Utilisation of waste heat from PEM electrolysers: Unlocking local optimisation

Els van der Roest*, Ron Bol, Theo Fens, Ad van Wijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
459 Downloads (Pure)


Recovery of heat from electrolysers is potentially interesting to increase the total system efficiency, reduce CO2 emissions, and increase the economic feasibility of both hydrogen and heat production. This study examines different designs for the utilisation of (waste) heat from a 2.5 MWel polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser. Redundancy is important in the design, to ensure safe operation regardless of the heat demand of the heat consumer. We analysed cases with local heat consumption (with/without a heat pump) and coupling with a district heating network (DHN). Overall, 14–15% of the electricity input to the stack can be utilised by a heat consumer, increasing the total system efficiency to 90% (HHV) with CO2-savings of 0.08 (DHN)-0.28 (direct use) tonne CO2/MWhheat, used. We performed a first-order techno-economic analysis showing that the levelized costs of the electrolyser heat (8.4–36.9 €/MWh) fall within the range of other industrial heat sources and below lower-temperature heat sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27872-27891
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number72
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • (Green) hydrogen
  • District heating
  • Electrolysis
  • System integration
  • Waste heat


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