A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

Comparison of thyristor and insulated-gate bipolar transistor -based power supply topologies in industrial water electrolysis applications

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Koponen Joonas, Poluektov Anton, Ruuskanen Vesa, Kosonen Antti, Niemelä Markku, Ahola Jero
Publisher: Elsevier
Publication year: 2021
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Journal of Power Sources
Volume number: 491
ISSN: 0378-7753
eISSN: 1873-2755
JUFO-Level of this publication: 2
Open Access: Open Access publication
Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe202102195373


The demand for green hydrogen is growing as the increasing production of pure hydrogen can no longer be based on fossil hydrocarbons. As water electrolysis would move from niche to a significant consumer of emission-free electricity, the efficiency of electrolytic gas production, lifetime of water electrolysis systems, and balance in the electricity grid become essential. The operational and investment costs of an industrial-scale alkaline water electrolyzer with four practical rectifier topologies are investigated. The results show thyristor-based rectifiers provide poor quality for the AC and DC sides, which leads to nonoptimal specific energy consumption (SEC) of the water electrolyzer and a notable reactive power component. Transistor-based topologies may offer up to 4.5% lower SEC of the electrolyzer than the conventional 6-pulse thyristor bridge. The reactive power results in additional costs in either investments in compensation equipment or regular allowance costs. An additional DC/DC converter can be installed to improve the power quality for the electrolyzer, but the second conversion stage adds to the system complexity and cost without eliminating reactive power. A modular single-stage rectifier based on insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) bridges is suggested as an alternative to provide improved power quality for both the electrolyzer and the electricity grid.

Last updated on 2021-18-03 at 08:48