International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Vol.45, No.7, 3916-3929, 2020
Aspen Plus model of an alkaline electrolysis system for hydrogen production
A model of an alkaline electrolysis plant is proposed in this paper, including both stack and balance of plant, with the objective of analyzing the performance of a complete electrolysis system. For this purpose, Aspen Plus has been used in this work due to its great potential and flexibility. Since this software does not include codes for modelling the electrolysis cells, a custom model for the stack has been integrated as a subroutine, using a tool called Aspen Custom Modeler. This stack model is based on semi-empirical equations which describe the voltage cell, Faraday efficiency and gas purity as a function of the current. The rest of the components in the electrolysis plant have been modelled with standard operation units included in Aspen Plus. Simulations have been carried out in order to evaluate and optimize the balance of the plant of an alkaline electrolysis system for hydrogen production. Also, a parametric study has been conducted. The results show that increasing the operation temperature and reducing the pressure can improve the overall performance of the system. The proposed model in this work for the alkaline electrolyzer can be used in the future to develop a useful tool to carry out techno-economic studies of alkaline electrolysis systems integrated with other process. (C) 2019 Hydrogen Energy Publications LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.