Solutions : New sensor designs for hydrogen technology

The 21st century has posed one of the biggest challenges to the energy industry to date: Efficient, environmentally friendly, safe and cheap power generation is required to fuel the energy revolution.

The solar industry has developed by leaps and bounds and is now capable of producing affordable renewable energy. But one key question remains: How can we store the energy generated? An increasing number of industries are turning to hydrogen technology. By converting it into hydrogen, energy can be stored, transported and released in a clean and environmentally friendly way. Working with hydrogen in a safe and efficient manner all comes down to the right temperature. Hydrogen is only a liquid at temperatures below -253°C – an extreme temperature that sensors are not able to handle.

RÖSSEL-Messtechnik has partnered up with experts in the field of hydrogen technology to develop innovative sensors and apparatus for efficiently generating power with reliable temperature measurement at extreme temperatures. Our sensors have helped advance the research and development of environmentally friendly energy systems to permanently sink carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Innovative sensor design
  • Safe temperature measurement in hydrogen tanks
  • More efficient energy storage with hydrogen technology
  • Improved hydrogen drive systems

The challenge

Temperature sensors need to satisfy a number of varied and complex requirements before being used in hydrogen processes. This is primarily due to the fact that hydrogen first becomes a liquid at the extremely low temperature of -253°C. Hydrogen can be stored as a liquid or gas, however liquid storage is more efficient and safe. In order to take measurements in this low temperature range, the materials used for the fittings and sensor need to be reliable under these conditions. Conventional temperature sensors are typically only designed to handle temperatures down to -196°C.

Another production challenge lies in finding suitable thermowells for sensors intended for use in hydrogen technology. Both the selection of materials and design need to be taken into account. Interlocking connections joined using threads cannot be used at these temperatures for safety reasons.

The solution

RÖSSEL-Messtechnik has partnered up with research institutes and industry partners to develop new types of sensors for measuring tasks involving hydrogen technology. These sensors facilitate reliable measurements at extremely low temperatures using hydrogen as a medium with previously unused material combinations and insulation.

The choice of materials was inspired by our collaboration with the aerospace industry. Several metals were tested during the development of the new types of sensors and special stainless steel and aluminum alloys were selected for use. A negative temperature coefficient thermistor (NTC) in glass insulation is used as the measuring element. Backed by decades of experience and extensive databases compiled based on practical experience, the team at RÖSSEL-Messtechnik analyzed, tested and put suitable sensor elements and thermowell into series production.

The advantage

Hydrogen can be reliably monitored with innovative sensors developed by RÖSSEL-Messtechnik. The sensors provide important information on how to make power generation with hydrogen more efficient and safe. Our sensors are already used in the automotive industry to monitor safety in car hydrogen tanks. In hydrogen buses and fuel cells, our sensors are used to measure the temperature of gaseous hydrogen to make power generation more effective and make the systems safer for people and the environment. With our sensors, we’re contributing to improving safe and effective power generation methods and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Are you facing a mechanical challenge? We’ll work with you to develop an innovative solution.

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As a leading manufacturer of temperature measuring technology for industrial and research purposes, we meet the strictest production standards. With internationally recognized approvals and calibrations, we offer quality you can rely on around the globe.

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