ABB develops flowmeter to aid hydrogen fuel cell research

ABB Australia Pty Ltd

Thursday, 25 June, 2020

ABB develops flowmeter to aid hydrogen fuel cell research

As governments worldwide seek new ways to decarbonise transport, ABB says it has developed a product that will help the automotive industry optimise the use of hydrogen to power electric drive trains.

The Sensyflow FMT700-P Compact thermal mass flowmeter is the latest addition to a range already used for measuring engine intake air on test benches. Accurate to 0.8% of reading, across extendable and adjustable measuring ranges, ABB says this latest flowmeter is ideally suited to fine-tuning the efficiency of cells that combine hydrogen and air to produce electrical power, emitting only water in the process.

The P-Compact was developed to test conventional turbochargers and components such as throttle valves, intake fans and air filters, but its additional capability to analyse the performance of hydrogen fuel cells is of great interest to the automotive industry because hydrogen offers one of the most promising ways to eliminate carbon emissions from heavy transport such as trucks and buses.

Gerrit Weppner, Global Product Manager for Thermal Mass Flowmeters at ABB, explains why the new flowmeter is so well suited to such research:

“The P Compact measures the mass of streaming gases directly in the unit kg/h,” explained Gerrit Weppner, Global Product Manager for Thermal Mass Flowmeters at ABB. “This means it is fast and the results are immediately comparable because they do not have to be compensated. The P Compact is also highly accurate over a wide measuring range of 80 to 5000 kg/h for a device of nominal diameter 200 mm.

“In a hydrogen fuel cell test, it will measure the amount of air that enters the fuel cell to combine with hydrogen, and the response time is less than 25 ms, which makes it ideally suited for detecting rapid load changes.”

The P Compact is compatible with other products in ABB’s Sensyflow range, and it is designed for conventional engine research, as well as for analysing hydrogen fuel cell performance. The compact design integrates supply and evaluation functionality, so it is easy to install with one cable.

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