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Electricity price hikes and heavy carbon emitter taxes have resulted in strong action being taken in Europe, the USA, China, and Australia, among other countries, to decarbonise industries. As the race to decarbonise gathers pace, it’s critical that businesses work with partners that keenly understand the challenges that come with decarbonisation, and can assist in the management of the journey towards clean energy.

Europe, the US and China have all imposed bans on internal combustion engine manufacture, some as early as 2030, which will disrupt the automotive industry. As a result, the electrification of road vehicles and heavy machinery has been gathering pace to accommodate future regulations.

According to HYDAC National Development Manager – E-Mobility & Hydrogen Control Systems, Dirshan Daby, electrification is one part of the equation, but energy sourcing and storage are also set to play a big role.

“Projects that harness wind and solar power are expected to grow, and hydrogen and industrial battery systems are being proposed as the long term storage solutions for green energy,” Mr Daby said.

“The real challenges will be upscaling pilot projects to industrial production, ensuring the amount of energy input versus the amount of energy output is viable, and that the process is safe. This especially centres around whether efficient hydrogen and safe hydrogen production can be assured through a commercially feasible process.”

Safety and efficiency key

When it comes to hydrogen safety, HYDAC has control systems in place such as ATEX and IECEx-rated sensors, which are ideal for explosive environments.

HYDAC also has its own senior electricians in-house who can wire control panels to ATEX requirements. This means that systems can communicate with each other when the production factor is multiplied to ensure the process is streamlined while also remaining efficient and safe.

“When an upscaling takes place and intense, energy-driven processes are used, a decline in efficiency occurs due to heat and noise losses. It’s here that HYDAC can offer its cooling systems and understanding of an application, thanks to our in-house team dedicated to e-mobility,” Mr Daby said.

Meeting hydrogen production requirements

The current preferred method for hydrogen production is the use of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) or alkaline electrolysers that split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen using powered electrodes and separation membranes. Mr Daby said it is imperative to have clean and dry fuel when producing hydrogen for fuel cells.

Hydrogen from electrolysers requires coalescing filters in this process, which are also available from HYDAC. They are required for hydrogen drying because humidity is produced in the production of hydrogen, which must be pumped out of the system.

According to Mr Daby, when charging hydrogen tanks at high pressure, solid contaminants, if present, can be catastrophic to fuel cells and tanks, which essentially require laboratory clean hydrogen, if not cleaner hydrogen. To assist in this challenge, HYDAC has a range of solid contaminant gas filters.

“We developed products to ensure dry and clean hydrogen is supplied to refuelling stations and we also have testing and sampling equipment to ensure highest purity hydrogen,” Mr Daby said. HYDAC also offers a range of filtration products that meet requirements at any point on a production line.

“Gas cooling is required throughout the whole process. On the hydrogen side, this means keeping the hydrogen cool so that the level of hazard can decrease. Then it’s also necessary to cool the compressors and electrolysers used in the process,” Mr Daby said.

Overall, HYDAC is well prepared to meet standardised and customised cooling requirements through its range of fluid heat exchangers to air blast coolers and chillers that can achieve below ambient temperatures.

Understanding of relevant regulations critical

Importantly, HYDAC has a detailed understanding of regulations when designing systems for Australia. Understanding regulatory requirements, along with a solid knowledge of equipment and a priority on safety, are all critical when looking at partners to assist in the clean energy revolution.

This sponsored editorial was brought to you by HYDAC. For more information about how HYDAC can help your business transform and lead the race to decarbonisation, head to www.hydac.com.au

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