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Case Study: Rotork actuators pioneering advancements in the hydrogen industry

| By Rotork

Hydrogen is a versatile fuel source and feedstock that is carbon-free when burnt, releasing no emissions. Its production can be decarbonised through the creation of green hydrogen. In this pivotal moment, Rotork emerges as a key player, poised to support the hydrogen industry by enhancing efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Intelligent flow control solutions within the hydrogen sector are gaining momentum. With escalating demand for hydrogen production, manufacturers specialising in actuators and instrumentation are actively innovating and developing tailored products and solutions specifically engineered for this growing market. This strategic shift is instrumental in elevating hydrogen production’s efficiency, safety, and affordability.

Case Study

Rotork CVL process control electric actuators were installed with green hydrogen electrolysis skids for a French equipment manufacturer, where they play an important role in controlling the feedstock to the electrolyser.

Each electrolysis skid contains several CVL actuators which regulate the pressure and level of the water at the centre of the process. Hydrogen generation by electrolysis necessitates precision control; any actuator fitted must provide accurate control, a fail-safe mechanism, and a high-duty cycle. The CVL-500 actuators were chosen due to their high operation frequency, rapid response, and ATEX IIC certification.

Hydrogen is an extremely flammable gas (Category 1). Hence, explosion-proof equipment (with appropriate approvals such as ATEX, CSA, and IECEx) must be employed throughout the manufacturing process. Using Rotork products in hydrogen generation, helps to provide accurate, dependable, efficient, and safe operations.

The importance of actuation to hydrogen operations

Actuators wield transformative potential across several facets of the hydrogen industry. They serve as pivotal instruments in regulating hydrogen flow within fuel cell vehicles, ensuring optimal performance, extended range, and operational safety. Moreover, actuators govern the valves within hydrogen storage tanks, averting potential leaks and upholding safety standards. In hydrogen refuelling stations, they effectively manage valve operations, guaranteeing the secure and efficient dispensing of hydrogen.

Beyond the immediate advantages outlined above, actuators emerge as a linchpin in enhancing the reliability of hydrogen production systems. With precision control over critical parameters such as water flow, they act as a safeguard against leaks and system disruptions, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted availability of hydrogen production systems. This reliability is of paramount importance, especially in applications such as backup power generation and fuel cell vehicles.

New energy hydrogen applications, such as electrolysers, fuel cells, and refuelling stations, are still in their early stages, but they offer enormous promise for the flow control industry. Hydrogen can be expensive to generate and with production forecast to rapidly increase over the next few years, it is critical that the production process runs as safely, smoothly and efficiently as possible. Flow control products can help with this. Automating the flow of water, hydrogen, and hydrocarbons using actuators and sensors leads to increased efficiency and performance.

The integration of actuators into the hydrogen industry represents a promising avenue toward realising hydrogen’s full potential as a widely adopted and viable fuel. As the global demand for hydrogen continues to surge, Rotork and its contemporaries remain committed to pioneering cutting-edge products and solutions that will further elevate the efficiency, safety, and cost-effectiveness of hydrogen production and utilisation.

To summarise, as energy suppliers adjust to a future governed by emission-reduction commitments, the role of hydrogen grows in prominence. With the shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable and environmentally acceptable energy sources, green hydrogen is an appealing choice. Flow control equipment is required at all stages of green hydrogen generation to ensure its safety, efficiency and reliability.

For further information, please contact                                                     Rotork PLC

Sarah Kellett                                                                                                     Brassmill Lane

Group Marketing Communications Manager                                             Bath

Telephone: +44 (0) 1225 733492                                                                 BA1 3JQ

Email: [email protected]                                                                 UK

About Rotork

Rotork is a market-leading global provider of mission-critical flow control and instrumentation solutions for oil and gas, water and wastewater, power, chemical process and industrial applications. We help customers around the world to improve efficiency, reduce emissions, minimise their environmental impact and assure safety.