage flash desalination process.
Date: December 31, 1991
Creator: Herring, J.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characteristics of a Mixed Thorium-Uranium Dioxide High-Burnup Fuel

Description: Future nuclear fuels must satisfy three sets of requirements: longer times between refueling; concerns for weapons proliferation; and development of a spent fuel form more suitable for direct geologic disposal. This project has investigated a fuel consisting of mixed thorium and uranium dioxide to satisfy these requirements. Results using the SCALE 4.3 code system indicated that the mixed Th-U fuel could be burned to 72 MWD/kg or 100 MWD/kg using 25% of 35% UO2 respectively. The uranium remained below 20% total fissile fraction throughout the cycle, making it unusable for weapons. Total plutonium production per MWD was a factor of 4.5 less in the Th-U fuel than in the conventional fuel; Pu-239 production per MWD was a factor of 6.5 less; and the plutonium produced was high in Pu-238, leading to a decay heat 5 times greater than that from plutonium derived from conventional fuel and 40 times greater than weapons grade plutonium. High decay heat would require active cooling of any crude weapon, lest the components surrounding the plutonium be melted. Spontaneous neutron production for plutonium from Th-U fuel was 2.3 times greater than that from conventional fuel and 15 times greater than that from weapons grade plutonium. High spontaneous neutron production drastically limits the probable yield of a crude weapon. Because ThO2 is the highest oxide of thorium, while UO2 can be oxidized further to U3O8, ThO2-UO2 fuel may be a superior wasteform if the spent fuel is ever to be exposed to oxygenated water. Even if the cost of fabricating the mixed Th-U fuel is $100/kg greater, the cost of the Th-U fuel is 13% to 15% less than that of the fuels using uranium only.
Date: June 1, 1999
Creator: Herring, J. S. & MacDonald, P. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Safety Issues with Hydrogen as a Vehicle Fuel

Description: This report is an initial effort to identify and evaluate safety issues associated with the use of hydrogen as a vehicle fuel in automobiles. Several forms of hydrogen have been considered: gas, liquid, slush, and hydrides. The safety issues have been discussed, beginning with properties of hydrogen and the phenomenology of hydrogen combustion. Safety-related operating experiences with hydrogen vehicles have been summarized to identify concerns that must be addressed in future design activities and to support probabilistic risk assessment. Also, applicable codes, standards, and regulations pertaining to hydrogen usage and refueling have been identified and are briefly discussed. This report serves as a safety foundation for any future hydrogen safety work, such as a safety analysis or a probabilistic risk assessment.
Date: September 1, 1999
Creator: Cadwallader, L. C. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fuel-Cycle and Nuclear Material Disposition Issues Associated with High-Temperature Gas Reactors

Description: The objective of this paper is to facilitate a better understanding of the fuel-cycle and nuclear material disposition issues associated with high-temperature gas reactors (HTGRs). This paper reviews the nuclear fuel cycles supporting early and present day gas reactors, and identifies challenges for the advanced fuel cycles and waste management systems supporting the next generation of HTGRs, including the Very High Temperature Reactor, which is under development in the Generation IV Program. The earliest gas-cooled reactors were the carbon dioxide (CO2)-cooled reactors. Historical experience is available from over 1,000 reactor-years of operation from 52 electricity-generating, CO2-cooled reactor plants that were placed in operation worldwide. Following the CO2 reactor development, seven HTGR plants were built and operated. The HTGR came about from the combination of helium coolant and graphite moderator. Helium was used instead of air or CO2 as the coolant. The helium gas has a significant technical base due to the experience gained in the United States from the 40-MWe Peach Bottom and 330-MWe Fort St. Vrain reactors designed by General Atomics. Germany also built and operated the 15-MWe Arbeitsgemeinschaft Versuchsreaktor (AVR) and the 300-MWe Thorium High-Temperature Reactor (THTR) power plants. The AVR, THTR, Peach Bottom and Fort St. Vrain all used fuel containing thorium in various forms (i.e., carbides, oxides, thorium particles) and mixtures with highly enriched uranium. The operational experience gained from these early gas reactors can be applied to the next generation of nuclear power systems. HTGR systems are being developed in South Africa, China, Japan, the United States, and Russia. Elements of the HTGR system evaluated included fuel demands on uranium ore mining and milling, conversion, enrichment services, and fuel fabrication; fuel management in-core; spent fuel characteristics affecting fuel recycling and refabrication, fuel handling, interim storage, packaging, transportation, waste forms, waste treatment, decontamination and decommissioning issues; ...
Date: October 3, 2004
Creator: Shropshire, D.E. & Herring, J.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Parametric Study Of Large-Scale Production Of Syngas Via High Temperature Co-Electrolysis

