NuScale Power, Shell Global Solutions and other researchers will develop a concept for hydrogen production using electricity and process heat from NuScale’s VOYGR small modular reactor, NuScale said Thursday.
A NuScale control room simulator will evaluate the dynamics of the integrated energy system, or IES, and include models for the solid oxide electrolysis cell system, or SOEC, for hydrogen production and a reversible solid oxide fuel cell for electricity production. The research will consider the number of NuScale power modules needed for use in SOEC hydrogen production and the quantity of hydrogen stored for subsequent electricity production.
As part of the project, “Development and Demonstration of a Concept for an Economically Optimized IES,” local economic factors from the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems’ Carbon Free Power Project also will be assessed.
The factors will include the impact in the Western Energy Imbalance Market, resource adequacy programs and other local market aspects to be defined.
Using hydrogen production, VOYGR can balance and stabilize power grids dominated by renewable energy, NuScale said.
It said energy markets create reliability concerns when energy demand is high and renewable energy production is low. In such markets, hydrogen would be used as an end-product or as a stored energy source processed through a reversible solid oxide fuel cell for electricity generation, the company said.
“Hydrogen has been identified as a pathway for global decarbonization and NuScale’s SMR technology complements this goal through low carbon hydrogen production,” said John Hopkins, president and CEO of NuScale Power.
Other research participants include Idaho National Laboratory, UAMPS, Fuel Cell Energy, FPoliSolutions and GSE Solutions.
As part of a pre-application readiness assessment, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff have identified “several challenging and/or significant issues” with the draft application for NuScale Power’s SMR standard design while noting that it’s a work in progress.