New sensor makes hydrogen production better and cheaper

28. April 2022

In the innovation project SafePTX, Green Hydrogen Systems, SulfiLogger and several other partners are developing a sensor that makes hydrogen production cheaper, better and safer.

Hydrogen production by electrolysis forms a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases, which can pose a safety threat to both equipment and personnel. Gas concentrations must therefore be monitored so that production can be quickly shut down if the limit values are exceeded.

This is the monitoring that the innovation project SafePTX is about.

“We develop and produce electrolysis plants where we split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrical energy. By using renewable energy, the hydrogen can be converted into green ammonia, methanol, methane or other fuels – where we make measurements and comply with requirements for high safety,” says Anders Rønne Rasmussen, R&D Manager at Green Hydrogen Systems.

The company is the so-called problem owner in the SafePTX project, which also involves the Danish Gas Technical Center, the Danish Fire and Security Technical Institute and the technology company SulfiLogger.

“We want to produce as much green hydrogen as possible from renewable energy while ensuring a focus on price and quality. Our plant already has a safety sensor, but we are interested in making it better: Can the sensor be made more robust, and can you make one that has less need for calibration,” says Anders Rønne Rasmussen.

The hydrogen industry looks like wind

According to Søren Porsgaard, CEO of SulfiLogger, the hydrogen industry is similar to the wind industry in several ways. Products and processes must be reduced in price, up in scale – and then safety is paramount.

“For several years, we have been working on a powerful sensor for hydrogen sulfide, which is used in sewers, offshore and for biogas. We are now focusing on the Power-to-X industry, where our technology can be used anew,” says Søren Porsgaard and continues:

“The market for sensors is worth billions of euros annually, and all policy assumptions say that hydrogen technology must be multiplied. That’s why it’s an interesting domain for us to work with. As a technology provider, we already have a reasonable business within two years. We can sell to pilot plants,” says Søren Porsgaard.

Rising industry

Since the 1980s, the Danish Gas Technical Center has been working with the handling of gases.

“Our role in the innovation project is to find out what SulfiLogger wants with their sensor, and based on this help to find out which directives, regulations and standards must be applied in order for the rules to be complied with in relation to the use of the final product,” says Jytte Skytte, project manager at the Danish Gas Technical Center.

The innovation project is funded in collaboration with Energy Cluster Denmark, meanwhile the cluster organization also facilitates and administers the project in close cooperation with the partners.

“The hydrogen industry is a new, rising industry in Denmark, and a crucial piece of the energy system of the future. Therefore, it is positive to see that the entire value chain is collaborating to develop and adapt new solutions such as the current sensor, which ultimately makes the Danish hydrogen industry more competitive,” says Glenda Napier, CEO of Energy Cluster Denmark.

The collaboration is a plus for Green Hydrogen Systems:

“SulfiLogger is a potential supplier to us and the entire hydrogen technology industry – and we would like to help develop all our suppliers. We dream of a sensor that is tailored to our needs – and the project allows us to influence the product,” says Anders Rønne Rasmussen.

About the project

The innovation project SafePTX is supported by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Programme (EUDP) with DKK 5.24 million and runs until the end of 2023.

You can read much more about this in this year’s Energy Tech, which will be launched at Energy Cluster Denmark’s annual meeting on 5 May.