Fighting the climate crisis with series production
Power-to-X is a vital part of the energy revolution, aiming to replace fossil fuels with renewable sources. It involves converting renewable electricity into gases, chemicals, or fuels. PtG methods, particularly important for sector coupling, utilize existing gas infrastructure for storage and transport. The “European Hydrogen Backbone” envisions repurposing and expanding the infrastructure for hydrogen transportation. Automation and electrification strategies, such as Enapter AG’s AEM electrolyzers, are crucial for cost-effective and safe conversion processes. The installation of more wind and solar systems will further drive the transition to cleaner energy.
Interconnection of numerous electrolyzers to create gigawatt plants
Germany is witnessing an increase in PtG plants, using various electrolysis methods and reaching several megawatts of power. Plans for 100 MW plants are underway in Lower Saxony. Projects in Neom and Rotterdam will utilize gigawatt-scale electrolyzers. Germany aims to create 10 GW of electrolysis capacity by 2030. Green hydrogen is converted back using fuel cells or chemically into substances like ammonia or methanol. Automation and communication strategies are crucial for all processes, from hydrogen generation to consumption.
Manufacturing containers based on the industrial model
Manufacturers are developing containerized electrolyzers for hydrogen production, allowing for modular and interconnected gigawatt-scale plants. Industrial manufacturing methods enable efficient mass production of these containers. Providers like Phoenix Contact offer connection and automation technology, assisting with component selection and providing engineering and design services. Enapter AG’s AEM Multicore electrolyzer system uses an ion-conducting membrane and a cheaper catalyst, allowing for cost-effective hydrogen production with renewable electricity.
Supply of ready-to-use control cabinets based on PLCnext Technology
Enapter’s scalable AEM Multicore solution consists of interconnected stack modules in a container, producing up to 450 kg of hydrogen per day. Phoenix Contact provides control technology and DC power supply for the electrolysis stacks, including ready-to-use control cabinets. The container control room monitors hydrogen production, tank levels, and safety measures. Phoenix Contact’s PLCnext Technology handles control tasks and supports maintenance concepts. The control cabinets incorporate Ex protection components for hazardous areas.
Implementation of safety-related applications up to SIL 3
Phoenix Contact’s automation solution allows for safety-related applications up to SIL 3 in electrolysis plants. They offer cost-effective options, such as extending the PLCnext Control with an SIL 3 module. Their safety portfolio includes power supply units, relays, and motor starters. Comprehensive solutions for DC power electronics, like Charx Power modules, are available. The use of electrical connectors improves assembly efficiency and reduces costs. Phoenix Contact provides a wide range of products to support the scaling of hydrogen production in Germany.
Consultation in all phases of the lifecycle
Phoenix Contact offers consultation services for various aspects of plant development. They help determine cooling capacity, assess safety integrity levels, and provide assistance with technical specifications, safety software implementation, and testing. Their consulting service covers control cabinet building, including CE marking, EMC, explosion protection, and access protection.
Communication solutions in all directions
Phoenix Contact supports communication and integration in power-to-X applications. They assist with the dynamic operation and functional integration of electrolyzers with power generation and consumption areas. They provide solutions for fuel cells as emergency power systems and offer support for remote control, maintenance, data collection, and digital twin implementation. Their portfolio includes products for reliable and secure data transmission. Phoenix Contact’s certified products ensure IT security. They are also developing software modules for future use, enabling newcomers to create their own software applications in the power-to-X industry.
MTP as the basis for modular solutions
Phoenix Contact supports the implementation of large modular electrolysis plants for green hydrogen production. They facilitate scalability and reduce implementation effort through the use of standardized MTP (Module Type Packages) interfaces, allowing for modular automation solutions.
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Marmo NV, a meat processing company in Belgium, focused on energy efficiency when renovating its refrigeration system. They partnered with Sabcobel, an experienced cooling systems company, who chose Phoenix Contact’s speed starters for fan speed regulation. The renovated system utilized CO2 as the evaporating refrigerant minimized refrigerant quantity and repurposed residual heat for hot water generation. Sabcobel’s expertise in creating cold chains for the food industry ensured a successful installation at Marmo.
