Maintenance & Utilization

14 september 2020

Currently hydrogen is compressed with mechanical compressors. These are good for industrial sites, but less so for petrol stations along roads. They are bulky, make more noise and maintenance would be needed.

What do we mean by maintenance?

Maintenance costs are the costs necessary to keep the compressor running optimally over a longer period of time. Conventional compressors are not able to meet targets for hydrogen refuelling stations or other hydrogen compression applications due to high capital costs, poor reliability resulting in high maintenance costs. Reliability is highly affected by fatigue of the moving and sealing parts. This is aggravated by the frequent cycling such as at fuelling stations. To guarantee reliability parallel mechanical compressors would be needed increasing the CAPEX considerably.

The HyET’s Electrochemical Hydrogen Compressor (EHC) does not have any moving parts, this results in lower maintenance costs and a high uptime. EHC’s are managed utilizing complex control and monitoring software. To minimize downtime and optimize efficiency, all EHC’s operate on a preventative Maintenance Methodology. Software monitors all critical component condition and health and notifies the operator incase maintenance would be needed

Maintenance for HyET HCS-100 stack

Taking fuel cell and PEM electrolyze stacks as reference point, lifetime of the MEAs is estimated within a similar range. This would require less maintenance interventions compared with mechanical compressor systems, hence the uptime of HCS-100 EHC is estimated as 99%. With the same level of MEA lifetime and 99% uptime, the lifetime of one set of MEAs for the stack would be 5 years. This implies 1 MEA replacement in 10 years of lifetime of the system.

What do we mean by utilization?

Utilization is the time that the compressor is working in percentages. HyET Hydrogen provides a 99% utilization. The compressor will be in operation due to build-in redundancy.
We continue operation and hydrogen is still compressed so a complete shutdown is not required.

The EHC consists of multiple modular stacks, combined they form the compression system. Because each EHC can be switched on and off independently the system does not have one central point of failure.

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