Equipment Considerations for Hydrogen Applications

Due to the inherent dangers of working with pressurized hydrogen, it is important to utilize high-pressure equipment that is reliable even in hazardous conditions. An understanding of the specific considerations for these types of applications helps ensure workplace safety and compliance with industry standards.

 

Importance of Using the Right High-Pressure Equipment

When compared to other types of fuel, hydrogen has a very wide flammability range. It is therefore vital that high-pressure equipment used in hydrogen applications does not have any weak points, as hydrogen may press against these points to create cracks or leakage. If the equipment cannot safely contain hydrogen, there are several hazards to be cognizant of.

When pressurized hydrogen causes a crack in the piping system, it may lead to explosions. This is particularly dangerous because hydrogen requires such low amounts of energy to ignite. Hydrogen flames are difficult to see in daylight and do not produce smoke, making them challenging to identify without getting hazardously close.

In addition to the risks surrounding hydrogen explosions and flames, other hazards to note include:

  • Hydrogen embrittlement. When hydrogen causes a material to lose ductility and become brittle.
  • Hydrogen permeation. A phenomenon wherein hydrogen ions penetrate thin diaphragms, leading to inaccurate measurements.
  • Hydrogen asphyxiation. A significant risk when hydrogen accumulates during a leak.

 

Factors to Consider When Selecting High-Pressure Equipment

When selecting the appropriate high-pressure valves, fittings, and tubing, there are many factors to consider:

 

High Pressure Valves

High pressure hydrogen valves must meet strict industry standards to ensure high performance even in harsh environments. Factors to consider when choosing a hydrogen gas valve include:

  • Temperature range. The valve must be able to operate well at a wide range of temperatures.
  • Regulating stem design. A regulating stem controls the flow of gas.
  • Seat material. Metal seats create a tighter shut-off, resulting in improved equipment longevity.
  • Valve body patterns. There is a range of patterns available depending on the needs of the application.
  • Sizes and ratings. Choosing the appropriate size ensures the valve will perform well under the required pressure.

 

High Pressure Fittings

Factors to consider when choosing high pressure fittings include:

  • Types of fittings. There are a range of fitting types to choose from, including adapters, couplings, and elbows.
  • Sizes and ratings. Depending on the size, fittings may have a pressure rating of standard, medium, high, or ultra high.
  • Quality control and industry standards. High pressure fittings should meet quality control standards such as those set by ASME.

 

High Pressure Tubing

When choosing high pressure tubing, it is important to consider both the diameter size and the pressure ratings. Tubing with a smaller diameter will generally withstand higher pressures than tubing with a larger diameter.

When paired with the proper equipment, hydrogen has a vast array of applications, including:

  • Fuel cells
  • Power plant generator cooling
  • Chemical
  • Petroleum refining
  • Oil and gas
  • Hydrogenation of unsaturated fatty acids in vegetable oils
  • Hydrogen fueling stations
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Aerospace applications
  • Welding, annealing, and heat-treating metals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Fertilizer and ammonia production
  • Waterjet
  • High pressure food processing
  • Semiconductor manufacturing
  • Hydraulic power units

 

Hydrogen Applications Guide

Because hydrogen is highly combustible, it is critical to choose the best valves, fittings, tubing and gas boosters for safe operation. Check out our latest resource, Products for Hydrogen Applications from Maximator GmbH & Maxpro Technologies, for an in-depth look at high-pressure valves, fittings, and filters that are made to support the needs of hydrogen applications.

MAXPRO Solutions

For over two decades, MAXPRO has been providing industry-leading hydrogen solutions for customers across a range of industries. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified, with a strong commitment to quality. Our equipment meets the standards of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and European Pressure Equipment Directive 97/23/EC, and is TUV certified and CE Mark compliant.

High-Pressure Equipment from MAXPRO

Choosing appropriate equipment is vital when working with pressurized hydrogen. Our experienced team will work with you to determine the options that best suit the needs of your project. Find more information in our brochure, or request your quote today to begin working with us on your next project.