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ABB green hydrogen management cuts costs up to 20%

Dec. 21, 2022
ABB introduced its ABB Ability Optimax software and energy management system.

ABB introduced Nov. 23 its ABB Ability Optimax software and energy management system to help hydrogen producers reduce electricity costs by up to 20%, increase efficiency of energy-intensive electrolyzers that produce green hydrogen, and incorporate forecasting and intra-day planning to enable companies to trade competitively with the grid.

Green hydrogen made by electrolysis an important avenue for achieving a low-carbon future. However, it does pose challenges, such as high production costs and energy-intensive processes. To scale up production to the 50 times required, the global initiative of energy companies, Green Hydrogen Catapult, reports that the cost to produce green hydrogen needs to drop by 50% to less than $2/kg by 2026. 

Optimax supports this effort by serving every aspect of a hydrogen plant lifecycle, from simulation at design and engineering phases to real-time visualization and monitoring when in operation. The software measures bidirectional power flows and carbon dioxide emissions providing contextual data which operators can use to determine optimal energy consumption levels required to support plant processes and minimize waste. The transparency offered by the solution can also be applied to increase the efficiency and safety of each electrolyzer module operating in the plant, regulating each module’s speed and ensuring it’s only used as and when required.

 “Scaling up green hydrogen production requires capital investment, as well as high operating costs,” says Sleman Saliba, global product manager for energy management for ABB Process Automation. “Nearly 70% of the total operating costs to run a hydrogen plant comes from the electricity needed to split the water molecule in the electrolysis process. With Optimax, for 1-3% technology investment, operators can run their industrial processes in the most energy-efficient way and gain up to 20% reduction in electricity-based costs.” 

Incorporating intra-day planning, operators can also use Optimax to plan ahead to trade competitively with the grid, developing a circular energy system based on forecasts of renewable energy availability against demand, also considering market electricity prices. The solution can also be used to optimize green hydrogen integration with existing hydrogen networks and any future infrastructure that may developed. 

About the Author

Jim Montague | Executive Editor

Jim Montague is executive editor of Control.