Cost-Competitive, Carbon-Free Hydrogen Production
Hydrogen has the capability to help decarbonize both the electricity and transportation sectors by being used for energy storage or as a fuel for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, trains, ships, and airplanes. However, most of the hydrogen today is produced by fossil fuels, and not carbon-free sources of energy. NuScale’s innovative small modular reactor (SMR) is ideal for producing clean hydrogen in a cost-competitive manner.
Some parts of the world are utilizing excess electricity from renewables to produce clean hydrogen. More production of clean hydrogen will be needed to meet the global demands of fuel for transportation. The advantage of using the NuScale Power Module™ (NPM) is that the high-temperature heat produced by the module is directly used to produce hydrogen, thus reducing efficiency losses from only utilizing electricity alone for hydrogen production through electrolysis.
Energy from a single NPM in the form of superheated steam and electricity are directly routed to a HTSE system operating at 850°C. Only 2% of the electrical output (1.8 MWe) of the NPM is used to increase the process steam temperature from 300°C at the NPM outlet to 850°C for the electrolyzer. Moreover, hydrogen produced by a NuScale HTSE system is forecasted to be cost competitive with high capacity factor renewable hydrogen cost estimates while also providing continuous, controlled hydrogen production.
One 250 MWt NuScale module can produce 2,053 kilograms of hydrogen per hour, or nearly 50 metric tons per day. A single NPM could produce enough hydrogen to power 38,000 fuel cell vehicles or 1,500 long-haul fuel cell trucks at average annual usage rates in the US.
NuScale’s innovative multi-module power plant design and built-in steam bypass means that a NuScale plant could produce reliable clean electricity for the grid while allocating one or more modules to economically produce hydrogen when electricity demand is low. This hydrogen can act as both energy storage or carbon-free fuel for fuel cell cars, trucks, trains, ships, and airplanes.
Over 95% of the world's hydrogen is currently produced using fossil fuels, with the most common method being steam methane reforming from natural gas. Using a single NPM to produce 50 tons of hydrogen per day would avoid about 460 tons of CO2 emissions per day, or 168,000 tons of CO2 per year, as compared to producing hydrogen from natural gas.
With the ability to produce clean hydrogen and reliable carbon-free electricity, NuScale’s technology can help decarbonize various sectors of the economy while providing additional revenue streams for customers.