excom I/O System Enables Safe Hydrogen Liquefaction

Profibus DP-based process automation in explosion-protected and safe areas

In the face of global energy shortages, hydrogen is seen as a promising alternative to fossil fuels. The liquefaction of hydrogen helps to reduce its transportation and storage costs, increases safety, and extends the life of fuel cells. A hydrogen liquefaction plant involves the transmission of signals over long distances, e.g. 150 meters and more. Some devices are also installed in explosion-protected areas.

Your Benefits

  • Only one system for intrinsically safe and non-intrinsically safe signals
  • Space saving thanks to integrated Ex isolation and mounting in hazardous areas
  • Uniform system logic and operating philosophy for all Ex zones and safe areas

  • excom Zone 2 system, installed in a control cabinet near the compressor

  • A control cabinet in the central control room, provided with excom for safe areas

  • The TX700 enables remote access to controllers and other devices via a VPN tunnel

Cost and delivery time optimization thanks to fieldbus technology

The main components of the hydrogen liquefaction plant are a compressor, an oil separator, a cold box, a control system, a tank for storing the liquid hydrogen, a transfer line from the cold box to the tank, and a hydrogen buffer tank. After the hydrogen is fed into the plant from the buffer tank, it is compressed in a compressor and cooled until it becomes liquid. The liquid hydrogen is stored in a tank and subsequently used for research purposes in low-temperature research or for fuel cell vehicles.

Most of the system components are located outdoors. A control unit and a control cabinet with an excom system for safe areas (N-system) are located in a control room. The user configures an excom system as a remote I/O system in Zone 2. Installation close to the devices eliminates the need to route multiple individual cables and cable jumpers etc., thus also reducing costs. Commissioning the plant is also shortened. ProfiBus-DP also uses a common and proven communication standard that is supported by process control systems and controllers from many manufacturers,     thus increasing the flexibility and expandability of the plant. 

Space saving thanks to I/O system with integrated Ex isolation 

The Turck solution with the highly available excom system offers maximum flexibility for applications in which both intrinsically safe and non-intrinsically safe devices are used in hazardous areas. Excom offers solutions for mounting in Zone 1, Zone 2 or in the safe area (N-system) and is thus ideally suited for the signal connection of actuators and sensors to process modules. It enables the connection of intrinsically safe devices up to Zones 1 and 0, with Ex isolation already integrated in the system. This saves the user the space and expense of a separate isolation level. Compared to similar systems on the market, excom offers the highest packing density, which means it takes up less space – whether directly at the plant or in the control room.

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