As a result of last month’s power uprate announcement from NuScale Power regarding its small modular reactor—a 25 percent increase to 77 MWe—the company has now announced updated evaluations for the technical feasibility and economics of producing hydrogen using heat and electricity from its SMR, the NuScale Power Module (NPM).
The update: A hydrogen study originally conducted in 2014 with Idaho National Laboratory has been updated with new production and economic parameters, NuScale said on December 9. The updated analysis found that with the 25 percent increase in power output, one 250-MWt NPM is capable of producing 2,053 kg/hour of hydrogen, or nearly 50 metric tons per day, an increase from 1,667 kg/hour or 40 metric tons per day for a 200-MWt NPM.
Because of the lower levelized cost of electricity from the increased power output, hydrogen produced by a NuScale high-temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE) system is forecasted to be cost competitive with high capacity factor renewable hydrogen cost estimates while also providing continuous, controlled hydrogen production, NuScale added.
More details: In the analysis, energy from a single NPM in the form of superheated steam and electricity is directly routed to an HTSE system operating at 850 °C. Only 2 percent 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. NuScale contends that its multi-module power plant design means that an NPM plant could produce electricity for the grid while allocating one or more modules to economically produce hydrogen when electricity demand is low.
What they’re saying: “The ability of our NPM to now produce even more clean hydrogen, in a smaller footprint, is yet another example of how NuScale’s technology can help decarbonize various sectors of the economy while providing additional revenue streams for customers,” said José Reyes, chief technology officer and cofounder of NuScale. “Coupled with our proven design, unparalleled safety, and load following capabilities, this analysis further demonstrates that NuScale’s design is the gold standard in helping meet the demand for innovative solutions to challenging global energy needs.”