Next steps towards an autonomous large-scale hydrogen plant

Next steps towards an autonomous large-scale hydrogen plant


Part of the HyScaling project is to develop an operating strategy for large-scale green hydrogen alkaline water electrolyzer plants. Given a greenfield situation and high labor costs for 24/7 chemical plants, along with a foreseeable shortage of operators and technologists, moving towards an autonomous plant is a logical step.

A small team of experts have studied the possibility of autonomous hydrogen plants. The result is a vision document giving the framework for a completely new strategy to operate electrolyzers at an industrial scale, providing the operators with an approach which covers their needs.

Autonomous operations for a hydrogen plant are challenging but possible. Most important is to cover the three aspects of people, knowledge and technology:

  • People:
    o Create a cultural fit and a ‘winning team’
    o Introduce management systems that fit with challenges, including the ‘CRTA’ loop
  • Technology:
    o Use state-based control for automation
    o Invest in fundamentals and implementation of artificial intelligence
    o Installation of alarm management 4.0
    o Make use of robots
  • Knowledge:
    o Introduction of Predictive Safety
    o Implement a maintenance and reliability strategy in line with business needs
    o One of the biggest challenges will be collecting historical data for AI training

The research for this vision was carried out by the Perfact Group.

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