Swedish-Swiss tech giant ABB has launched an energy management system that reduces the cost of green hydrogen production by 20% by providing a producer with real-time visibility of its energy consumption.  

Green hydrogen produced via electrolysis – the process of using electricity from renewable sources to split water into hydrogen and oxygen – involves high production costs and energy-intensive processes. According to the Green Hydrogen Catapult, a global initiative made up of leading energy companies, to scale up production capacity to the 50 times required, the cost to produce green hydrogen needs to drop by 50% to less than $2 per kilogram by 2026.  

A hydrogen tank terminal in Fujian, China. (Photo by zhihao via Getty Images)

ABB’s Ability OPTIMAX system cuts production costs by serving each aspect of a hydrogen plant’s life cycle, from simulation at design and engineering phases to real-time visualisation and monitoring when in operation. The software measures bi-directional power flows and carbon dioxide emissions, providing contextual data that operators can use to determine the ideal energy consumption levels required to support the plant’s processes and minimise waste. It can also increase the efficiency and safety of each electrolyser module, regulating their speed and ensuring they are only used when required. 

“Scaling up green hydrogen production requires significant capital investment as well as high operating costs,” Sleman Saliba, global product manager of energy management for ABB Process Automation, said in a statement. “Nearly 70% of the total operating costs to run a hydrogen plant comes from the electricity needed to split the water molecule in the electrolysis process. With OPTIMAX, for between 1–3% technology investment, operators can run their industrial processes in the most energy efficient way and gain up to 20% reduction in electricity-based costs.”  

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By GlobalData