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NEL Hydrogen P60 Electrolyzer for Mobile Production

NEL P60 Electrolyzer

NEL Hydrogen is a Norwegian company that has created the P60 electrolyzer for H2 production. Some of the key uses of the P60 include power to gas, hydrogen fueling stations and industrial applications.

I would like to talk about the first two uses of the NEL P60. In regard to power to gas the P60 can use renewable energy along with an alkaline water supply (KOH) to produce hydrogen. Most electrolyzers tied to wind turbines do not adapt well to rapidly changing power input. But the P60 does adapt well as it can ramp production down to 10-percent capacity.

In regard to use as a hydrogen fueling station, the NEL P60 is a good solution since it can be delivered in a container (such as that pictured above). It can also be skid-mounted for customers who would like to install the unit indoors.

According to the company, “NEL P 60’s uniqe state of the art features give significant advantages for the hydrogen fuelling market. A complete 60 Nm3/hr (130 kg/day) plant including all auxiliaries can be supplied as a turn-key compact 20 foot container solution. The flexibility in operation will provide a key benefit for these stations where hydrogen production will vary widely depending on hydrogen demand from the station. Test and demonstration plants of NEL P 60 have been in operation at hydrogen fuelling stations in Norway and Germany for several years, ensuring that the specific requirements for this application are met to full satisfaction.”

So, there you have it, a mobile hydrogen fueling solution that provides a great deal of flexibility. A mobile H2 station such as this could be added to some existing gasoline stations that have the space without the overhead of building a whole new station (with convenience store, tire pumps, mechanics and car wash).

In addition, a mobile H2 refueler such as this could be added to large parking lots at malls and wholesale discount clubs (some of which already have gas stations), car dealerships, convenience stores without gas stations and many other locations.

The emerging hydrogen refueling infrastructure doesn’t have to mimic the 168,000 gasoline station infrastructure nationwide (fueleconomy.gov 2004). Mobile refuelers such as the NEL P60 give us the potential to put up far fewer stations, at far less cost and with more flexibility than most naysayers would grudgingly concede.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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9 comments

  1. On-site steam methane reformation is also available:

    !OpenDocument

  2. Kevin

    Thanks for the links and providing further information about on-site hydrogen production.

  3. the micro business model, plus liquid carriers beads and such, at room temperature, good military and domestic wisdom.solids and such,pills and such on stand by, fuelling. plus good liability and scale able law., tax exemptions etc.co- ops and leases and franchize.and existing infastucture,moveable dismountable, and prodicted growth models computer analyse able.domestic ,and and demographics.small portable devices charged with some of this.and many scenarios.plus the likes of permanent,hydrogen stations 68 million,,from one million each,down 300,000 to 100,000,branch growth and markets highway like struchers evolve to be ahead of the evolving branching strucher to supply.home maker user too. the high end ,low end.evolution.

  4. I have somef questions and observations concerrning this portable electrolyzer.

    How much electricity does this unit use at full capacity?

    How does the unit store the hydrogen it extracts until it is time to use it?

    Why use Wind turbines or solar panels at all when solar to hydrogen technology is more promising price wise and more direct?

    The debate of what can be distributed more efficiently, hydrogen or electricity, is still raging. This unit appears to depend on there being a plentiful source of electricity which makes it potentially grid dependent. Yes the unit can adjust, but wind turbines and solar panels, at least the ones made today, tend to produce very little electricity for the area they cover. If oil or coal is somehow involved in the manufacture of the solar panels, their green rating goes down.

    Will this approach to hydrogen production scale if say a station goes from supplying 10 hydrogen fuel cell cars per day to 1000+ fuel cell cars per day? Can multiple units be brought in to meet increasing demand fast enough?
    What does one of these units weigh and can they be stacked on top of each other?

    Where does the potassium hydroxide come from and is it recycled? How much potassium hydroxide is needed to catalyse the electrolysis.

    Could this base in high concentration be an environmental concern or is potassium hydroxide fairly benign even when concentrated?

    If a fuel cell car takes 4 kg of hydrogen per fill, then one unit can only fill 32 cars a day.

    How long does it take for this unit to extract a kilogram of hydrogen?

    As a replacement for the old gasoline can taken out to remote locations to rescue stranded motorists, this unit seems appealing. I don’t have a sense that hydrogen stations should be built around these though.

    Producing hydrogen in bulk at centralized locations and charging magnesium discs with hydrogen then shipping those discs may be more practical. With this approach, refueling is as simple as swapping spent discs for charged discs. These discs can be made available at the local supermarket next to the batteries.

  5. Kevin

    These are all great questions to ask the manufacturer directly. Let us (me and the rest of the readers) know what you find out.