Description: A process model has been developed to evaluate the potential performance of a largescale high-temperature co-electrolysis plant for the production of syngas from steam and carbon dioxide. The co-electrolysis process allows for direct electrochemical reduction of the steam – carbon dioxide gas mixture, yielding hydrogen and carbon monoxide, or syngas. The process model has been developed using the Honeywell UniSim systems analysis code. Using this code, a detailed process flow sheet has been defined that includes all the components that would be present in an actual plant such as pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, turbines, and the electrolyzer. Since the electrolyzer is not a standard UniSim component, a custom one-dimensional co-electrolysis model was developed for incorporation into the overall UniSim process flow sheet. The one dimensional co-electrolysis model assumes local chemical equilibrium among the four process-gas species via the gas shift reaction. The electrolyzer model allows for the determination of co-electrolysis outlet temperature, composition (anode and cathode sides); mean Nernst potential, operating voltage and electrolyzer power based on specified inlet gas flow rates, heat loss or gain, current density, and cell area-specific resistance. The one-dimensional electrolyzer model was validated by comparison with results obtained from a fully three dimensional computational fluid dynamics model developed using FLUENT, and by comparison to experimental data. This paper provides representative results obtained from the UniSim flow sheet model for a 300 MW co-electrolysis plant, coupled to a high-temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor. The coelectrolysis process, coupled to a nuclear reactor, provides a means of recycling carbon dioxide back into a useful liquid fuel. If the carbon dioxide source is based on biomass, the overall process, from production through utilization, would be climate neutral.
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; McKellar, M. G.; Stoots, C. M.; Herring, J. S. & Hawkes, G. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-Temperature Co-electrolysis of Carbon Dioxide and Steam for the Production of Syngas; Equilibrium Model and Single-Cell Tests

Description: An experimental study has been completed to assess the performance of single solid-oxide electrolysis cells operating over a temperature range of 800 to 850ºC in the coelectrolysis mode, simultaneously electrolyzing steam and carbon dioxide for the direct production of syngas. The experiments were performed over a range of inlet flow rates of steam, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen and over a range of current densities (-0.1 to 0.25 A/cm2) using single electrolyte-supported button electrolysis cells. Steam and carbon dioxide consumption rates associated with electrolysis were measured directly using inlet and outlet dewpoint instrumentation and a gas chromatograph, respectively. Cell operating potentials and cell current were varied using a programmable power supply. Measured values of open-cell potential and outlet gas composition are compared to predictions obtained from a chemical equilibrium coelectrolysis model. Model predictions of outlet gas composition based on an effective equilibrium temperature are shown to agree well with measurements. Area-specific resistance values were similar for steam electrolysis and coelectrolysis.
Date: June 1, 2007
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Hawkes, G. L.; Herring, J. S. & Hartvigsen, J. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Optimized Flow Sheet for a Reference Commercial-Scale Nuclear-Driven High-Temperature Electrolysis Hydrogen Production Plant

