Hydrogen dispensing operations require accuracy and repeatability at the high pressures they require. The flow measurements must also be rugged and reliable to handle the metal embrittlement that hydrogen causes.
In this Amplified Podcast, How Coriolis technology is making hydrogen dispensing safer, efficient, Control magazine editor in chief, Len Vermillion, speaks with Emerson’s Genny Fultz to discuss how Micro Motion high-pressure Coriolis flow meters are ideally suited for this demanding application.
Give the podcast a listen and visit the Emerson website for more on this flow measurement technology for this application.
Len: Welcome to this edition of the control Amplified podcast I’m Len Vermillion editor-in-chief of control magazine and we have a very interesting discussion on tap today. That’s because we’re going to talk about something that’s received quite a bit of buzz lately. and that’s hydrogen.
Hydrogen of course is a sustainable fuel solution that is quickly gaining traction in the global marketplace. Now despite the fact that it is an efficient and sustainable energy source, hydrogen dispensing requires really the utmost safety parameters to ensure risks are mitigated.
Genny Fultz, global product manager for Emerson Automation Solutions, is here today to talk about the new Micro Motion High-Pressure Coriolis HPC020 flow meter, which is really an ideal solution for hydrogen dispensing and truck loading. So welcome to the podcast Genny!
Genny: Hi Len, good to be here.
Len: And I think you’ve been on with us before. So this is really return engagement for you.
Genny: Yeah so always excited to talk about HPC.
Len: So this is a great subject so let me start here there appears to be an increasing demand for loading and unloading high-pressure hydrogen into vehicles such as trucks and tank cars. Does the HPC020 perform better than previous models in those applications or even competition?
Genny: Well we have found that there is a market for filling larger commercial and passenger vehicles at a faster rate to keep up with the diesel truck industry. But in addition to dispensing those applications, we’ve also found that there’s a need for loading tube trailers as well. The loading and offloading point within the hydrogen transportation value chain is something that we’ve been looking into quite recently.
With that in mind the design of these HPC sensors specifically the HPC020 reflects those changes in the market by utilizing sensor components that are slightly different than the 15 that allows for a higher flow rate while keeping the batch accuracy at 0.5 percent.
Len: Well that’s very interesting so now there are also some challenges facing users in metering hydrogen, especially with regards to temperature, pressure, and accuracy. I don’t know if can you talk a little bit about that.
Genny: Hydrogen like other gaseous fuels it can be compressed and kept at high pressures in order to pack it into that single fueling. But the flow meter uses the batch fueling process and it needs to remain accurate over a wide variety of that fill.
So wide variety and dynamic range of conditions like including pressures accessing 10 000 PSI and the temperature range is it’s pretty crucial that it is able to perform at negative 40 degC all the way up to 60 degC and this is ambient temperatures. So it’s something to keep in mind with a flow meter. And Coriolis technology offers the best solution for those types of metering needs.
Len: Now hydrogen leaks can be a very serious safety hazard obviously. So how does the HPC020 protect the safety aspects of the dispensing operation in particular?
Genny: Well one thing to note about the Coriolis sensors they’re well-suited for these types of applications because of their completely welded assembly. And our Micro Motion sensor is a fully-welded assembly meaning that the only connections are the inflow and outflow of the meter.
So the HPC 15 and 20 uses hydrogen embrittlement-resistant materials. Those materials are XM-19 which is an austenitic stainless steel commonly used in aviation nuclear industries when working with hydrogen-related fuels. It has nearly twice the strength of 316L stainless steel and it’s a pretty good choice when working with the higher pressures necessary when refueling hydrogen cars or large trucks.
Another additional benefits to using a Coriolis sensor is that they’re extremely reliable. We kind of have this phrase that you install it you set it and forget it. Once the sensor has been installed in the field the likelihood of that meter ever needing any kind of maintenance is very low. That eliminates the need for anybody to open the dispenser to check the flow meter and reducing those touch points is another way of improving safety in the field.
Len: Another aspect that I’m sure everybody is interested in is costs so now how do you how does the unit help manage costs that’s another big area to talk.
Genny: Sure. The benefit of having a Coriolis sensor is that it doesn’t require regular maintenance like I just discussed a little bit earlier. It also doesn’t require any yearly replacement components like some other technologies DP flow and some of these others require. The sensors are designed to be installed and left alone to work.
And we also offer smart meter verification software that uses onboard diagnostics with the flow transmitter and it continuously monitors those key performance indicators that maintain measurement and accuracy and meter integrity. So over long term this reduced cost through early detection of any issues that you possibly have in in your dispensing process.
Len: Okay so that’s that’s we’re talking about costs there now there’s we didn’t really mention in the beginning of the hpc020, there’s two models there’s the M and the N. So I wonder if you can discuss the differences between those two models.
Genny: Yeah, I’m happy to talk about that. The HPC020 has two different models as you said—the M and the N. The HPC020M sensor is designed for a 700-bar system that flows at a little bit higher rate at nine kilograms per minute nominal flow rate. And the HPC020N sensor is designed for a 700-bar system that has an additional safety pressure requirement that pushes that pressure rating higher than the M model and approaching 1070 bar while flowing at a little bit reduced lower nominal flow rate at 7.7 kilograms per minute.
Both sensors though have the same face-to-face dimensions on the exterior of the sensor. Like the case and connection points are all the exact same dimensions. But the difference is it really comes down to the material components within the sensor that allows for those pressure rating and nominal flow rate differences.
Len: well thank you Genny that’s a great look at HPC020 and Coriolis technology. Now when will this be available and we didn’t really establish that.
Genny: Yeah, these sensors are available beginning of March—the first week. So we’re looking forward to accepting pre-release quotes at the moment for these and yeah first week of March.
Len: Wonderful, so definitely check that out. I’m sure there’s a lot of information on the Emerson website and Genny once again thank you for being with us.
Genny: Thank you, it’s a pleasure.
-End of Podcast-