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Building a Clean Energy Future in Hydrogen with Force

Clean energy is a driving force of innovation, technology, and investment in the global economy. Established energy giants and nimble startups are pouring resources into sustainable solutions. Among them, hydrogen shines as a particularly exciting frontier. The global hydrogen generation market is estimated to be $170B and growing, with an estimated 2,000 hydrogen production-related projects globally.

As with any evolving technology, monitoring and testing are necessary to qualify and improve the various systems that validate inventions and advance adoption. Interface has worked with clean energy suppliers and equipment manufacturers for many years. We have gained much experience in understanding the complexities and requirements of testing and monitoring alternative energy sources.

Among the various clean energy harvesting and storage solutions available today, hydrogen is among the most researched and impactful clean energy options. Hydrogen is considered a clean fuel that produces only water when consumed in a fuel cell. Hydrogen can be produced from biomass, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables, including solar and wind. Read: Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

Due to experience as a supplier of force measurement solutions for energy providers and equipment makers, Brian Peters contributed a new article about the dynamics of applying force testing in hydrogen energy to the Winter Edition of Global Hydrogen Review. His article highlights the current state of hydrogen energy and the barriers that force measurement is helping to solve. He details force-testing solutions for novel technologies that transport, monitor, and store hydrogen energy.

The full article can be read on page 19 of the December 2023 edition of Global Hydrogen Review here. We’ve also included a brief preview of the article below.

Feel The Force

By Brian Peters, VP of Global Sales, Interface

Hydrogen, as a clean and reliable renewable energy source, has been a carrot on a stick for green energy innovators for 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 transport, 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 produce too much energy from renewable sources but have nowhere to store it. This is leading to a tremendous amount of resource loss. Therefore, hydrogen innovation investment is on the rise again to solve production, storage, and monitoring application challenges aimed at curtailing waste and holding enough energy to power more infrastructure with green energy.

To start, hydrogen production in its current state is quite expensive as the element is difficult to handle, and the equipment and processes available today are scarce or subpar. Many of the traditional production and storage methods also lead to excessive waste.

One of the key reasons that storage has become such a challenge is due to the unique nature of hydrogen energy. Hydrogen is an incredibly light element in liquid form, which is a popular way of storing it in higher volumes. However, in this form, it can be very volatile and hard to maintain due to temperature constraints, and therefore, storage, metering, and more require extreme precision. While in a compressed form, hydrogen takes up more space and needs to be carefully monitored for pressure-related concerns.

Due to the volatility of hydrogen energy, transportation has also become a barrier to the reliable transfer and use of hydrogen energy. The cost alone of transporting liquid or compressed hydrogen can become immense with the current lack of stable transportation/storage methods and the danger it can pose to the individuals shipping the substance.

The road to reaching a place where hydrogen could become a real solution to meeting the demand for renewable energy has been filled with hundreds of technological advancements. One of the lesser-known but extremely critical solutions to making hydrogen a reality on a large scale is force measurement. Force sensors can be used at every level of hydrogen advancement, from harnessing the power of hydrogen to storing, monitoring, and transporting it – and more use cases for hydrogen applications are being implemented frequently. Read More

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Load Cells for Renewable Energy Production and Testing

Interface Details Hydrogen Electrolyzers Solution in Design News

Interface and Green Energy Innovation

Interface Load Cells Propel New Torsional Force Measurements for Wind Energy Project

Interface Supports Renewable Energy Innovation

Interface Solutions for Growing Green Energy

Demands for Quality Energy Measurement Solutions

Windmill Energy App Note

Wave Energy Converter

Biomass Handling

Top 10 Trends in Test and Measurement

As a leader in force measurement, Interface is privy to the evolving landscape of test and measurement. These top 10 trends also shape our future.  Interface constantly invests in new sensor designs, technology, and tools to support our market-defining, high accuracy, quality products.

Interface offers various standard and custom sensors, instrumentation, technical support, and services for customers across various industries worldwide. The feedback we gather from the market and customers defines our priorities.

Based on the current demands of our products, requests for solution support, and incoming inquiries to our application experts, we compiled some key trends for 2023.

  1. Miniaturization: Demand for smaller, lighter sensors is increasing across industries, from robotics and drones to medical devices and lifting technologies, and continues to be the top trend in T&M. Interface’s miniature load cells enable precise measurements in compact spaces. There is also a growing use of embedding our Mini sensors into OEM products for real-time feedback, like surgical robots and fitness equipment.
  2. Multi-Axis Measurements: Analyzing forces in multiple directions is becoming essential for complex testing scenarios. Interface’s Multi-Axis Sensors facilitate comprehensive data collection and a deeper understanding of force interactions.
  3. Wireless Data Acquisition: Eliminating cables simplifies testing setups and improves data access. Interface’s wireless load cells and data acquisition systems enhance data portability and streamline testing processes. These wireless systems, including sensors like our wireless load pins and tension links, provide immediate system monitoring and maintenance technologies without cables for machines, equipment, components, and consumer products.
  4. Smart Sensors and IoT Integration: The use of sensors to make smart decisions is rising, from use in smart city projects to automating production. Interface measurement devices with easy connectivity are revolutionizing test and measurement. Interface’s sensors with digital outputs and compatibility with IoT products enable real-time data analysis, remote monitoring, and predictive maintenance.
  5. Material Characterization: Interface’s force measurement solutions are increasingly used to characterize the mechanical properties of materials, crucial for optimizing product design and performance in industries like aerospace, automotive, and construction. Material testing is also used in circular economy applications, using old materials for new inventions.
  6. Testing in Harsh Environments: Interface’s rugged and environmentally sealed sensors are finding more applications in extreme conditions, from subsea exploration to high-temperature testing. These ATEX, submersible, high-temp, and stainless steel products allow testing in critical real-world scenarios.
  7. Complex Measurement Analysis: Advanced software tools and data analysis platforms are essential for effectively interpreting and utilizing force measurement data. Interface provides software packages such as our Log100 and BlueDAQ Software to facilitate deeper insights and decision-making.
  8. Efficiency and Cost Optimization: Test and measurement processes are refined for efficiency and cost savings in product designs, building new products, and retrofitting existing machinery and equipment. Interface’s solutions contribute by facilitating faster setup, accurate data collection, and improved product quality, leading to reduced testing costs and faster time to market.
  9. R&D Driving Sustainability and Efficiency: Interface has seen an increase in customers using our sensor technologies for products and processes that positively impact the environment. This includes using Interface sensors for applications that include recycling and waste management, restructuring infrastructure, renewable energy production, electric vehicles, and battery development. Interface devices are commonly used in designing long-lasting, low-maintenance consumer products.
  10. Advancing Possibilities in Measurement with Customized Solutions: The need for customized force measurement solutions with diverse industry applications is growing. Interface’s engineering expertise and wide range of products allow it to cater to specific testing requirements and develop bespoke solutions. This includes engineered-to-order load cells, transducers, and complete system configurations like Interface Data AQ Packs.