Description: This report presents results from the development and optimization of a reference commercialscale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) plant for hydrogen production. The reference plant design is driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor coupled to a direct Brayton power cycle. The reference design reactor power is 600 MWt, with a primary system pressure of 7.0 MPa, and reactor inlet and outlet fluid temperatures of 540° C and 900°C, respectively. The electrolysis unit used to produce hydrogen consists of 4.176 × 10 6 cells with a per-cell active area of 225 cm2. A nominal cell area-specific resistance, ASR, value of 0.4 Ohm•cm2 with a current density of 0.25 A/cm2 was used, and isothermal boundary conditions were assumed. The optimized design for the reference hydrogen production plant operates at a system pressure of 5.0 MPa, and utilizes an air-sweep system to remove the excess oxygen that is evolved on the anode side of the electrolyzer. The inlet air for the air-sweep system is compressed to the system operating pressure of 5.0 MPa in a four-stage compressor with intercooling. The overall system thermal-to-hydrogen production efficiency (based on the low heating value of the produced hydrogen) is 49.07% at a hydrogen production rate of 2.45 kg/s with the high-temperature helium-cooled reactor concept. The information presented in this report is intended to establish an optimized design for the reference nuclear-driven HTE hydrogen production plant so that parameters can be compared with other hydrogen production methods and power cycles to evaluate relative performance characteristics and plant economics.
Date: November 1, 2007
Creator: McKellar, M. G.; O'Brien, J. E.; Harvego, E. A. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of the Transient Response of the ILS with One Module Installed to Heatup Changes in Power Level and Cooldown

Description: This report provides documentation of the initial startup and testing of the first electrolysis module in the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) High Temperature Steam Electrolysis Integrated Laboratory Scale (ILS) facility. Initial shakedown testing of the INL ILS experimental facility commenced on August 22, 2007. This fulfilled a DOE Level 2 milestone. Heatup of the first ILS module started at approximately 4:10 PM on September 24, 2007. Initial module testing continued for 420 hours. The test average H2 production rate was approximately 1.3 Nm3/hr (0.116 kg H2/hr), with a peak measured value of over 2 Nm3/hr (0.179 kg H2/hr). Significant module performance degradation was observed over the first 250 hours, after which no further degradation was noted for the remainder of the test. Once all test objectives had been successfully met, the test was terminated in a controlled fashion. Discussion is included concerning several modifications that will be incorporated into the facility components to improve reliability and ease of operation for future long term testing.
Date: December 1, 2007
Creator: Condie, K. G.; Stoots, C. M.; O'Brien, J. E. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Documentation of Short Stack and Button Cell Experiments Performed at INL and Ceramatec during FY07

Description: This report provides documentation of experimental research activities performed at the Idaho National Laboratory and at Ceramatec, Inc. during FY07 under the DOE Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative, High Temperature Electrolysis Program. The activities discussed in this report include tests on single (button) cells, short planar stacks and tubular cells. The objectives of these small-scale tests are to evaluate advanced electrode, electrolyte, and interconnect materials, alternate modes of operation (e.g., coelectrolysis), and alternate cell geometries over a broad range of operating conditions, with the aim of identifying the most promising material et, cell and stack geometry, and operating conditions for the high-temperature electrolysis application. Cell performance is characterized in erms of initial area-specific resistance and long-term stability in the electrolysis mode. Some of the tests were run in the coelectrolysis mode. Research into coelectrolysis was funded by Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD). Coelectrolysis simultaneously converts steam to hydrogen and carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide. This process is complicated by the reverse shift reaction. An equilibrium model was developed to predict outlet compositions of steam, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide resulting from coelectrolysis. Predicted ompositions were compared to measurements obtained with a precision micro-channel gas chromatograph.
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Hartvigsen, J. J. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Commercial-Scale Performance Predictions for High-Temperature Electrolysis Plants Coupled to Three Advanced Reactor Types

Description: This report presents results of system analyses that have been developed to assess the hydrogen production performance of commercial-scale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) plants driven by three different advanced reactor – power-cycle combinations: a high-temperature helium cooled reactor coupled to a direct Brayton power cycle, a supercritical CO2-cooled reactor coupled to a direct recompression cycle, and a sodium-cooled fast reactor coupled to a Rankine cycle. The system analyses were performed using UniSim software. The work described in this report represents a refinement of previous analyses in that the process flow diagrams include realistic representations of the three advanced reactors directly coupled to the power cycles and integrated with the high-temperature electrolysis process loops. In addition, this report includes parametric studies in which the performance of each HTE concept is determined over a wide range of operating conditions. Results of the study indicate that overall thermal-to- hydrogen production efficiencies (based on the low heating value of the produced hydrogen) in the 45 - 50% range can be achieved at reasonable production rates with the high-temperature helium cooled reactor concept, 42 - 44% with the supercritical CO2-cooled reactor and about 33 - 34% with the sodium-cooled reactor.
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: McKellar, M. G.; O'Brien, J. E. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-Temperature Co-electrolysis of Steam and Carbon Dioxide for Direct Production of Syngas; Equilibrium Model and Single-Cell Tests

