SPIE develops innovative hydrogen feed-in plant for CO2-free production in Germany

SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa, the German subsidiary of SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is designing a new gas pressure regulator suitable for both natural gas and hydrogen.

This is intended to help an end customer – a Mainz-based manufacturer of hygiene articles – to steadily reduce the level of its CO2 emissions and, in turn, increase the share of hydrogen in its production processes. The client is Otto Pähler Rohrnetzbau und Energietechnik GmbH, with whom SPIE shares a long-standing partnership for some 30 years.

In a pilot project, SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa designed and realised an innovative gas pressure regulator that allows a hydrogen share of up to 100 per cent to be fed into the production process.  While the number of companies in Germany that have been permitted to realize specialized plants for supplying hydrogen to industrial processes is limited, SPIE stands out as one of the few certified by the Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches (DVGW) to execute such projects.

The team at the Bad Kreuznach branch of SPIE’s CityNetworks & Grids operational division designed the layout of the plant, before identifying and sourcing suitable components for both natural gas and hydrogen. “We have approached many component manufacturers to design the best possible hydrogen plant and help our customers implement environmentally friendly hydrogen-based production processes with the lowest possible CO2 emissions. This is still far from being an “off-the-peg” product, but we’re on the way to transforming this innovation into a standard solution,” says Michael Heiber, who heads SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa’s Gasdruckregel- und Messanlagenbau office.

SPIE transports the completed plant to the end customer, securely packaged in an aluminum cabinet, and will handle its commissioning. Otto Pähler Rohrnetzbau und Energietechnik GmbH will then integrate it into the hygiene manufacturer’s factory network, allowing the latter to be fed with a gas mixture with varying levels of hydrogen. The SPIE-designed system, which allows up to 100% hydrogen to be fed into the production process, will enable the hygiene products manufacturer to test the impact of different hydrogen levels on the production. “Currently there is still very little experience of how the overall system behaves when using hydrogen over a prolonged period. Thanks to our experience and high level of specialist expertise in the field of hydrogen infrastructure, we are giving our customers the chance to implement and experiment with hydrogen-based production processes,” says Pascal Vermaten, Head of Key Account Management for the Energy & Mobility Solutions branch in the CityNetworks & Grids operational division at SPIE.

Hydrogen is increasingly seen as a key element on the road towards climate-neutral industrial processes. “We are delighted that our long-standing partner Otto Pähler Rohrnetzbau und Energietechnik GmbH has commissioned us to develop this pilot project. The project gives us the opportunity to further enhance our innovative strength and expertise as a pioneering service provider. It will set an example to other companies. Sustainable production with green hydrogen will be the future in Germany and Europe,” says Peter Pfannenstiel, General Manager of the CityNetworks & Grids operational division of SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa.

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