Aragon project uses fiber optics to control hydrogen leaks

The introduction of two new initiatives to carry on promoting the use of hydrogen (H2) as an energy vector marked the end of the Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragon in 2022.

One of them, named Opthycs, entails the creation of hydrogen leak control systems through optical fiber and is supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership, a public-private partnership that promotes research and innovation in hydrogen technologies in Europe. It is directed by the Enagás group.

The Aragonese organization is tasked with “carrying out validation testing of the technologies developed on HRS components in our installation of the Walqa Technology Park (Huesca)” in this effort. We will oversee the regulatory tasks and coordinate open access (OA) to all scientific publications in relation to the pertinent project results while ensuring that the consortium maintains intellectual property rights, thanks to our extensive experience in safety and standardization requirements in the hydrogen sector.

The consortium formed to carry out the Opthycs initiative includes Enagás and the Hydrogen Foundation in Aragon in addition to GRTZ Gaz, a French firm with expertise in gas transmission, the Basque technology hub Tecnalia, the Biscayan company Lumiker, the French infrastructure manufacturer Febus Optics, and the European research group Gerg.

The Opthycs project aims to create a new sensor technology that can increase the level of safety for hydrogen applications and reduce potential H2 emissions to limit the climate impact of H2 absorption, from its production to its storage and distribution, both in new infrastructures, working with pure H2, as well as in repurposed natural gas facilities and pipelines, contributing to a safe and financially viable implementation of the processes of production, transportation, and distribution.

CFD (Development and validation of a model of fluid dynamic filling of hydrogen tanks) is the name of the other new project that the organization led by Arturo Aliaga will begin in 2023. It is led by Huesca, and its funding is handled by the assistance provided by the Ministry of Industry to initiatives of innovative business groups (AFE), including the Hydrogen Foundation itself.

The major goal of the CFD project is to “create and evaluate a computational fluid dynamic model of filling tanks for heavy vehicles powered by green hydrogen in order to propose filling protocols for heavy vehicles that do not compromise the integrity of the tanks,” according to the entity’s sources.

Two more participants from Aragon are traveling with the Hydrogen Foundation on this project. One is Zoilo Rós, a business that operates a network of gas stations and charging stations for electric vehicles and ist on renewable energy, and the other is Sifice Innovative Minds, which works on energy-saving initiatives.