Description: An experimental study has been completed to assess the performance of single solid-oxide electrolysis cells operating over a temperature range of 800 to 850ºC in the coelectrolysis mode, simultaneously electrolyzing steam and carbon dioxide for the direct production of syngas. The experiments were performed over a range of inlet flow rates of steam, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen and over a range of current densities (-0.1 to 0.25 A/cm2) using single electrolyte-supported button electrolysis cells. Steam and carbon dioxide consumption rates associated with electrolysis were measured directly using inlet and outlet dewpoint instrumentation and a gas chromatograph, respectively. Cell operating potentials and cell current were varied using a programmable power supply. Measured values of open-cell potential and outlet gas composition are compared to predictions obtained from a chemical equilibrium coelectrolysis model. Model predictions of outlet gas composition based on an effective equilibrium temperature are shown to agree well with measurements. Cell area-specific resistance values were similar for steam electrolysis and coelectrolysis.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Herring, J. S. & Hartvigsen, J. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Qualitative Risk Assessment for an LNG Refueling Station and Review of Relevant Safety Issues

Description: This report is a qualitative assessment of the public and worker risk involved with the operation of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicle refueling facility. This study includes facility maintenance and operations, tank truck deliveries, and end-use vehicle fueling; it does not treat the risks of LNG vehicles on roadways. Accident initiating events are identified by using a Master Logic Diagram, a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, and historical operating experiences. The event trees were drawn to depict possible sequences of mitigating events following the initiating events. The phenomenology of LNG and other vehicle fuels is discussed to characterize the hazard posed by LNG usage. Based on the risk modeling and analysis, recommendations are given to improve the safety of LNG refueling stations in the areas of procedures and training, station design, and the dissemination of ``best practice`` information throughout the LNG community.
Date: February 1, 1998
Creator: Siu, N.; Herring, J.S.; Cadwallader, L.; Reece, W. & Byers, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Technical basis for the proposed high efficiency nuclear fuel program

Description: Greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fired electricity generating stations will dramatically increase over the next 20 years. Nuclear energy is the only fully developed technology able to supply large amounts of electricity without generation of greenhouse gases. However, the problem of noncompetitive economics and public concerns about radioactive waste disposal, safety, and nuclear weapons proliferation may prevent the reemergence of nuclear power as a preferred option for new electric energy generation in the US. This paper discusses a new research program to help address these issues, by developing fuel designs capable of burnup values in excess of 60 MWD/kgU. The objectives of the program are to: Improve the reliability and robustness of light water reactor fuel, thereby improving safety margins; significantly increase the energy generated by each fuel loading, thereby achieving longer operating cycles, higher capacity factors, and lower cost electric power; significantly reduce the volume of spent nuclear fuel discharged for disposal by allowing more energy to be extracted from each fuel element prior to discharge; and develop fuel that is much more proliferation resistant.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: MacDonald, P.E.; Herring, J.S.; Crawford, D.C. & Neimark, L.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

THE HIGH-TEMPERATURE ELECTROLYSIS PROGRAM AT THE IDAHO NATIONAL LABORATORY: OBSERVATIONS ON PERFORMANCE DEGRADATION

Description: This paper presents an overview of the high-temperature electrolysis research and development program at the Idaho National Laboratory, with selected observations of electrolysis cell degradation at the single-cell, small stack and large facility scales. The objective of the INL program is to address the technical and scale-up issues associated with the implementation of solid-oxide electrolysis cell technology for hydrogen production from steam. In the envisioned application, high-temperature electrolysis would be coupled to an advanced nuclear reactor for efficient large-scale non-fossil non-greenhouse-gas hydrogen production. The program supports a broad range of activities including small bench-scale experiments, larger scale technology demonstrations, detailed computational fluid dynamic modeling, and system modeling. A summary of the current status of these activities and future plans will be provided, with a focus on the problem of cell and stack degradation.
Date: June 1, 2009
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Herring, J. S.; Condie, K. G. & Housley, G. K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Insights Gained from Testing Alternate Cell Designs

