Technical Blog

Hydrogen pressure sensor applications

As climate change and sustainability continues to top the agenda, with a focus on transitioning to net-zero, low-carbon fuels are under the spotlight as an alternative to fossil fuels and a potentially valuable tool for enabling change.

According to the International Energy Authority, hydrogen is one of the key pillars of decarbonising the global energy system. While the vast majority of hydrogen currently used is produced by reforming fossil fuels, there is growing interest across a number of industries, including transport, in green hydrogen, which is produced by using renewable energy and electrolysis to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. With the only by-product being water, hydrogen produces no carbon emissions and is a clean fuel that can be combusted directly or used in a fuel cell to produce electricity.

Applications for hydrogen energy

At the current time, hydrogen is primarily used in the chemical and petrochemical industries.  It is an important part of crude oil refining operations to remove sulphur from the fuels being produced, while fertiliser manufacturers combine hydrogen with nitrogen taken from the air to make ammonia, a key ingredient in most fertilisers.

Hydrogen is also used in fuel cells to generate electricity or power and heat, with applications including portable and back-up power, electric vehicles including cars, and auxiliary power for planes, ships and heavy-duty trucks

The role of pressure sensors in hydrogen applications

As demand for hydrogen-powered processes, vehicles and equipment grows, so does the need for pressure sensors or transducers to safely monitor precise critical measurement tasks across hydrogen production, high pressure storage, and distribution. Reliable information from the pressure sensor is needed to ensure the system is working properly and to prevent critical problems.

It is also vital to ensure the sensors used in hydrogen applications are designed and manufactured to withstand hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen permeation as these two complications can affect the life of the sensor. Use of 316L stainless steel is essential to ensure resistance to corrosion when the sensor is in prolonged contact with hydrogen.

Hydrogen pressure sensors from Variohm Eurosensor

Our portfolio includes a range of transducers for hydrogen pressure measurement applications. This includes the EPT31H2 pressure transducer which has EC79 approval for use with hydrogen, a pressure range of up to 1000 Bar and comes with a 1-year warranty. The SMO31H2 pressure transducer is intended for applications around the measurement of hydrogen in the automotive industry and has both EC79 approval and E1 automotive approval.

For advice and assistance with your hydrogen application, please contact our team on +44 01327 351004 or sales@variohm.com

Article published on: 22/09/2022

Article last updated on: 22/09/2022