In the new article, Force sensing helps hydrogen electrolyzers efficiently harness energy, Randy White, OEM Business Development Manager at Interface details how products made the the leader in force measurement are used for increasing operational efficiencies in renewable energy production.
Published in Design News in November 2022, the article focuses on using advanced sensor technologies to measure critical infrastructure that is used for hydrogen production and storage. As outlined in the article, Interface is a supplier of choice for innovative solutions used in the energy industry. Randy details how Interface LWHP14 Precision Load Washer Load Cells are used to monitor tie rods and submit results via a WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Module for accurately reporting critical measurements in real-time.
The use of hydrogen as a clean and reliable renewable energy source has been a carrot on a stick for green energy innovators for many, many years. Scientists and technologists have understood the positive impact of hydrogen for a long time, and even harnessed it at times, but the ability to reliably store and harness this energy at a reasonable cost has previously eluded them. However, hydrogen is back in full force as storage and battery technology has advanced, giving new life to the promise of hydrogen.
Hydrogen is critical to the future of green energy because it is an optimal solution to storing renewable energy from other sources such as wind and water. In certain areas, like California, we’re actually producing too much energy from renewable sources, but have no place to store. This is leading to a tremendous amount of resource loss. Therefore, hydrogen innovation has come back to become a storage solution to curtail waste and hold enough energy to power more infrastructure with green energy.
Interface engineers and application experts work to design force measurement solutions that are customized for unique applications. Our solutions are available as stand-alone and at scale to include in manufactured parts, components, machines and products. Contact us to learn more.
Green energy has been part of the energy sector for decades. The demands to rapidly commercialize types of green energy at scale requires significant R&D, testing and production to increase global supply. As the world looks to address climate change, green energy takes center stage. Investment into infrastructure and tools for alternative energy production is on the rise. This impacts all types of innovations across various industries, as seen in electric vehicles and solar-powered consumer products.
As corporations and consumers are taking a closer look at how they can reduce their carbon footprint, green energy innovation is an essential element. Energy is complex, with market players that span from scientific researchers to production engineers. With advanced sensor-based technologies in demand to manage different segments of the energy cycle, testing equipment used to design and validate new products within the energy industry grows. Among those testing technologies, force measurement devices and instrumentation offered by Interface play a key role. Interface is a supplier of choice for the energy industry, see some of the solutions we provide in our Energy Overview.
Interface has developed both off-the-shelf products along with custom solutions and OEM designs for a wide variety of clean energy innovations. Our load cells, torque transducers and more can be found within a wide variety of testing and monitoring systems used in production of wind, water, solar, and hydrogen energy. The accuracy of measurement is critical for capture and storage systems. We also understand the unique requirements for these industries and can collaborate directly with customers to create custom solutions for the newest technologies.
To outline the challenges found in this industry, as well as the various force measurement solutions available from Interface. In Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy, we showcase how our products are used in the green energy markets. In the case study, you will find a variety of application notes showing how Interface solutions have been used to enable critical green energy applications for wind, hydrogen, solar and more.
Here is a quick preview of what you learn as we discuss the solutions, challenges, and results of using Interface products for green energy innovation.
Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy Case Study
Interface provides the industry’s most accurate and reliable force sensors, and we have been working with organizations in the energy industry, both traditional and alternative. We understand the unique requirements of green energy and have developed a widening line of products uniquely suited for these innovations.
We have recently worked with multiple types of components for electric vehicles including batteries, engines and more, as well as with alternative energy sources like wind, solar, and hydrogen power. Interface brings the accuracy and reliability, in addition to having an expert engineering team that can quickly develop customized solutions.
Interface solutions are cost effective and can often end up saving critical dollars overall. Take for example a recent case study we developed in which we outlined our role in harnessing hydrogen power using an electrolyzer. In this case, force sensors were used to significantly reduce downtown by creating an automated monitoring system that replaced regularly scheduled maintenance that was often unneeded but caused downtimes. And with that process came significant losses in energy and money. Interface helped to create an autonomous monitoring system that reduced downtime and estimated the customer would break even on their investment on the force monitoring system in one year.