Description: The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been researching the application of solid-oxide electrolysis cell for large-scale hydrogen production from steam over a temperature range of 800 to 900ºC. The INL has been testing various solid oxide cell designs to characterize their electrolytic performance operating in the electrolysis mode for hydrogen production. Some results presented in this report were obtained from cells, initially developed by the Forschungszentrum Jülich and now manufactured by the French ceramics firm St. Gobain. These cells have an active area of 16 cm2 per cell. They were initially developed as fuel cells, but are being tested as electrolytic cells in the INL test stands. The electrolysis cells are electrode-supported, with ~10 µm thick yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes, ~1400 µm thick nickel-YSZ steam-hydrogen electrodes, and manganite (LSM) air-oxygen electrodes. The experiments were performed over a range of steam inlet mole fractions (0.1 to 0.6), gas flow rates, and current densities (0 to 0.6 A/cm2). Steam consumption rates associated with electrolysis were measured directly using inlet and outlet dewpoint instrumentation. On a molar basis, the steam consumption rate is equal to the hydrogen production rate. Cell performance was evaluated by performing DC potential sweeps at 800, 850, and 900°C. The voltage-current characteristics are presented, along with values of area-specific resistance as a function of current density. Long-term cell performance is also assessed to evaluate cell degradation. Details of the custom single-cell test apparatus developed for these experiments are also presented. NASA, in conjunction with the University of Toledo, has developed another fuel cell concept with the goals of reduced weight and high power density. The NASA cell is structurally symmetrical, with both electrodes supporting the thin electrolyte and containing micro-channels for gas diffusion. This configuration is called a bi-electrode supported cell or BSC. The electrodes are made by freeze-casting, ...
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Herring, J. S.; Housley, G. K.; Sohal, M. S.; Milobar, D. G. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-Term Degradation Testing of High-Temperature Electrolytic Cells

Description: The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has been researching the application of solid-oxide electrolysis cell for large-scale hydrogen production from steam over a temperature range of 800 to 900ºC. The INL has been testing various solid oxide cell designs to characterize their electrolytic performance operating in the electrolysis mode for hydrogen production. Some results presented in this report were obtained from cells, with an active area of 16 cm2 per cell. The electrolysis cells are electrode-supported, with ~10 µm thick yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes, ~1400 µm thick nickel-YSZ steam-hydrogen electrodes, and manganite (LSM) air-oxygen electrodes. The experiments were performed over a range of steam inlet mole fractions (0.1 to 0.6), gas flow rates, and current densities (0 to 0.6 A/cm2). Steam consumption rates associated with electrolysis were measured directly using inlet and outlet dewpoint instrumentation. On a molar basis, the steam consumption rate is equal to the hydrogen production rate. Cell performance was evaluated by performing DC potential sweeps at 800, 850, and 900°C. The voltage-current characteristics are presented, along with values of area-specific resistance as a function of current density. Long-term cell performance is also assessed to evaluate cell degradation. Details of the custom single-cell test apparatus developed for these experiments are also presented. NASA, in conjunction with the University of Toledo, has developed a new cell concept with the goals of reduced weight and high power density. This report presents results of the INL's testing of this new solid oxide cell design as an electrolyzer. Gas composition, operating voltage, and other parameters were varied during testing. Results to date show the NASA cell to be a promising design for both high power-to-weight fuel cell and electrolyzer applications.
Date: August 1, 2009
Creator: Stoots, C.M.; O'Brien, J.E.; Herring, J.S.; Housley, G.K.; Milobar, D.G. & Sohal, M.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Analysis of a Nuclear Reactor Powered High-Temperature Electrolysis Hydrogen Production Plant

