International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.16, 9305-9316, 2020
Experimental dynamic dispatch of a 60 kW proton exchange membrane electrolyzer in power-to-gas application
A 60 kW PEM electrolyzer was modified to have dynamic dispatch capabilities through the use of an external mass flow controller and was subsequently operated and studied in detail as a part of the UC Irvine power-to-gas (P2G) demonstration project. The system operated in load following for both rooftop solar PV output and aggregated wind farm power. The electrolyzer system was able to handle 100% up and down ramps of the electrolyzer stack in sub-second intervals during variable renewable energy load following experiments. Overall system efficiency was improved by imposing a minimum load condition to avoid high parasitic losses at low power conditions, and cycling the system off/on as required and enabled by quick cold start-up capability. Performance was characterized for varying levels of part load and dynamic operation. The gas drying process was found to be a significant source of loss at low power conditions. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC.