FAQ

Our service team is your go-to resource for all things hydrogen. Need clarification? You have come to the right place. Check out some of these common questions we are asked below.

Technical specs

When determining which generator will suit your operation best, the important criteria to define is the following:

  • What is my minimum total gas flow rate?
  • What is my minimum output pressure?
  • What is the minimum level of purity required?

Nel  manufactures gas generators with the customer in mind. Our products are designed to offer a competitive ROI. The values themselves differ per application. Please inquire with a Nel Territory Manager for specifics.

  1. Hydrogen generators: Electric Power, Water System, and Maintenance.
  2. Nitrogen generators: Electric Power (sometimes), and Maintenance.
  3. Zero air generators: Electric Power and Maintenance.

The water needs to be Deionized and is required at minimum ASTM Type II (>1 MegOhm-cm) or recommended at ASTM Type I (>10 MegOhm-cm). Water quality should also be measured in Total Silica, Total Organics, and Total Carbon for proper application assessment.

All Nel hydrogen generators require DI Water to properly operate. If it is not readily available, Nel can provide an appropriate water system to accommodate the hydrogen generator(s).

When purchasing a gas generator, one must consider

  1. Placement – where do I want my gas generated located?
  2. Power – what power is required to run the generator?
  3. Water supply – is DI water readily available or will I require a system?
  4. Ventilation – what ventilation is available at my location?
  5. Budget – what is my budget?
  6. Purchase Cycle – when do I need the gas generator?

Please follow the maintenance instructions that accommodate every User Manual.

All electrolysis-based hydrogen generators require deionized water and electricity. Nel offers water deionizing systems for all our electrolyzer products. Power requirements range from a few hundred Watts for small electrolyzers, to > 1 MW for larger systems.

Yes. Usually, larger models are far more cost-effective and efficient than multiple smaller units.

Delivered gases and cylinders are heavy, cumbersome and often troublesome. Delivered gas supply can be irregular, causing disruptions in production. Bottled gases are also subject to fluctuating prices. If you are in a remote location, bottled gas delivery can also be very costly. On-site gas generation is a safe and cost effective solution to traditional gas supply methods.

PEM (proton exchange membrane) water electrolysis simply splits pure deionized water (H2O) into its constituent parts, hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), via an electrochemical reaction. When a DC voltage is applied to the electrolyzer, water fed to the anode (or oxygen electrode) is oxidized to oxygen and protons, while electrons are released. The protons (H+ ions) pass through the PEM to the cathode (or hydrogen electrode), where they meet electrons from the other side of the circuit, and are reduced to hydrogen gas.

Laboratory practitioners need a carrier gas they can count on. But helium – traditionally used as a gas chromatography (GC) carrier gas – supplies are dwindling, forcing laboratories to pay more and accept a higher risk of supply. Laboratories are increasingly looking for a more reliable and less expensive solution than helium gas. The only carrier gas that can offer higher reliability and lower cost – plus faster results – is hydrogen, made on-site. A PEM electrolysis hydrogen generator safely and reliably produces a limitless supply of ultra-pure hydrogen at a fraction of the cost of delivered helium.

On-site gas generators store very little gas at any given time, which is a primary safety benefit over high pressure cylinders. With hydrogen produced at a higher pressure than oxygen within the cell stack, there is no opportunity for oxygen to cross over the proton exchange membrane to the hydrogen side. In addition, leak detection and ventilation provide additional measures of system safety.

Nel hydrogen generators contain minimal hydrogen inventory, well below NFPA, and contain an amount far bellow safety concern in a ventilated space.

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