  6. what myself and everybody else wants is a smaller system to make our households self sufficent and get ahead of the game , BEFORE this stupid band of A_ S licking cronies [uk gov] wake up.then again they dont realy care ,before this load TW_TS came to power CAMERON sent me a letter askihg me what I thought we aught to do to get the country back on its feet I said get the building trade back on its feet and get away this fossil fuel scam.there all pissing in the same houray henry pot;MIDDLE ENGLAND is what mattersl

  7. dr sorells hydrogen tile, scaleable nsw university, and others similar approach, home use and country use, storage methods abound,ship to where needed, such things as hydrogen beads,pills,maybe ect. and now the story changes. and costs shift.such reminisence. thousands of, itinerant experiments, in seven to five years, will give resultant solutions.and not to mention full spectrum to hydrogen.and or photosynthises.and a small home unit to tanks and feather chicken made tanks, price rethink on storage,,,boron pills.small compact devices. to lawn mower type, machines…and my your home unit applys and the above. dr sorell and dr nowhety needs about seven million to fast track such experiments in australia. and other home units do exit to tanks ,that are efficent, and are a efficent, methods.

  8. Michael Robinson-

    AFAIK-
    There is a technical data sheet if you follow the links:

    I believe maximum power draw is ~300kw if I’ve done my math correctly.

    This unit produces hydrogen. Storage is a separate issue. Most probably, the unit would be mated to a bank of pressurized storage tanks that would hold at least a day’s production so that the unit could be serviced without shutting down the filling station.

    Electrolyzers make sense where there is wind, hydro, geothermal, or nuclear energy going to waste during periods of low demand. (For example, Germany and Spain have a lot of wind turbines. France has lots of nukes. Iceland has lots of geothermal.)

    In the USA, on-site steam methane reformation is the most cost effective option (unless there is a preexisting centralized hydrogen production facility), and there is little wasted nuclear / renewable capacity.

    If / when / where hydrogen cars become truly commonplace, centralized production and pipelines would be more economical than a unit such as this or the ones I’ve linked to above, but in remote locations, on-site production will be the norm for quite some time.

    An average car drives 12,000/365 = 33 miles per day so it would use about 1/2 kg of hydrogen. So this unit would support a fleet of about 250 cars.

    Since electrolyis only releases hydrogen and oxygen from the solution, the KOH in the solution would stay in the solution and only water would need to be replace.

    Your magnesium disc concept sounds convenient, but adds cost, inefficiency, and complexity. On-site production avoids any distribution issues.

  9. Michael C. Robinson

    The magnesium discs concept is Plasma Kinetics idea, not mine. The discs could be purchased once and as long as they can be recharged they can be used. I’m thinking a hydride disk exchange modeled after propane tank exchange might work.

    From a safety and stability of storage perspective, hydride
    disks are a superior approach to high pressure hydrogen gas. Certainly energy has to be used to microwave the
    hydrogen onto these discs and laser it off, but how much?
    Is the amount of electricity needed comparable to the cost
    of compressing hydrogen gas to very high pressures?

    Pure hydrogen gas requires special pipelines, but mixed with 80% natural gas this issue is addressed nicely. The natural gas can be separated out easily and recycled for use as a carrier again. Pipelines are probably going to be needed, but they can carry a mixture of hydrogen and natural gas so that the pipeline itself is less expensive.

    Another approach is to increase the natural gas pipeline
    reach and focus on extracting the hydrogen on site
    selling off the left over carbon dioxide for industrial use.

    There are many solar to hydrogen technologies where areas that get the most sun might mix 20% hydrogen
    with 80% natural gas and that mixture can go into pipelines that are probably 1000 miles long. Natural
    gas might be synthesized by extracting hydrogen from water and adding carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    Hydrogen powered trains can be used to distribute hydride disks. Hint hint. Done right, these train lines
    can distribute: natural gas, hydrogen, water, etcetera.
    See Interstate Traveler as a possibility.

    A hydrogen electrolysis unit that costs almost as much
    as four economy cars and requires more electricity than
    most homes receive from the grid, the P-60 is not
    realistic where I’m confident there is better technology.

    I disagree with the notion that steam reformation of natural gas is the best way to produce hydrogen in the USA. Yes, steam reformation accounts for 80% of the
    hydrogen produced today in the USA. That doesn’t have
    to be the case in the future. Even so, if all hydrogen came
    from steam reformation of natural gas and nobody drove
    gasoline or diesel powered vehicles, that would be a tremendous improvement. Steam reformation of natural gas is a good starting place because we are already there, but other greener methods of extracting hydrogen need to be fully developed and implemented.

    Distributing solids is more complex than distributing
    gases and/or liquids, especially if that gas can flow through cheap pipelines. Hydrogen requires expensive pipelines unless it is mixed with something else. Still,
    there are compelling arguments for solid storage of hydrogen. Trucks go to most remote gas stations now.
    Trucking a solid instead of a liquid, minor change. Yes
    one is talking forklifts if solid discs are shipped. This
    should be looked at just the same. If we can pack natural gas in liquid form into a tanker truck, how much hydrogen will it contain? How much hydrogen will a truck full of charged magnesium discs carry? There may be a significant difference in the amount of hydrogen that can be effectively delivered depending on what form it is delivered in.

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