Results of a system evaluation and lifecycle cost analysis are presented for a commercial-scale high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) central hydrogen production plant. The plant design relies on grid electricity to power the electrolysis process and system components, and industrial natural gas to provide process heat. The HYSYS process analysis software was used to evaluate the reference central plant design capable of producing 50,000 kg/day of hydrogen. The HYSYS software performs mass and energy balances across all components to allow optimized of the design using a detailed process flow sheet and realistic operating conditions specified the analyst. The lifecycle cost analysis was performed using the H2A analysis methodology developed by the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Program. This methodology utilizes Microsoft Excel spreadsheet analysis tools that require detailed plant performance information (obtained from HYSYS), along with financial and cost information to calculate lifecycle costs. The results of the lifecycle analyses indicate that for a 10% internal rate of return, a large central commercial-scale hydrogen production plant can produce 50,000 kg/day of hydrogen at an average cost of $2.68/kg. When the cost of carbon sequestration is taken into account, the average cost of hydrogen production increases by $0.40/kg to $3.08/kg.

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