Additional Green Energy Applications Using Interface Products
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/green-energy-innovation.jpg800800Jamie Glass/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgJamie Glass2022-12-08 07:58:062022-12-08 07:58:06Interface and Green Energy Innovation
Interface is a core test and measurement solutions partner to some of the largest energy production and equipment manufacturers in the world. We continue to provide sensor devices and instrumentation, including custom designed OEM solutions, for a range of energy applications used above ground, below ground and at sea.
As expansion of green and clean energy innovation rapidly grows, Interface finds our precision force and torque measurement products in high demand to use in producing new energy from wind, solar, hydrogen, geothermal, biomass and biofuels. If it is designed to create sustainable power, chances are Interface products play a part in the test, management, and monitoring of equipment used for renewable energy production.
The test and measurement sensors and instrumentation devices our energy sector customers use must be durable, high quality, rugged and provide the most accurate results possible even in harsh environments. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep losses from lack of products, and potential exposure to safety hazards.
A renewable sources application that we are incredibly excited about for the ability to put our innovation to work and make an impact in the mass production, is in the production of hydrogen energy. Hydrogen fuel cells have been around for a long time; however, recent advancements in how we harness the power of hydrogen have led to a renaissance in its use. Interface has had the opportunity to provide robust and accurate products used to evaluate some of the infrastructure being built to harness this renewable power source.
Electrolyzer and Fuel Cell Tie Rod Monitoring for Hydrogen Production
Converting to renewable energy is one of the primary tools to address growing energy consumption, as well as addressing climate change. Storage of energy is critical to make renewables work, and hydrogen, or its derivatives are a promising way to store power. Electrolyzers convert power to hydrogen, and fuel cells convert the hydrogen back to electricity. They are both made by stacking multiple anode and cathode plates and a membrane between each, and tie-rods hold them in place.
A real-time fuel cell monitoring system needs to measure the tension of the tie rods to avoid costly preventive and unplanned maintenance shutdowns. Interface suggested installing LWHP Precision Load Washer Load Cells connected to WTS-AM-1E Wireless Strain Bridge Transmitter Modules, under the bolts of the tightened tie rods. The WTS-AM-1E’s were encased in a junction box enclosure. The LWHP’s measured the tension between the plates from the tie rods, and the real-time results were transmitted wirelessly from the WTS-AM-1E’s to the WTS-BS-6 Wireless Telemetry Dongle Base Station when connected to the customer’s computer. Interface’s load cell system successfully monitors the tie-rods tension in real time, thus preventing unnecessary costly preventive maintenance and unplanned shutdowns of the electrolyzer. This hydrogen fuel cell electrolyzer application note shows Interface base products. The actual application used customized column load cells and instrumentation. Contact Interface team for a customized solution designed to your exact specifications.
Renewable Energy Use Cases
Our moment and temperature compensated LowProfile load cells use proprietary alloy strain gages to provide the most accurate readings possible in the harshest environments, such as wind turbines. Interface has a special line of intrinsically safe solutions for harsh environments.
Our LowProfile load cells with loop-powered intrinsically safe amplified output are designed for use in hazardous locations. These load cells are specifically designed from Interface models by adding high resistance strain gages for low-current loop power and shielded internal amplifier for extra low emissions and minimal EMI susceptibility.
Interface’s S-Type Load Cell series provides a suitable force measurement sensor for applications in heavy industries where explosive dust and environment conditions. Our miniature load cells are found to measure alternate energy testing, such as hydropower equipment and solar testing. Tune in to Interface’s Superior S-Type Load Cells webina r o learn more about these special sensors.
Windmill Energy Blade Measuring
A customer wanted to improve the performance of a windmill by adjusting the blade pitch and measuring the torque generated as power ramps. Interface offered its T2 Ultra Precision Shaft Style Rotary Torque Transducer, which is coupled between windmill blade propeller and electric generator. Test torque data is logged into the customer’s data acquisition system (DAQ). Using this solution, the customer was able to use torque data to determine the optimal blade pitch for the windmill. The windmill will now generate more power and with less stress on the bearings. Read about this use case here.