Description: A reference design for a commercial-scale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) plant for hydrogen production was developed to provide a basis for comparing the HTE concept with other hydrogen production concepts. The reference plant design is driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear reactor coupled to a direct Brayton power cycle. The reference design reactor power is 600 MWt, with a primary system pressure of 7.0 MPa, and reactor inlet and outlet fluid temperatures of 540°C and 900°C, respectively. The electrolysis unit used to produce hydrogen includes 4,009,177 cells with a per-cell active area of 225 cm2. The optimized design for the reference hydrogen production plant operates at a system pressure of 5.0 MPa, and utilizes an air-sweep system to remove the excess oxygen that is evolved on the anode (oxygen) side of the electrolyzer. The inlet air for the air-sweep system is compressed to the system operating pressure of 5.0 MPa in a four-stage compressor with intercooling. The alternating-current, AC, to direct-current, DC, conversion efficiency is 96%. The overall system thermal-to-hydrogen production efficiency (based on the lower heating value of the produced hydrogen) is 47.12% at a hydrogen production rate of 2.356 kg/s. An economic analysis of this plant was performed using the standardized H2A Analysis Methodology developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program, and using realistic financial and cost estimating assumptions. The results of the economic analysis demonstrated that the HTE hydrogen production plant driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear power plant can deliver hydrogen at a competitive cost. A cost of $3.23/kg of hydrogen was calculated assuming an internal rate of return of 10%.
Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Harvego, E. A.; McKellar, M. G.; Sohal, M. S.; O'Brien, J. E. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Economic Analysis of the Reference Design for a Nuclear-Driven High-Temperature-Electrolysis Hydrogen Production Plant

Description: A reference design for a commercial-scale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) plant for hydrogen production was developed to provide a basis for comparing the HTE concept with other hydrogen production concepts. The reference plant design is driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled reactor coupled to a direct Brayton power cycle. The reference design reactor power is 600 MWt, with a primary system pressure of 7.0 MPa, and reactor inlet and outlet fluid temperatures of 540°C and 900°C, respectively. The electrolysis unit used to produce hydrogen consists of 4,009,177 cells with a per-cell active area of 225 cm2. A nominal cell area-specific resistance, ASR, value of 0.4 Ohm•cm2 with a current density of 0.25 A/cm2 was used, and isothermal boundary conditions were assumed. The optimized design for the reference hydrogen production plant operates at a system pressure of 5.0 MPa, and utilizes an air-sweep system to remove the excess oxygen that is evolved on the anode side of the electrolyzer. The inlet air for the air-sweep system is compressed to the system operating pressure of 5.0 MPa in a four-stage compressor with intercooling. The alternating current, AC, to direct current, DC, conversion is 96%. The overall system thermal-to-hydrogen production efficiency (based on the low heating value of the produced hydrogen) is 47.12% at a hydrogen production rate of 2.356 kg/s. An economic analysis of the plant was also performed using the H2A Analysis Methodology developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program. The results of the economic analysis demonstrated that the HTE hydrogen production plant driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear power plant can deliver hydrogen at a competitive cost using realistic financial and cost estimating assumptions. A required cost of $3.23 per kg of hydrogen produced was calculated assuming an internal rate of return of 10%. Approximately 73% of this cost ($2.36/kg) ...
Date: January 1, 2008
Creator: Harvego, E. A.; McKellar, M. G.; Sohal, M. S.; O'Brien, J. E. & Herring, J. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Initial Operation of the High Temperature Electrolysis Integrated Laboratory Scale Experiment at INL

Description: An integrated laboratory scale, 15 kW high-temperature electrolysis facility has been developed at the Idaho National Laboratory under the U.S. Department of Energy Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative. Initial operation of this facility resulted in over 400 hours of operation with an average hydrogen production rate of approximately 0.9 Nm3/hr. The integrated laboratory scale facility is designed to address larger-scale issues such as thermal management (feed-stock heating, high-temperature gas handling), multiple-stack hot-zone design, multiple-stack electrical configurations, and other “integral” issues. This paper documents the initial operation of the ILS, with experimental details about heat-up, initial stack performance, as well as long-term operation and stack degradation.
Date: June 1, 2008
Creator: Stoots, C. M.; O'Brien, J. E.; Condie, K. G.; Herring, J. S. & Hartvigsen, J. J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

