GM Flow

RENEWABLES

Renewables

Hydrogen is produced by many methods around the globe, from by-products of other industries to the latest electrolysis techniques. Electrolysers utilise excess electricity produced from wind, tidal and solar generation to split fresh or salt water into its two components – hydrogen and oxygen. On very windy days, this excess energy maybe wasted, since the local grid may not be able to cope with the power being produced. Now this energy can be used to generate hydrogen which can be stored and re-used to balance demand on less windy or sunny days, or when tides are at their turning points.

Technicians overhauling a wind turbine rotor hub

Hydrogen

diagram of hydrogen electrolysis for renewable energy supply

Green Hydrogen is generated by electrolysing water into Hydrogen and Oxygen gas. The process is driven by renewable electricity derived from wind and solar energy which will naturally produce a fluctuating supply of electricity and therefore hydrogen gas. With the gas flowing at low pressures and the resultant flow rates varying from zero to maximum flow rate in a short space of time, this makes it very difficult for one single traditional flow meter to measure the entire flow range. In this instance, several different sizes of flow meters in parallel would be required to measure the entire flow range. This makes it an ideal application for Adjusta-Cone® with its huge operating range of up to 250:1. By automatically enabling the flow range to be changed during production, the meter is always operating it its most accurate range, whether that be in the middle of strong wing or at sunrise and sunset.

GM flow have developed Hy-Cone™, specifically to address the small production end of this market, to measure the low-pressure hydrogen gas being produced. Low pressure is the main reason why other technologies have difficulty in measuring the gas accurately, since the gas density is so low. By utilising extremely accurate pressure measurement and advanced manufacturing techniques, Hy-Cone ™ LP captures the hydrogen flow rate, flowing pressure, and the flowing temperature, ensuring that the measurement is the most accurate available to the industry.

Hy-Cone low pressure Hydrogen gas flow meter

GM flow are developing Hy-Cone™ LP, specifically to address the small production end of this market, to measure the low-pressure hydrogen gas being produced. Low pressure is the main reason why other technologies have difficulty in measuring the gas accurately, since the gas density is so low. By utilising extremely accurate pressure measurement and advanced manufacturing techniques, Hy-Cone ™ LP captures the hydrogen flow rate, flowing pressure, and the flowing temperature, ensuring that the measurement is the most accurate available to the industry.

Visualisation of the Hy-Cone hydrogen gas flow meter

Hydrogen Vehicle Fuels

Hydrogen vehicle being refuelled
Image Courtesy of Logan Energy, photo by Chris Watts

Hydrogen is becoming a more widespread fuel for vehicles, due to its longer-range capability and over electric vehicle battery storage and relatively long time to charge limitations compared to petrol or diesel vehicles. High pressure hydrogen (350 to 700 bar) is stored in a fuel tank on board the vehicle and fed to a fuel cell to produce electricity to drive the vehicle. 

Challenges which are faced in the hydrogen fuelling process are accuracy, pressure drop and cost of existing equipment. In order to drive up use, cost has to come down or throughput increased. With this in mind GM design Hycone™ HP for applications up to 1034 Bar. A pressure drop which is 1/10 that of a coriolis meter, means that fuelling can take place faster.  Inbuilt pressure and temperature correction maximises accuracy which is equally important for the buyer and seller of the hydrogen.