Hydrogen production with nuclear energy has been considered as one of the most economical hydrogen production methods, because it enables us to produce massive hydrogen at a relatively low price without environment pollution.
HEEP(Hydrogen Economy Evaluation Program) and G4-ECONS(Excel based Calculation Of Nuclear Systems) are two popular software which are useful to evaluate the economy of the hydrogen production system. HEEP is a simple and easy modeling program which can calculate cost of hydrogen production, transportation and storage by simply providing input data such as total capital cost, initial fuel load cost, annual fuel load cost, O&M cost and decommissioning cost as a percentage of total capital cost.
G4-ECONS is a EXCEL-based modeling program which can calculate the Levelized Unit Energy Cost(LUEC) from the reactor plant and the Levelized Unit Hydrogen Cost(LUHC) from the hydrogen production plant. The LUEC is the unit cost of electricity or thermal energy available from the reactor. The heat and electricity energy are related by the thermodynamic efficiency of the reactor plant. G4-ECONS can calculate cost of hydrogen production by providing input data such as annual capital cost(total capital cost times capital charge factor), annual fuel cost, annual O&M cost and annual decommissioning cost.
In the paper, the LUHC calculated with G4-ECONS program were compared with that of HEEP for the benchmarking. The result indicated LUHC calculated with G4-ECONS program is about 20% higher than that of with HEEP. This difference is believed to be from inherent difference dealing with financial parameters between two programs. The parametric study was done for the major financial factors that would affect the hydrogen production cost and it indicated that the inflation rate, discount rate and depreciation period have relatively significant influence on the LUHC.
See more of this Group/Topical: Nuclear Engineering Division - See also ICE