Hydrogen Pressure Sensing Solutions

Hydrogen applications are increasing due to the rapid development of Fuel cell technologies and the need for increased generation of this valuable energy source. This overview is designed as a guide to understanding Pressure sensors and their applications for use with this media. The main challenges are approvals, media compatibility and cost.

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Introduction

Hydrogen applications are increasing due to the rapid development of Fuel cell technologies and the need for increased generation of this valuable energy source. This overview is designed as a guide to understanding Pressure sensors and their applications for use with this media. The main challenges are approvals, media compatibility and cost.

Approvals

Directives (EC) 79/2009 which specified components for gaseous Hydrogen and (EU) 406/2010 were repealed in July 2022 and as such no longer apply. Most sensor manufacturers, however, will still use these regulations as a basis for design and manufacture in the absence of current legislation. Whilst these apply to Hydrogen powered vehicles, the other consideration is equipment used in the generation, cleaning, drying and storage of Hydrogen which may dictate the use of ATEX certified product.

Media Compatibility

Two fundamental challenges are hydrogen permeation and embrittlement. Hydrogen ion permeation can occur through thin metal isolation diaphragms at elevated pressures, which is a major consideration when measuring low pressure Hydrogen. Our experience tells us that using a 316L stainless steel diaphragm when measuring Hydrogen below 50 PSI (3.5 Bar) will not be prone to permeation. Pressures above this level require alternative materials, thicker diaphragms or appropriate coatings such as Gold plating to prevent the permeation. Hydrogen Embrittlement (HE), also known as hydrogen-assisted cracking or hydrogen induced cracking (HIC) reduced a metals ductility due to hydrogen absorption. This is one of the reasons why we suggest on thin metal structures, only low pressures can be applied. For higher pressures, either an appropriate coating should be used, or thicker diaphragms.

Cost

A sensing element is a lower cost than a fully packaged Pressure Transmitter and used in volume applications where size, cost and embedded design is important. Custom designs are becoming increasingly commonplace due to the need for new and innovative compact designs in many differing applications.


Pressure Sensing Elements

Pressure sensing elements are sometimes referred to as oil filled capsules, piezoresistive pressure capsules or pressure transducer capsules. The sensing element consists of a convolute diaphragm and a small amount of oil to transfer the pressure applied on the diaphragm to the piezo resistive sensing element. Due to their compact size, the pressure sensing elements can be embedded into meters or measuring instruments, recommended maximum 3.5 Bar for Hydrogen application using the 316L material versions. There are several output options including mV, amplified or digital I2C or SPI. The digital output pressure sensing elements can have a dual output of temperature and pressure and low power options are available for battery powered applications. Custom solutions can be provided.

LOW PRESSURE UP TO 50 PSI (3.5 BAR) - DIGITAL OUTPUT

MPM288Di

  • Range -1 to 35 bar
  • Digital 24 Bit
  • Accuracy 0.25%FS
  • 19mm diameter

MPM3801

  • Range 0 to 1000 bar
  • Digital 14 Bit
  • Accuracy 0.25%FS
  • 19mm diameter

MS-13 Standard

  • Range 0 to 500 psi
  • Digital 14 Bit
  • Accuracy 0.25%FS
  • 16mm diameter
 

LOW PRESSURE UP TO 50 PSI (3.5 BAR) - ANALOGUE OUTPUT

MPM281

  • Range -1 to 1000 bar
  • Accuracy 0.25% FS
  • Size 19mm diameter

MPM281PRO

  • Range 0 to 35 bar
  • Accuracy 0.1%FS
  • 19mm diameter

HIGH PRESSURE 50 PSI - 2900 PSI (3.5 BAR - 200 BAR) - ANALOGUE OUTPUT

MPM280AU

  • Range 0 to 200 bar
  • Accuracy 0.25% FS
  • Size 19mm diameter

Pressure Transmitters

Extensive range of Pressure Transmitter solutions for Hydrogen applications including Atex approvals. Pressure ranges from a low as 0-100 mBar to 1000 Bar G, Abs or Compound with many options including outputs, materials of construction, electrical connection. Speciality options include flush mount, alternative fluid fill, heat sink options. Product can be fully customised.

HAZARDOUS AREA (ATEX)

MPM489

  • Range 0-100 mbar to 0-200 bar
  • Output 4-20mA or voltage
  • Accuracy ±0.25% to ±1% FS
  • ATEX, certified Ex

Pressure above 3.5 Bar can be achieved using the gold plate option code.

STANDARD RANGE

MPM480GH

  • Range 0-250 mbar to 70 bar
  • Output 4-20mA or voltage
  • Accuracy ±0.25% FS
  • Overpressure ≤ 1.5 times FS

MPM4511H

  • Range 0-16 to 1000 bar g
  • Output 4-20mA or voltage
  • Accuracy 0.5% FS
  • Overpressure x5, no O’rings inside

Additional Products

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

Special designs are available to suit the application need including size reduction, special electrical connections, outputs protocols, accuracy and materials of construction. Volume application can be provide on schedule and on budget.

custom

MPM281VC

  • Custom
  • Hydrogen pressure
  • Gold plated with special connector and vent tube

TEST & MEASUREMENT

PHA220

One piece design for high pressure hydrogen high vibration/shock to RTCADO 160

ATM 1ST

  • Range 0-50 mbar to 0-600 bar g, abs, sg
  • Output 4-20mA or voltage
  • Accuracy 0.05 - 0.25% FS

MIL/AERO CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

Specialist solutions for Military and Aerospace applications using thin film technology which delivers compact size, extreme stability over temperature and time. Custom designs are readily available.

customcustom

Contact our sales engineers to talk more about your application needs here.

To download this as a PDF please download here.

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