Compact design saves space in control cabinets
Marmo has 60 chillers in their production area, each with a specific setpoint controlled by a system. Phoenix Contact’s speed starters regulate the three-phase AC fans’ speed, ensuring employee comfort and consistent temperatures. The system includes an air boost function in each room, allowing employees to increase air speed when needed. This flexible fan speed control system prioritizes energy efficiency while enhancing comfort. The compact design of the speed starters was a key factor in their selection, as they require minimal space in the control cabinet. These modules offer functionalities that bridge the gap between motor starters and frequency converters, operating on three-phase power with a maximum power rating of 1.5 kilowatts.
Flexible I/O system for connecting the chillers to the central PLC
The refrigeration system at Marmo is efficiently controlled by a central PLC unit connected to distributed I/O islands through the Profinet protocol. This setup offers cost savings and improved efficiency.
The system includes 11 distributors responsible for controlling the 60 chillers in various rooms. These distributors are connected to the central PLC using the Profinet network. To manage the I/O islands effectively, Marmo opted for the Axioline Smart Elements I/O system from Phoenix Contact. This choice was driven by the system’s compact design and flexibility. The installation incorporates a significant number of digital and analog inputs and outputs, including RTD cards for temperature sensors, pressure measurement, and gas detection. The use of Smart Elements modules on a backplane enables seamless communication via Profinet network.
furthermore, one notable advantage of the distributed I/O system is its transparency to the central PLC. This simplifies the management and monitoring process for the system, making it easier to control and maintain.
Remote monitoring for in-service support
Implementing the new refrigeration system during production was a challenge, but the user-friendly Smart Elements modules with Phoenix Contact’s tool-free Push-in connection technology proved beneficial. Also, Maintenance Manager Tim Steegmans appreciated Sabcobel’s support and the system’s industrial approach for operational reliability. Remote monitoring and remote reset capabilities in speed starters enabled efficient assistance from Sabcobel’s specialists.
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Energy storage systems are key to an All Electric Society. Ensuring a stable energy supply by compensating for the volatility of renewable energy sources. This report looks at the typical design of a battery system storage system. Furthermore, exploring the flow of energy and information between the various components. Discover how electrical connection technology can ensure reliable storage systems and support a successful transition to an All Electric Society.
Typical energy storage system design
Electric energy storage systems based on galvanic batteries can be applied to a variety of sizes, from multi-megawatt-hour systems to small home systems of 10 kilowatt-hours. Battery cells are connected in parallel or series to form packs, and welding technologies are used to create permanent electrical connections. This modular design is adjustable and has only a few limitations.
The battery module
Storage modules house large numbers of cells and are monitored and controlled by a Battery Management System. The BMS measures and sets the voltage and current of cell groups for uniform charging/discharging (balancing), and provides power and data connections from the BMS PCBs to the module housing (usually with screw connections for power and plug-in concept for data).
Industrial 5G, the next generation of wireless technology, will provide reliable, high-speed, and low-latency connections for a large number of users. This will enable flexible, autonomous, and efficient processes from production to logistics in the future.
What exactly is Industrial 5G?
5G is the latest cellular standard offering high bandwidth, real-time capability, high reliability, security, and support for large numbers of users.
Basically, 5G is the first cellular generation to satisfy industrial sector demands, enabling intelligent wireless communication between machines and applications. Besides, enables private networks for flexible, sustainable network connections in mobile or highly flexible applications.
Industrial 5G is the perfect technology for Industry 4.0. It provides high levels of flexibility, usability, and efficiency that will enable smart factories and the IIoT.
5G technology’s features and characteristics
Industrial 5G provides higher performance than earlier cellular standards, with features like low latency (ultra-reliable low-latency communication, URLLC), high connection density (massive machine type communication, mMTC), and bandwidth (enhanced mobile broadband, eMBB), as well as comprehensive IIoT connectivity and greater flexibility.
Industrial 5G enables customized properties to be assigned to each application, granting specific resources in a private network. This provides a triangle of functions, delivering enhanced flexibility and control.
In the future, it will be possible to create consistent private 5G networks for specific applications. These applications will replace the current mix of wireless and wired technologies (e.g. WLAN, WirelessHART, GSM, LTE).