## Re: [hreg] Fwd: [Towards-Energy-Independence] Re: Hydrogen via Nukes

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• Charlie, Electrolyzers are about 50 to 60% energy efficient, and they cost about \$1000/kW for a turn key system. Then, the turbine burning the hydrogen would
Message 1 of 2 , Dec 14, 2003
Charlie,
Electrolyzers are about 50 to 60% energy efficient, and they cost about \$1000/kW for a turn key system.  Then, the turbine burning the hydrogen would be about 40% efficient (maybe more if you could use the oxygen too).  So, every 100 kWh of waste, off peak electricity could be stored and used to make 22 kWh of peak electricity.  The capital cost per actual kW made for the electrolyzer would be about \$8,000/kW, which is more than twice the capital cost for additional nuclear capacity.  In other words, the electrolyzer/hydrogen storage route would be very expensive.  It would be more economical to build additional nuclear capacity.

Refineries are in desparate need for more hydrogen because they need it to perform more desulfurization and upgrade heavier crudes.  They will have to pay contract or spot prices to buy hydrogen from the outside.  Several companies are building hydrogen generation plants, in which the hydrogen is generated from reforming natural gas.  It may be economical to generate hydrogen from off peak, excess nuclear power via an electrolyzer.  The nuclear route will have a higher capital cost, but lower operating cost (since the energy is "free") compared to the reformed natural gas route.  For example, the following is a quick analysis:
Using an Annual Capital recovery of 10% for 10 years = 0.1627

Nuclear:  Electrolyzer Capital Cost(used only off peak)  + energy cost (free)
(\$4000/H2kW)*(0.1627/yr) + 0.0 = \$650/ H2 kW a year

Reformer: Plant Captital + \$7/Mscf gas(\$0.024/kWhr)
(\$1000/H2kW)*(0.1627/yr) + (\$0.024/kWhr)*(8700hr/yr) = \$373/ H2 kW a year
According to this quick analysis (may have a mistake?), the reformer route is still much cheaper.  Gas must go up to over \$15/Mscf in order for the electrolyzer to compete.  Or, the electrolyzer cost must get cut in half.

Oil will become very expensive in the next few decades.  Nuclear power and renewables will be the replacement.  If hydrogen becomes the transportation fuel, nuclear power may have the advantage.  If we continue to use liquid fuels, then renewables have a good chance.

How bad is nuclear power?  Does anyone have any information about the quantity of hazardous waste produced per kWh?  Physicists have told me that a modern nuclear power plant would be much better than anything in the US today and that safety would not be such a big issue.  Maybe they are right - I still would not want to live next to one.  Regardless of how safe the plants are, transportation of tons of hazardous material around the country will be a greater risk.

-Chris

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2003 12:04 PM
Subject: [hreg] Fwd: [Towards-Energy-Independence] Re: Hydrogen via Nukes

Here are some interesting ideas. Anyone have any thoughts/comments?
Charlie