The digital road to the green hydrogen sector
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The digital road to the green hydrogen sector

The digital road to the green hydrogen sector

Data-led development can help build a responsive and resilient clean hydrogen energy sector

Green hydrogen sector

The world has shown its determination to slash greenhouse gas emissions and bring global warming levels down to 1.5°c on the road to tackling climate change. Achieving our ambitions will be the task ahead of us in 2022 and beyond, and the global community will need to use every available tool in its arsenal to do so. Technologies that utilise hydrogen to create energy show great promise. Deployed effectively, hydrogen gas can power households and factories, and serve as a fuel for cars, ships and planes. In the process, it could play a vital role in reducing the use of fossil fuels and minimising carbon emissions across several industries facing strict climate targets. There are now 359 hydrogen fuel projects in development worldwide, with a total investment pipeline worth $500bn. That includes $150bn in mature investments.

Let’s look at four technological advancements making the most of the hydrogen transformation:

Promote shorter engineering and design cycles
Short but effective design cycles are key to success. In greenfield projects and brownfield renewable energy plants alike, digital process simulation can bring agility to the entire lifecycle of design, prototyping, training, and operations to accelerate the engineering cycle. Integrating design and build processes onto a single platform will allow businesses to function with global business footprints and remote working models so engineers anywhere can explore all dimensions of a potential design and quantify its impact on sustainability, feasibility, and profitability.

Unify data to improve decisions and optimise collaboration
In the modern industrial organisation, every aspect of the production process is monitored and analysed with sensors that can generate hundreds of thousands of data points. When collated across siloed departments and geographies, this information improves edge-to-enterprise visibility, while promoting integration and collaboration across functional departments to enhance daily activities and processes. Along the way, operational inefficiencies are exposed, empowering critical decisions and adjustments that directly impact the bottom line.

Stay responsive with optimised value chains
Using cloud and digital twin technologies, industrial data can be harnessed to improve responsiveness across the value chain. On the one hand, by closely monitoring operations in real time, optimisation techniques can sharpen plant performance and profits, while enabling troubleshooting of production processes and rapid analysis using rigorous models. At the same time, advanced supply chain oversight enables predictive responses to fluctuations in demand and available resources.

Expand plant reliability through AI-infused predictive analytics
Reducing downtime is a constant challenge for industrial organisations and it is not different for hydrogen production plants. Early warning notifications and diagnoses of equipment performance are essential to ensure that plants can operate to capacity when required, preventing mechanical or process failures. AI goes a long way to helping asset-intensive organisations reduce equipment downtime and increase reliability – while reducing operations and maintenance costs.

The lack of historical data here could pose initial challenges to reducing downtime. But by applying lessons from related industries and embedding process simulation with predictive analytics from the start, staff can foresee equipment failure from the outset. Unlocking the enormous potential of green hydrogen will help us get to our climate goals faster. In order to do so within a limited time window, it is vital that organisations arm themselves with the most advanced tools available.

Harpreet Gulati is the senior vice president – Planning, Simulation and Optimisation Business at Aveva

Read: Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, ENGIE sign agreement with Fertiglobe to develop green hydrogen

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