Wave Energy Generator
A scientist sought to create electricity by using the energy that is generated by ocean waves and Interface was able to help provide an important sensor for the generator. As electricity is generated by ocean waves, an Interface load cell can measure tether line tension using a submersible 3200 Hermetically Sealed LowProfile® Precision Stainless Load Cell. The mooring line was attached to the load cell base and the platform generator was connected to the load cell hub. This measured the forces that were generated by the ocean waves and data was later analyzed by the customer’s data acquisition system (DAQ). The scientist was able to use force data to adjust the tether line. Also, if tether line breaks free, the scientist is alerted immediately to reattach the tether line. Read more here.
Interface is a resolute partner to the energy sector. The opportunity to help enable renewable energy solutions is something that Interface has a committed interest. And these innovators turn to us because of our proven capabilities in the energy industry, as well as our products ability to deliver industry leading accuracy and reliability. To learn more about our work in energy, please visit go to https://www.interfaceforce.com/solutions/energy/.
Powering the world is no simple task, especially as research and innovation into alternative energy sources are at an all time high. Across the energy supply chain there are soaring demands from engineers, scientists, equipment makers and suppliers to provide quality and accurate market solutions.
The energy market is constantly evolving to power our infrastructure as well as finding new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Interface is a key differentiator when it comes to test and measurement. We play an important role in the development and deployment of effective energy market solutions as our sensor technologies are used to test and monitor energy equipment, sources and methods for extraction and containment. As well, Interface is center in supplying devices used in the development of fueling alternatives and introducing new energy solutions.
To explain our role in the energy market and how are products can be used by engineers in these industries, Interface Energy Solutions Overview details the types of products and examples of applications used by industry market leaders and innovators.
Interface force measurement solutions are used in all types of energy related applications to produce oil, gas, wind, coal, solar, hydrogen, nuclear, geothermal and emerging energy sources around the world. We are recognized as a provider of choice for our reliability and accuracy in designing, engineering, testing, innovating, and manufacturing precision sensor-based solutions for the energy industry.
One of the industries where Interface’s experience and knowledge of force measurement is vertically integrated into production and manufacturing processes is in the energy industry. The conditions energy professionals work in can be harsh. They are often in hazardous environments extracting oil and natural gas, wind, or coal to fuel our world’s dependencies for power. The equipment our energy sector customers use must be rugged and provide the most accurate results possible. If the equipment fails, our customers risk steep losses and exposure to safety hazards.
Based on market requirements, we recently introduced the new Interface Pressure Compensated Downhole Load Cell solution specifically designed for the energy sector. The downhole environment poses many challenges for well-drillers, operators, tool-string designers, and other engineers in the oil and gas industry. This innovation eliminates the need for “wet” load cells to monitor forces on their downhole load strings, which don’t hold up for extended use where there are extreme pressures and temperatures in a caustic environment. Interface created a dry load cell with an innovative protective design that reduces the number of sensors required in any downhole load string, extending the life of the load cell by a decade or more.
The types of products the energy market demands from Interface for these applications include standard LowProfile load cells, various torque transducers, multi-axis sensors and all types of instrumentation. We supply engineered to order and custom products for various energy testing environments and OEM solutions. The range of options include uniquely designed torque transducers, load washers, tension and compression load cells, load pins, wireless gear and more.
ENERGY APPLICATIONS USING INTERFACE PRODUCTS
Solar panel design and testing
Wireless monitoring devices
Submersible and hazardous environment products
Hydrogen electrolyzer devices
Storing and transporting crude oil and natural gas
Windmill testing and management
Wireline spool tension control
Oil and gas equipment
Hydro power generation
Hook load tension
Torque tong monitoring
Tool recovery and fishing
Downhole OEM parts
Calibration and equipment maintenance
Interface force measurement solutions are used in components, machines and field equipment for energy R&D and production. From prototyping to monitoring equipment, our durable load cells and torque transducers assist suppliers of parts along with energy industry leaders and innovators to fuel the world. You can find more energy applications here.
https://www.interfaceforce.com/wp-content/uploads/energy.jpg800800Jamie Glass/wp-content/uploads/Interface_White_Red.svgJamie Glass2022-06-28 08:12:562022-12-21 15:35:53Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions
There are hundreds of thousands of engineers and manufacturers that spend their days working in hazardous environments. Whether its operating inside of facilities with large machines with intricate moving parts, working hundreds of feet in the air repairing a bridge, or deep within a mine shaft, these professionals put themselves in danger every day by the nature of their work. As engineers and manufacturers, many of us are also tasked to solve for safety challenges and keep these professionals protected in any environment.
