Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) have been conducting a variety of tests on Bloom Energy’s solid-oxide electrolyzer at the Dynamic Energy Testing and Integration Laboratory, including steam and load simulations that replicate nuclear power station conditions, an important step in validating full compatibility with a nuclear facility. Running at high temperatures and high availability, the pilot results reveal the Bloom electrolyzer is producing hydrogen at 37.7 kWh per kilogram of hydrogen and with 88.5% lower heating value (LHV) to DC. Dynamic testing has also been conducted and included ramping the system from 100% of rated power to 5% in less than 10 minutes without adverse system impacts.
Operating continuously and providing high-quality steam input, nuclear plants are well positioned to utilize electrolyzers to efficiently produce substantial quantities of clean hydrogen with minimal disruption to ongoing operations.
John Wagner, Director of Idaho National Labs, said: “The Bloom Electrolyzer is, without a doubt, the most efficient electrolyzer we have tested to-date at INL. When hydrogen is produced from a clean, 24/7 source, like nuclear, it can help us address some of the significant challenges we face around decarbonization. Pairing the research and development capabilities of a national laboratory with innovative and forward-thinking organizations like Bloom Energy is how we make rapidly reducing the costs of clean hydrogen a reality and a real step toward changing the world’s energy future.”
KR Sridhar, founder, Chairman and CEO of Bloom Energy, added: “We are proud to have partnered with Idaho National Laboratory on this landmark demonstration. By combining our Bloom Electrolyzer with steam, the laboratory has been able to validate that the DC electrical efficiency for our electrolyzer is better than any reported commercial or demonstration unit in the world for hydrogen production. This is an important milestone as we work to build a hydrogen economy.”