PROGRESS IN HIGH-TEMPERATURE ELECTROLYSIS FOR HYDROGEN PRODUCTION USING PLANAR SOFC TECHNOLOGY

Description: A research program is under way at the Idaho National Laboratory to assess the performance of solid-oxide cells operating in the steam electrolysis mode for hydrogen production over a temperature range of 800 to 900ºC. The research program includes both experimental and modeling activities. Selected results from both activities are presented in this paper. Experimental results were obtained from a ten-cell planar electrolysis stack, fabricated by Ceramatec , Inc. The electrolysis cells are electrolyte-supported, with scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolytes (~140 µm thick), nickel-cermet steam/hydrogen electrodes, and manganite air-side electrodes. The metallic interconnect plates are fabricated from ferritic stainless steel. The experiments were performed over a range of steam inlet mole fractions (0.1 - 0.6), gas flow rates (1000 - 4000 sccm), and current densities (0 to 0.38 A/cm2). Hydrogen production rates up to 90 Normal liters per hour were demonstrated. Stack performance is shown to be dependent on inlet steam flow rate. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was also created to model high-temperature steam electrolysis in a planar solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC). The model represents a single cell as it would exist in the experimental electrolysis stack. Mass, momentum, energy, and species conservation and transport are provided via the core features of the commercial CFD code FLUENT1. A solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) model adds the electrochemical reactions and loss mechanisms and computation of the electric field throughout the cell. The FLUENT SOFC user-defined subroutine was modified for this work to allow for operation in the SOEC mode. Model results provide detailed profiles of temperature, Nernst potential, operating potential, anode-side gas composition, cathode-side gas composition, current density and hydrogen production over a range of stack operating conditions. Mean model results are shown to compare favorably with the experimental results obtained from the ten-cell stack tested at INL.
Date: April 1, 2005
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Herring, J. S.; Stoots, C. M.; Hawkes, G. L.; Hartvigsen, J., J. & Shahnam, Mehrdad
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CHALLENGES IN GENERATING HYDROGEN BY HIGH TEMPERATURE ELECTROLYSIS USING SOLID OXIDE CELLS

Description: Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) high temperature electrolysis research to generate hydrogen using solid oxide electrolysis cells is presented in this paper. The research results reported here have been obtained in a laboratory-scale apparatus. These results and common scale-up issues also indicate that for the technology to be successful in a large industrial setting, several technical, economical, and manufacturing issues have to be resolved. Some of the issues related to solid oxide cells are stack design and performance optimization, identification and evaluation of cell performance degradation parameters and processes, integrity and reliability of the solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC) stacks, life-time prediction and extension of the SOEC stack, and cost reduction and economic manufacturing of the SOEC stacks. Besides the solid oxide cells, balance of the hydrogen generating plant also needs significant development. These issues are process and ohmic heat source needed for maintaining the reaction temperature (~830°C), high temperature heat exchangers and recuperators, equal distribution of the reactants into each cell, system analysis of hydrogen and associated energy generating plant, and cost optimization. An economic analysis of this plant was performed using the standardized H2A Analysis Methodology developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program, and using realistic financial and cost estimating assumptions. The results of the economic analysis demonstrated that the HTE hydrogen production plant driven by a high-temperature helium-cooled nuclear power plant can deliver hydrogen at a cost of $3.23/kg of hydrogen assuming an internal rate of return of 10%. These issues need interdisciplinary research effort of federal laboratories, solid oxide cell manufacturers, hydrogen consumers, and other such stakeholders. This paper discusses research and development accomplished by INL on such issues and highlights associated challenges that need to be addressed for hydrogen to become an economical and viable option.
Date: March 1, 2008
Creator: Sohal, M. S.; O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; McKellar, M. G.; Herring, J. S. & Harvego, E. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CFD Model of a Planar Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell: Base Case and Variations

