Maximising hydrogen production from PV solar parks

Green hydrogen could contribute about 20% of global energy in 2050. Renewable electricity to feed the electrolysers for green hydrogen production will predominantly be generated from hydroelectric, wind, and solar sources. Maximising hydrogen production from the available natural resources means improving electrolyser efficiency and the output of the renewable power infrastructure. For a solar park, that means focusing on the basics, such as appropriate cleaning of the solar panels, and consideration of more sophisticated options such as adjusting the angle of the panels to track the sun’s movement through the day.

There are massive R&D efforts under way to enhance hydrogen electrolysers. They will most certainly result in capex and maintenance cost reductions resulting from cheaper materials of construction and enabling the selection metals that are easier to process. However, breaking through the ceiling of about 80% energy conversion efficiency is proving to be a real challenge.

Coming back to the other link in the chain, the solar array may be the answer to improve hydrogen output. Power management improvements could play an increasing role and could lead to a step change in operating economics. CQSola, located in Queensland, Australia is innovating in this area. The company has recently filed several patent applications related to electronical engineering innovations for PV power management – all of which have been integrated into smart electronic devices are ready to produce at scale for major solar schemes in Australia and around the world.

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