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Modeling an alkaline electrolysis cell through reduced-order and loss-estimate approaches

Journal of Power Sources
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.06.138
  • Alkaline Electrolysis
  • Modeling
  • Experimental Analysis
  • Equivalent Circuit
  • Loss Calculation
  • Electrolyzer
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Mathematics


Abstract The paper presents two approaches to the mathematical modeling of an Alkaline Electrolyzer Cell. The presented models were compared and validated against available experimental results taken from a laboratory test and against literature data. The first modeling approach is based on the analysis of estimated losses due to the different phenomena occurring inside the electrolytic cell, and requires careful calibration of several specific parameters (e.g. those related to the electrochemical behavior of the electrodes) some of which could be hard to define. An alternative approach is based on a reduced-order equivalent circuit, resulting in only two fitting parameters (electrodes specific resistance and parasitic losses) and calculation of the internal electric resistance of the electrolyte. Both models yield satisfactory results with an average error limited below 3% vs. the considered experimental data and show the capability to describe with sufficient accuracy the different operating conditions of the electrolyzer; the reduced-order model could be preferred thanks to its simplicity for implementation within plant simulation tools dealing with complex systems, such as electrolyzers coupled with storage facilities and intermittent renewable energy sources.

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