Description: A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model has been created to model high-temperature steam electrolysis in a planar solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC). The model represents a single cell, as it would exist in an electrolysis stack. Details of the model geometry are specific to a stack that was fabricated by Ceramatec, Inc. and tested at the Idaho National Laboratory. Mass, momentum, energy, and species conservation and transport are provided via the core features of the commercial CFD code FLUENT. A solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) model adds the electrochemical reactions and loss mechanisms and computation of the electric field throughout the cell. The FLUENT SOFC user-defined subroutine was modified for this work to allow for operation in the SOEC mode. Model results provide detailed profiles of temperature, Nernst potential, operating potential, activation over-potential, anode-side gas composition, cathode-side gas composition, current density and hydrogen production over a range of stack operating conditions. Mean model results are shown to compare favorably with experimental results obtained from an actual ten-cell stack tested at INL. Mean per-cell area-specific-resistance (ASR) values decrease with increasing current density, consistent with experimental data. Predicted mean outlet hydrogen and steam concentrations vary linearly with current density, as expected. Effects of variations in operating temperature, gas flow rate, cathode and anode exchange current density, and contact resistance from the base case are presented. Contour plots of local electrolyte temperature, current density, and Nernst potential indicated the effects of heat transfer, reaction cooling/heating, and change in local gas composition. Discussion of thermal neutral voltage, enthalpy of reaction, hydrogen production, cell thermal efficiency, cell electrical efficiency, and Gibbs free energy are discussed and reported herein.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: Hawkes, G. L.; O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Herring, J. S. & Jones, R. W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fusion Safety Program annual report, fiscal year 1994

Description: This report summarizes the major activities of the Fusion Safety Program in fiscal year 1994. The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) is the designated lead laboratory and Lockheed Idaho Technologies Company is the prime contractor for this program. The Fusion Safety Program was initiated in 1979. Activities are conducted at the INEL, at other DOE laboratories, and at other institutions, including the University of Wisconsin. The technical areas covered in this report include tritium safety, beryllium safety, chemical reactions and activation product release, safety aspects of fusion magnet systems, plasma disruptions, risk assessment failure rate data base development, and thermalhydraulics code development and their application to fusion safety issues. Much of this work has been done in support of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). Also included in the report are summaries of the safety and environmental studies performed by the Fusion Safety Program for the Tokamak Physics Experiment and the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor and of the technical support for commercial fusion facility conceptual design studies. A major activity this year has been work to develop a DOE Technical Standard for the safety of fusion test facilities.
Date: March 1, 1995
Creator: Longhurst, G.R.; Cadwallader, L.C.; Dolan, T.J.; Herring, J.S.; McCarthy, K.A.; Merrill, B.J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status of the INL high-temperature electrolysis research program –experimental and modeling

Description: This paper provides a status update on the high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) research and development program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with an overview of recent large-scale system modeling results and the status of the experimental program. System analysis results have been obtained using the commercial code UniSim, augmented with a custom high-temperature electrolyzer module. The process flow diagrams for the system simulations include an advanced nuclear reactor as a source of high-temperature process heat, a power cycle and a coupled steam electrolysis loop. Several reactor types and power cycles have been considered, over a range of reactor coolant outlet temperatures. In terms of experimental research, the INL has recently completed an Integrated Laboratory Scale (ILS) HTE test at the 15 kW level. The initial hydrogen production rate for the ILS test was in excess of 5000 liters per hour. Details of the ILS design and operation will be presented. Current small-scale experimental research is focused on improving the degradation characteristics of the electrolysis cells and stacks. Small-scale testing ranges from single cells to multiple-cell stacks. The INL is currently in the process of testing several state-of-the-art anode-supported cells and is working to broaden its relationship with industry in order to improve the long-term performance of the cells.
Date: April 1, 2009
Creator: O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; McKellar, M. G.; Harvego, E. A.; Condie, K. G.; Housley, G. K. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department