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Orsted and ITM Power have revealed a concept for an electrolyser installed in the tower of an offshore wind turbine. In this scenario, where an electrolyser is placed offshore at the wind turbine, e.g. in the tower or in close vicinity to the wind turbine, energy in the form of hydrogen will be transported to shore by an underwater or underground pipe network.
This presents an opportunity to reduce overall costs, as hydrogen pipes cost less per km than power cables. The efficiency of such a system shows potential to define new standards by removing the need for AC rectification. The concept proposed is:
  • A marine environment capable electrolyser
  • ‘Type IV’ wind turbine generators and their ‘DC link’ have the potential to power the electrolyser directly
  • This enables fewer power conversion steps and thereby reduces both energy losses and electrolyser footprint
  •  Readily abundant cooling capacity via the sea water
  •  Energy in the form of Hydrogen gas supplied to shore by pipe rather than via electricity
  •  Connecting one electrolyser with one turbine wind generator
  •  Other avoided costs of this concept include permitting, a single process unit deployment
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