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Optical measurement technology for hydrogen production, transport, and storage

As the world seeks sustainable alternatives to traditional energy sources, hydrogen has emerged as a promising alternative to traditional fossil fuels. With its potential to decarbonize various sectors such as transportation, industry, and power generation, hydrogen holds the key to a greener and more sustainable future. As companies worldwide delve into hydrogen production, transport, and storage, ensuring safety, efficiency, and structural integrity becomes paramount.

Hydrogen, an extremely light and flammable gas, presents unique challenges in terms of monitoring and safety. Ensuring the structural health of small reservoirs and pipelines, detecting and locating leaks, and monitoring strain and temperature in cryogenic environments are critical aspects of maintaining a secure and efficient hydrogen infrastructure. Accurate and real-time data from reliable sensors is vital for identifying potential risks, optimizing system performance, and safeguarding the environment and personnel involved.

HBK’s optical solutions provide invaluable insights for enhanced operations and safety. With our state-of-the-art sensors, advanced optical interrogators, and comprehensive support services, we empower hydrogen infrastructure operators to monitor, analyze, and maintain their systems with confidence.

Infographic of optical sensor in isometric perspective

Applications

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Structural health monitoring of small reservoirs and pipelines

HBK’s optical sensors enable real-time monitoring of strain and temperature of critical components. By providing continuous feedback on structural health, potential risks can be identified early, ensuring safe and efficient operation of hydrogen systems.

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Leak detection of small reservoirs and pipelines

Detecting leaks in hydrogen infrastructure is paramount for preventing hazardous situations. HBK’s optical technology, with its sensitivity and zero drift, excels in accurately detecting and locating leaks. With sensors able to measure hydrogen concentration (H2 concentration), the system can swiftly identify any anomalies, allowing prompt maintenance and mitigating potential risks.

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Strain and temperature monitoring in cryogenic environments

Hydrogen reservoirs operate in cryogenic environments, presenting unique challenges for monitoring strain and temperature. HBK’s optical sensors, suitable for extreme conditions, ensure reliable performance and accurate measurements, and provide valuable insights into the behaviour of the reservoirs, facilitating enhanced safety and efficient operations.

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Reactor structural monitoring and bolt creep detection

HBK’s optical sensors enable monitoring of the reactor structure and bolt creep detection, especially when temperatures are high.

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Embedded strain measurements in composite materials

Optical fiber sensors are ideal for monitoring the health of composite high-pressure vessels, which are extensively utilized in the power industry for storing gaseous fuel such as hydrogen. Sensors are embedded within the composite material structure. Optical fiber sensors are preferred due to their resistance to electromagnetic interference, seamless integration with composite materials, and their ability to provide highly sensitive, long-term measurements.

Advantages of optical technology

  • Immune to electromagnetic and radio frequency interference (EMI/RFI), ensuring reliable and accurate measurements in challenging and hazardous environments
  • Passive technology, eliminating the need for additional power sources
  • Suitable for special applications where extra protection or care is needed, for example, systems installed in ATEX areas
  • Long-distance capabilities for monitoring of extensive pipelines and reservoirs without compromising accuracy
  • Designed to withstand harsh conditions, including cryogenic environments, ensuring reliable performance in extreme temperature variations
  • Multiplexed and distributed sensing in one optical line 

Our product and solution offerings

Why choose HBK optical solutions

  • High-resolution optical interrogators offering exceptional resolution, accuracy, across a wide range of wavelengths
  • Extensive sensor portfolio known for its long-term reliability and high survival rates upon installation – crucial for ensuring continuous and accurate data collection.
  • Preassembled sensor arrays for easy installation, potentially eliminating the need for specific optical tools on-site, saving time and resources
  • Expert Service team offering reliable providing comprehensive support from installation to maintenance
  • Complete measurement solution – from sensors to software
  • Seamless integration with conventional technologies and industrial protocols for smooth transition and compatibility with existing infrastructure