These are just some of the trends we are observing in 2023. These trends are in addition to priority of providing industry-leading technical expertise and application support to help every customer.

With our commitment to collaboration, innovation, and accuracy, we are well-positioned to work with you as we shape the future of force measurement and contribute to the advancements in various testing and measurement projects across industries.

Interface looks forward to helping you with your inventions, research, testing, and product designs requiring precision measurement technologies in the coming year. Let’s continue the journey together.

 

Electrical Engineers Choose Interface Sensor Technologies

Interface is a premier provider of force, torque and weighing solutions to electrical engineers around the world who are responsible for creating new products, solving problems, and improving systems.

Electrical engineers vary in specialization and industry experience with responsibilities for designing and testing electrical systems and components such as power generators, electric motors, lighting systems, and production robots. They use their expertise and knowledge of electrical systems and components to design, develop, assess, and maintain safe and reliable electrical systems. There are many electrical engineers who work on complex systems and who are responsible for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems that may arise.

The electrical engineers whose primary focus is research and development look to create new electrical technologies and advance existing systems. Projects related to renewable energy, smart grids, wireless communication systems, and electric vehicles utilize all types of measurement solutions throughout all phases of their R&D. Accuracy of testing is essential for electrical engineers, to ensure components comply with safety regulations and industry standards.

How does an electrical engineer use sensor technology for testing?

Sensors are a critical tool for electrical engineers in testing and optimizing the performance of electronic devices, systems, and processes. The type of sensor used, and the specific testing application will depend on the needs of the project or product, including the following examples.

  • Structural testing: Sensors are used to measure the structural integrity of materials and components. Load cells convert force or weight into an electrical signal that can be measured and analyzed. For example, Interface’s standard load cells are frequently used to measure the amount of strain or deformation in a material under load, which can help electrical engineers design stronger and more reliable structures. See how Interface’s products were used in an EV battery structural testing project.
  • Process control: Sensor technologies, including load cells and torque transducers are frequently utilized in manufacturing processes to monitor and control various parameters. Electrical use this data gathered through various instrumentation devices to ensure that the manufacturing process is operating within the desired parameters and to optimize the process for efficiency and quality.
  • Environmental testing: Environmental sensors are commonplace for measuring temperature, humidity, pressure, and other environmental factors. Electrical engineers can use this data to test and optimize the performance of electronic devices and systems under various environmental conditions. Read Hazardous Environment Solutions from Interface to learn more.

Electrical engineers use load cells in a variety of applications, such as measuring the weight of objects, monitoring the force applied to a structure, or controlling the tension in a cable or wire. The choice of load cell will depend on the specific application and the requirements for accuracy, sensitivity, and capacity. Electrical engineers must also consider factors such as environmental conditions, installation requirements, and cost when selecting a load cell.

Electrical engineers work in a wide range of industries and sectors, as their expertise is required in many different areas of technology and engineering. Interface has supplied quality testing devices and components to EEs in every sector, from electronics to construction.

Electrical engineers in the electronics industry use Interface products in designing and developing components such as microchips, sensors, and circuits. Demands for intrinsically safe load cells and instrumentation come from electrical engineers that are responsible for designing, maintaining, and improving power generation and distribution systems, including renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and hydropower.

More than any time in Interface’s 55-year history, electrical engineers who work on a variety of aerospace and defense projects, are using Interface sensor products for designing and testing avionics systems, communication systems, and navigation systems.

We also continue provide electrical engineers who engage in designing and developing the electrical and electronic systems in vehicles, including everything from powertrains and engine management systems to infotainment systems and driver assistance technologies with new and innovative force measurement solutions.

Manufacturing electrical engineers who engage in designing and optimizing manufacturing processes, as well as designing and evaluating the electronic components and systems used in manufacturing equipment are frequently using Interface sensors. This includes the rising demands for sensors in robotics.

Electrical engineers across many different industries depend on Interface, just as all the companies and organizations around the world depend on their expertise. Interface is a proud partner of engineers across all disciplines.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Celebrates Engineers

Interface Solutions for Production Line Engineers

Quality Engineers Require Accurate Force Measurement Solutions

Interface Solutions for Material Testing Engineers

Why Civil Engineers Prefer Interface Products

Why Product Design Engineers Choose Interface