Solar integrated pressurized high temperature electrolysis (HTE)
In SOPHIA, a 3 kWe-size pressurized HTE system, coupled to a concentrated solar energy source will be designed, fabricated and operated on-sun for demonstrating.
In order to reduce the CO2 emissions, an energy economy based on hydrogen has been developed. Amongst the diverse methods of sustainable hydrogen production, high temperature steam electrolysis in a solid oxide electrolyser (SOE) is considered as a promising technology. In this process, the steam is decomposed into hydrogen and oxygen at high temperature in the range of 700-800 °C using a combination of electrical energy and high temperature heat. Hence, it can produce carbon-free hydrogen using electricity from CO2-free energy sources on large scales and it has the advantage of higher hydrogen production efficiency in comparison with the conventional low temperature electrolysis. The utilization of concentrated solar power for the production of hydrogen features the advantage of high exergy efficiency. In fact, the total energy demand of the high temperature electrolyser unit consisting of electricity and heat can be both generated by solar concentrating energy systems like the solar tower technology.
Further, different “power to gas” scenarios of complete process chain (including power, heat and CO2 sources) will be identified for the technological concept development and its end-products valorisation. A particular focus will be done on the integration of the developed concepts with the potential customer’s plants. A techno-economic analysis will be carried out for different case studies identified for concepts industrialization and a Life Cycle Analysis with respect to environmental aspects according to Eco-indicator 99 will be performed.
Co-funded by the European Commission (FCH JU)