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Hydrogen leak detector H2scan raises $13.5 million in new financing

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H2scan, a provider of hydrogen sensors and technologies for utilities and industrial markets, has raised $10.5 million (€9.4 million) in a Series E financing round from Energy Growth Momentum, a UK-based private equity group.

The company raised an additional $3 million (€2.7 million) in venture debt from El Dorado Investment Company, an Arizona, US-based venture company owned by Pinnacle West Capital Corporation.

The funds will be used to accelerate production of the company’s Gen 5 technology, the first of its kind small-size, low-cost ASIC-based hydrogen measuring sensor that delivers high accuracy, operates in high temperature and requires zero maintenance or calibration.

The first use case for the sensor is real-time, online monitoring of hydrogen levels in distribution transformers.

The new Gen 5 System will cost up to 80% less and is three times smaller than existing hydrogen monitoring systems. ABB and other transformer industry leaders have tested prototypes of the system, which is now in retail production.

The funds will also be used to build a proprietary automated sensor manufacturing (ASM) capability that will expand manufacturing capacity of H2scan products at the company’s production facility in Valencia, Spain.

The new automated calibration system will reduce the time needed for sensor calibration to less than a third of what is required today, reducing product delivery times and increasing efficiency. Burlington, Massachusetts-based Altran is acting as programme lead for the system.

“Our products contribute to either the safety or efficiency of utility power transformers, refineries and petrochemical facilities,” commented Dennis Reid, president, CEO and founder of H2scan. “Already, H2scan offers the greatest specification on the market along with environmental conditioning to adapt our monitoring solution to a wider range of applications.

“This solution just improves with our Gen 5 technology, which is smaller and less costly, and has opened up new markets such as distribution transformer monitoring. This funding, besides the development of the ASM, will help us grow our market share, and add new products using the Gen 5 platform. Just as importantly, I’m looking forward to the industry expertise that Energy Growth Momentum and El Dorado will bring to the company.”

John Wilson, partner at Energy Growth Momentum, added: “H2scan is perfectly aligned with what we look for in an investment as the company improves the performance of energy assets and can benefit from our operational expertise as it brings its new technology to market. I look forward to working with management in realising the significant opportunity in real-time and remote hydrogen monitoring.”

“Given our electrical generation businesses, we can immediately see the value of the Gen 5 technology and what it brings to the entire H2scan product line,” said John Finn, managing director at El Dorado Investment Company. “The company’s technology solves some very critical problems for utilities and this market need played a significant role in our decision to invest.”