How data-led development can build the green hydrogen sector

By Harpreet Gulati
Harpreet Gulati, Senior Vice President, Planning, Simulation & Optimization Business at AVEVA, outlines the importance of data in green hydrogen's growth

The global community will need to use every available tool in its arsenal to cut greenhouse gas emissions and bring global warming levels down – and technology will be key. Here are the key areas for building a responsive and resilient green hydrogen sector.

Promote shorter engineering and design cycles

Producing hydrogen gas requires building new electrolysers. Given the tight deadline to realize our low-carbon goals, these facilities must be designed and constructed to function at the highest level with sustainability in mind from the outset. Short but effective design cycles are therefore key to success. In greenfield projects and brownfield renewable energy plants alike, digital process simulation can bring agility to the entire lifecycle of design, prototyping, training, and operations to accelerate the engineering cycle. Integrating design and build processes onto a single platform will allow firms to function with global business footprints and remote working models, so engineers anywhere can explore all dimensions of a potential design and quantify its impact on sustainability, feasibility, and profitability. 

Unify data to improve decisions and optimise collaboration

In the modern industrial organisation, every aspect of the production process is monitored and analysed with sensors that can generate hundreds of thousands of data points. When collated across siloed departments and geographies, this information improves edge-to-enterprise visibility, while promoting integration and collaboration across functional departments to enhance daily activities and processes. Along the way, operational inefficiencies are exposed, empowering critical decisions and adjustments that directly impact the bottom line.

Stay responsive with optimised value chains

The hydrogen economy rises in a complex scenario, at a time when it is essential to optimise every element of the value chain to derive maximum operating profit while satisfying regulatory requirements. Using cloud and Digital Twin technologies, industrial data can be harnessed to improve responsiveness across the value chain. On the one hand, by closely monitoring operations in real time, optimisation techniques can sharpen plant performance and profits, while enabling troubleshooting of production processes and rapid analysis using rigorous models. At the same time, advanced supply chain oversight enables predictive responses to fluctuations in demand and available resources. 

Expand plant reliability through AI-infused predictive analytics

Reducing downtime is a constant challenge for industrial organisations and it is no different for hydrogen production plants. Early warning notifications and diagnoses of equipment performance are essential to ensure that plants can operate to capacity when required, preventing mechanical or process failures. AI goes a long way to helping asset-intensive organizations reduce equipment downtime and increase reliability – while reducing operations and maintenance costs.

The lack of historical data here could pose initial challenges to reducing downtime. But by applying lessons from related industries and embedding process simulation with predictive analytics from the start, staff can foresee equipment failure from the outset. 

We have been presented with the rare opportunity of building a new industry from the ground up. We must seize the moment to create the cleanest, greenest and most resilient energy sector.

Harpreet Gulati is Senior Vice President, Planning, Simulation & Optimization Business at AVEVA

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