The ADEL technology in detail

With the currently developed HTSE technology, the electrolyser operation temperature is too high to benefit significantly from external heat sources and most of the energy required for H2 production is provided as electricity (auto-thermal operating mode).

Decreasing the electrolyser operation temperature will allow a significant part of the required energy to be provided as heat, the rest being provided as electricity (allo-thermal operation mode). This gives flexibility for coupling the electrolyser with various heat sources and potentially increasing the energy efficiency of the complete system.

At present, electrolysers based on solid-oxide cell technology offer the possibility of using heat generated from various sources in order to reduce the electric energy input and enhance the electrolysis efficiency. However, this technology will only bring significant economical improvement and become a realistic alternative to alkaline or PEM technology if an increase of the electrolyser life time can be achieved (> 3 years).

The ADEL technology thus aims at optimising the electrolyser life time by decreasing its operating temperature while maintaining the performance level and high energy efficiency at the entire system, including the heat and power source and the electrolyser unit.

As a consequence, if the electrolyser can operate close to 600°C, heat sources such as Solar Concentration or Nuclear High Temperature Reactor could directly feed the electrolyser whereas other heat sources would need a limited heating step.