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Continuous gas analyzer systems for hydrogen monitoring

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Conventional power-generation plants such as coal-powered and hydroelectric facilities generate exceptional levels of heat that must be continuously removed from the system.

Insufficient rejection of process heat can reduce the efficiency of electricity-production and increase the risk of mechanical failure. Exponentially increasing energy demands worldwide and largely improved industrial capacities have compounded these issues and forced engineers to replace conventional air-cooling with more efficient methods. This shift away from air-coolant methods requires advanced process gas analyzer systems equipped with thermal conductivity continuous gas analyzers.

Outlining Hydrogen Cooling

Hydrogen is one of the most common process gasses used to cool generators by providing a low-drag environment for lower windage losses and higher levels of efficiency. Fossil-fuel, hydroelectric, and nuclear fusion turbo-generators cooled using air-atmospheres display reduced energy efficiency due to increased power requirements to compensate for gas friction. The vastly reduced density and enhanced thermal conductivity of hydrogen in comparison to air provides proportional improvements to power limit requirements and mechanical efficiency. The drawback of this is the increased susceptibility of hydrogen to ignition when mixed with air, which increases the risk of catastrophic device failure.

To reduce the risk of forming dangerous gaseous compounds within the turbo-generator, a neutral intermediate gas such as carbon dioxide is introduced to displace air molecules through exhaustive outlets. Lighter hydrogen can then be introduced into the top of the generator, and heavier carbon dioxide can be exhausted through the bottom of the turbo-generator. Desirable purity levels vary depending on facility requirements and hydrogen may be continuously introduced into the chamber to alter the purity and pressure levels of the coolant atmosphere.

This requires continuous monitoring of the gaseous content of the turbo-generator atmosphere at multiple phases during operation. Integrated systems equipped with continuous gas analyzers are routinely used to monitor the gaseous composition of a turbo-generator atmosphere to reduce windage losses, improve generator efficiency, and provide safe conditions for high-throughput operation.

Continuous Gas Analyzer Systems for Atmospheric Monitoring

Among the most advanced analytical systems for hydrogen coolant monitoring is the EL3060 continuous gas analyzer equipped with a thermal conductivity analyzer. The sensing module is encased in a distinct flameproof control unit and is suitable for Zone 1 Category 2G hazardous application.

Hydrogen in air is measured as a factor of thermal conductivity. The Caldos27 is capable of continuously assessing the concentration of process hydrogen in a turbo-generator through all three phases of gas usage. During the filling process, for example, the Caldos27 can measure the volume of hydrogen in carbon dioxide with a lowest possible measuring range of 0 – 1%. Users can easily change between measuring components between process phases to monitor variable gas interactions and improve plant safety and efficiency.

The AO2000 Advanced Optima continuous gas analyzer is also suited to general purpose hydrogen monitoring. This advanced system can be integrated with an extensive selection of additional measurement technologies, including advanced photometric methods and paramagnetic oxygen analyzers.

Continuous Gas Analyzers from ABB

ABB is a world-leader in measurement instrumentation for severe industrial environments. Our continuous gas analyzers are engineered to provide ultra-precise measurements for monitoring the content of process gas in-situ.

This equipment can be integrated with additional instrumentation for fully-rounded gas and thermal conductivity measurements in critical application processes. Find out more about our continuous gas analyzers for in-situ absorption spectroscopy. Or, if you would like any more information about our full range of continuous gas analyzers, please do not hesitate to contact us using the links below. 


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