At Interface, one of the ways we contribute to industrial safety is with the development of our Interface Ex Rated Load Cells, also known as Interface Intrinsically Safe Products. These specialized load cells and force measurement solutions are designed and manufactured so that the materials and electronic components are safe for use in hazardous gas and dust environments when installed per applicable installation instructions. These components play an integral role in the safety of the men and women working in dangerous environments in particular industries like oil and gas, mining, aerospace, automotive and more.
These hazardous environments are categorized by the amount of explosive risk that is present in the environment. These levels include:
Zone Zero – explosive presence is always there
Zone One – explosive presence is close and is sometimes there
Zone Two – explosive presence is nearby, but is rarely present other than in some type of leak or other catastrophes
In order for force measurement products to operate safely in these environments, companies must design the devices in accordance with a regulatory body. These products must also be inspected for approval and then it is marked with the certification code that displays the zone and temperatures it’s safe to operate in. In addition, the manufacturing process needs to be highly controlled. Manufacturers must keep documentation for each product, which includes how the product was made and where it went. And they are required to keep that documentation for 10 years in case of a product recall.
There are a number of different regulatory bodies focused on product safety throughout the world, and each has different specifications for explosiveness that need to be met based on the area in which the product is sold. Locations in which Interface can sell its Ex Rated products include countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Brazil in South America.
The regulatory bodies that develop the specifications and approve products include:
International Electrotechnical Commission Explosive Atmospheres (IECEx) is given after a manufacturer proves compliance through a quality assessment report (QAR).
ATmospheres EXplosible or ATEX is a European Union(EU) examination certification. In order to receive ATEX certification, the manufacturer must obtain a quality assurance notification (QAN) to sell products in certain EU areas.
Interface develops a host of Ex Rated force measurement products that are certified by both IECEx and ATEX. These products have been used in a wide variety of applications within the energy and automotive industries. Included below are a few examples of the products we sell and the applications using our Ex products
ATEX 3400 Series Load Cells
The 3400 series of load cells are rated for Zone 1 and include the 3416 and 3430 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cells, the 3420 Coil Tubing Intrinsically Safe Load Cell and the 3410 Intrinsically Safe LowProfile® Load Cell. These products are hermetically sealed and have been used in the oil and gas industry to measure the force of coil tubing as it goes down an oil well. The 3400 Series is used in the space industry to help develop hydrogen-powered vehicles because of the threat of explosion with hydrogen power. The 3400 Series Load Cells have also been used in a distillery for a custom whiskey-making application.
ATEX, IECEx, ETL, Inmetro 1923 Series
The 1923 Series Load Cell is used in the oil and gas industry. These load cells include designs rated for both Zone 0 and Zone 2 applications. This load cell measures the force in which the pump jack is operating to avoid allowing the pump to go too fast and interrupt the capillary flow of oil. We also recently developed and released the 1923 Wireless Series load cell. Our 1923 Wireless Series innovation provides the same accurate, real-time data readings with little to no fuss over wires, which can create more hazards for the user.
Our Zone 1 rated SSMH S-Type Load Cell is our only load cell that is certified for dust, so it is most often used in mining operations. This product is a tension and compression load cell that is environmentally sealed at an IP65 rating. It also has a high-temperature rating of up to 290° F for dust environments.
ATEX IECEx Bow Type Crosby™ Cabled Load Shackle
The Interface range of ATEX IECEx load shackles is designed for lifting and weighing in rugged or harsh environments, and also meet the requirements for operation in Zone 1 and 2 hazardous areas. The shackle pins are forged from high tensile stainless steel and are machined to an exacting specification. This range of load shackles is proof loaded to 150% of the normal rated load and is available in a range from 3.25 to 400 MT (7.17K to 882K lbf). The product is internally gaged and the whole instrumented area is sealed to IP67 to protect it in service.
When operating in explosive environments, our customers need to know that their products are safe and reliable. Here at Interface, we stand by the quality of our work and the safety of our Ex Rated products. For more information on Interface’s Intrinsically Safe and Ex Rated products, please visit /product-category/intrinsically-safe/.
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