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On the production of hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis during off-peak periods

Abstract : This article studies the opportunity for producing hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis from consumption of electricity during off-peak periods. Two aspects are dealt with electricity spot markets and nuclear electricity production against the French backdrop.From market points of view, when there is a significant fluctuation in electricity prices, using an electrolysis installation during off-peak periods enables rather considerable savings in production costs. Savings vary enormously from one market to the next; some highly fluctuating markets offer very low off-peak prices and enable viable hydrogen production, even if, at first sight, average electricity prices are high. For other more stable markets, the use of an electrolysis installation during off-peak periods does not appear to be a relevant proposition.From the point of view of French electricity production, the availability of current nuclear power plants and the estimation of available energy for mass production of hydrogen show that the installations studied would not be viable. For a peak period use, it would certainly be of greater interest to have electrolysers with a lower investment proportion, even if this means slightly higher operating costs. Research into large-capacity electrolysers should, therefore, both develop low production cost electrolysers, for use in base load mode where dedicated production means are concerned, and highly flexible electrolysers, with low investment costs, which could easily be viable with low rates of use.
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P.H. Floch, S. Gabriel, C. Mansilla, F. Werkoff. On the production of hydrogen via alkaline electrolysis during off-peak periods. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Elsevier, 2007, 32 (18), pp.4641-4647. ⟨10.1016/j.ijhydene.2007.07.033⟩. ⟨cea-02356032⟩

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