Water electrolysis is an electrochemical process using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. This reaction takes place in an electrolysis cell or an electrolyzer unit containing an electrolytic medium between an anode and cathode. Energy researchers see water electrolysis as a promising option for producing hydrogen as an energy source from renewable resources. Oxygen gas produced in the reaction may be used for a variety of applications.
Current technologies using Polymer Electrolyte Membrane stacks, also called Proton Exchange Membranes or PEM, were designed for higher efficiency water electrolysis than the earlier alkaline solution electrolyzers. These PEM electrolysis systems may be designed as a balanced pressure system, where O2 and H2 operate at the same pressure, or as a differential pressure system where O2 and H2 operate at different pressures. The advantage of high pressure electrolysis of H2 is that it minimizes the need for a second stage mechanical compression to pressurize for storage.
In either the differential or balanced pressure designs, pressure regulation of the O2 and H2 gases are extremely important to the efficiency and life of the PEM electrolyzer. Equilibar® has a family of back pressure regulators to control the electrolysis process at a range of pressures, high or low, with extreme precision. The Equilibar® Back Pressure Regulator is dome-loaded and, with its novel multiple orifice design, delivers instantaneous reliable control in the most challenging applications. The dome-loaded design means it requires a fluid (typically air) set point pressure, applied to the Back Pressure Regulator dome, matching the desired inlet pressure. The set point can be manually or electronically controlled. Our team of experienced engineers offer detailed guidance in choosing the pressure regulation equipment for a specific condition.
Contact an Equilibar engineer to discuss your flow control application in more detail.