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Hydrogen Liquefaction: Challenges and Solutions with Simcenter Flomaster

Hydrogen Liquefaction: Challenges and Solutions with Simcenter Flomaster

Imagine a perfect operation where chemicals flow seamlessly, driving production and progress. But unfortunately, the reality is that chemical spills are a constant threat, wreaking economic and environmental havoc.

Hydrogen, for example, has a high production cost and is difficult to store and transport. It faces the complex challenge of liquefying hydrogen, where each stage of the process must not only be efficient but, above all, safe.

In the face of global energy shortages, hydrogen is seen as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. Liquefying hydrogen helps reduce its transportation and storage costs, increases safety and extends the life of fuel cells.

A hydrogen liquefaction plant involves transmitting signals over long distances, for example 150 meters or more. Some devices are also installed in explosion-proof areas. In the complex corridors of processing plants, a simple pipe rupture can trigger a disaster.

In this context, engineers have the mission of: anticipating and correcting processes. To this end, Simcenter Flomaster  is an advanced and essential tool for reproducing, understanding and optimizing processes in chemical plants.

Hydrogen liquefaction scheme in Simcenter Flomaster

In a detailed analysis, the impact of product spills after the heat exchanger line is assessed, observing critical variables such as pressure. It is found that spills can cause problems throughout the entire process, from the beginning of the production line, significantly affecting system pressure.

Pressure analysis on Simcenter Flomaster

To mitigate these risks, it is vital to implement safety valves at strategic points. Through simulations, with Simcenter Flomaster, the most effective strategic locations within the plant for such implementation are determined, considering where the variables will have the most significant influence and where the problems will most intensely affect the process, as demonstrated in the simulations developed by CAEXPERTS.

Safety valve on Simcenter Flomaster

Implementation of Safety Valve with PID control in the process line

Furthermore, implementing controllers that influence valve opening in the automation system is essential to minimize losses caused by spills. Simcenter Flomaster offers a wide range of controllers to simulate and predict the behavior of the control system, as it allows the evaluation of the process line configuration, with or without control. In this way, it is possible to pre-analyze cost losses in both scenarios.

Volume x time graph
Volume x time graph

For example, for the hydrogen liquefaction process, the impact of the line with and without process control is analyzed. The results show that without control, there is a loss of 4m³, while with control, the loss is reduced to just 1.1m³. In other words, Simcenter Flomaster enabled a 72.5% reduction  in the volume of lost hydrogen!

With Simcenter Flomaster, we not only simulate, but also control the implementation of safety solutions in real time. By enabling connection to real plant sensors and optimizations via Excel integration, it keeps the engineering team one step ahead in detecting and mitigating problems before they even occur.

Factory aerial image


Join us on this journey of innovation, where every modification, every simulation takes us closer to a safer, more efficient and more sustainable process. Schedule a meeting with CAEXPERTS to find out how Simcenter Flomaster can transform the safety and efficiency of your hydrogen liquefaction processes.

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