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Increasing need for safe hydrogen loading and unloading requires cutting-edge technology

Published by , Digital Administrator
Global Hydrogen Review,

With environmental concerns moving to the forefront of daily life, more vehicle manufacturers are introducing hydrogen-powered vehicles into service. Producers of everything from large semi-trailer trucks to buses and passenger cars are jumping on the technology that provides extended driving range with zero greenhouse gas emissions, with water being the only byproduct. One major concern, however, is the safety and reliability of dispensing hydrogen into those vehicles, while adhering to both governmental regulations and industry safety standards. Emerson’s Micro Motion HPC020 High-Pressure Coriolis Flow Meter is a solution for both issues.

Genny Fultz, Product Manager and Market Expansion Researcher for Emerson, answers some frequently asked questions about the Micro Motion HPC020:

What are some of the challenges facing users in metering hydrogen with regards to temperature, pressure, and accuracy?
Hydrogen offers a great opportunity to use sustainable energy sources to fuel vehicles of all types and sizes. Like other gaseous fuels, it can be compressed at high pressures to pack the most miles into a single fuelling. A flow meter used in the batch fuelling process needs to remain accurate over a very wide and dynamic range of conditions, including pressures in excess of 10 000 psi from –40° C to 60° C ambient. One of the biggest challenges is temperature, due to the nature of the gas. Coriolis technology simply offers the best solution for meeting these demands. The performance of Emerson’s HPC platform has been fully tested and witnessed by Notified Bodies during the metrological certification process, including evaluation of the pressure and temperature effects on the measurement. As a result, we have obtained the metrology OIML R139 certificate covering our largest flow rate and best performance for these hydrogen dispensing applications.

With the increasing demand for loading and unloading high-pressure hydrogen into vehicles, how does the Micro Motion HPC020 perform better than previous models in those applications?
There is a market for filling larger commercial vehicles at a faster rate to keep the time of the hydrogen fill similar to a diesel truck fill. For truck drivers, time is money, and a faster fill means they can get back on the road more quickly. In addition to dispensing applications, we’ve also found a need for measurement at the tube trailer loading and offloading point within the hydrogen fuel transportation value chain. Between the production and the consumption, the design of the HPC020 reflects those changes in the market by utilising sensor components that are slightly different to the HPC015, to allow for a higher flow rate while keeping the 0.5% batch accuracy.

From a safety standpoint, what makes the HPC020 a leader in the field?
The Micro Motion high-pressure Coriolis sensors use an austenitic stainless steel material called XM-19 that has excellent corrosion resistance and twice the strength of 316L. It is also resistant to hydrogen permeation and reduces the risk of breakage at the weld point or within the tubes, while maintaining the necessary sensitivity for excellent performance and accuracy. Also, once a sensor has been installed in the field, the likelihood of that meter needing maintenance is very low. Eliminating the need to open the dispenser to service the flow meter improves safety by reducing the need for any human interaction. Many dispenser manufacturers use the flow meters as a safety barrier in their installation, and require SIL approval for the device they use. Our HPC platform, along with our 5700 transmitters, offers the possibility to integrate Coriolis Mass flow measurement into the safety loop, either for SIL2 or SIL3 level.

How does the HPC020 help a company manage costs?
Regular maintenance and yearly replacement of components, which many measurement technologies require, can be costly. Coriolis sensors do not require any of that, and are designed to be installed and left alone to work, saving companies a lot of money. We also offer our proprietary Smart Meter Verification diagnostic software that uses onboard diagnostics to continuously monitor KPIs that maintain measurement accuracy and meter integrity. This reduces costs through early detection of any issues in the process.

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