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High pressure hydrogen measurement solutions

Developing clean fuel and hydrogen-fuelled hybrid vehicles is becoming an increasing priority for western economies.

As hybrid vehicles become more mainstream the need to provide hydrogen fuelling stations has arisen.

Hydrogen fuelling stations and the concept of the ‘hydrogen highway’ are relatively new ideas, with Germany currently having 16 such stations in operation across the whole of the country and a further 20 stations are scheduled to be built in the country over the coming years.

The first hydrogen fuel station opened in the UK in 2011 and the government has provided funding to deliver 15 stations by the end of this year.

Hydrogen is pumped at very high pressures and its flow measurement needs to be extremely accurate.

Therefore, there is a requirement for a robust and accurate flowmeter that can operate over a variety of flow and temperature ranges.

In response to this growing need, KEM-Kueppers Elektromechanik in Germany has developed the TCM 0450 Tricor Coriolis mass flowmeter for clean energy fuelling station concepts, in particular hydrogen stations.

Coriolis technology works by passing a fluid towards (and away from) a centre of rotation through vibrating tubes.

The force of the fluid passing through the tubes causes twist which is proportional to the mass flow rate of the fluid passing through them.

Sensors and Coriolis mass flowmeters transmitters are used to measure the twist and generate a linear flow signal.

The TCM 0450 is constructed for demanding applications to work at a 1,050 bar design pressure with threefold safety factor and with integrated pressure and temperature compensation over the entire pressure and temperature range.

Particular attention has been paid to the effects of hydrogen embrittlement and the selection of materials to avoid it.

The key benefit of the TCM 0450 is its high precision measurement during hydrogen refuelling.

The Tricor mass flowmeter is currently available in ten different sizes, which cover flow ranges of 3-325kg/hr up to 230-230,000kg/hr.

Tubes and housings are constructed from 316L (1.4404) stainless steel as standard and they are suitable for the measurement of any non-abrasive chemical-compatible liquid.

The full Tricor range offers a measuring accuracy of between +/- 0.10% and +/- 0.15%, even in long term operation, and across a temperature range from -60 to +200°C depending on the meter selected.

Other Tricor Coriolis mass flowmeters are rated to 100, 200 and 350 bar.

The meters are designed and engineered in the United States and Germany, manufactured, calibrated, and tested at a state-of-the-art facility in Germany, and then distributed in the United Kingdom and Ireland by Litre Meter.