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Safety measures for hydrogen generation based on sensor signal algorithms
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1  Universidad de Extremadura
Academic Editor: Francisco Falcone


In the last decade, the use of electrolyzers in various sectors has facilitated the generation of hydrogen for multiple applications, such as alternative fuel source for vehicles, generation of green hydrogen through renewable energies, or energy storage through metal hydride tanks, among others. Regardless of their application, electrolyzers are characterised by complex operation and dependence on various operating parameters, which means that their implementation in a real system is not immediate. This paper presents sensor-based algorithms aimed at ensuring safe and stable operation of a Proton Exchange Membrane Electrolyzer (PEMEL) framed within a smart microgrid powered by renewable energy. Algorithms developed to consider factors such as operating temperature and pressure, availability of feed water or the presence of water in the phase separator are presented. The goal of these algorithms is to maintain the operation of the PEMEL within nominal ranges in order to avoid degradation and/or malfunction of the materials and equipment involved in the system. The algorithms are programmed in a programmable logic controller that is responsible for managing the complete operating cycle of the PEMEL. The sensors and actuators are described together with their relevance in the operation of the PEMEL. Finally, experimental results of their implementation and real-time operation are provided.

Keywords: Hydrogen; Automation; Electrolyzer; Proton Exchange Membrane; Safe operation