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New ABB flowmeter will aid hydrogen fuel cell research in automotive sector

18 June 2020

As governments worldwide seek new ways to decarbonise transport, ABB has developed a product that will help the automotive industry optimize the use of hydrogen to power electric drive trains.

The Sensyflow FMT700-P Compact thermal mass flowmeter is the latest addition to a product range already proven for measuring engine intake air on test benches. Accurate to 0.8% of reading, across extendable and adjustable measuring ranges, this new flowmeter is ideally suited to fine-tuning the efficiency of cells that combine hydrogen and air to produce electrical power, emitting only water in the process.

The P-Compact was developed to test conventional turbochargers and components such as throttle valves, intake fans and air filters, but its additional capability to analyze the performance of hydrogen fuel cells is of great interest to the automotive industry because hydrogen offers one of the most promising ways to eliminate carbon emissions from heavy transport such as trucks and buses.

Gerrit Weppner, Global Product Manager for Thermal Mass Flowmeters at ABB, explains why the new flowmeter is so well suited to such research: "The P Compact measures the mass of streaming gases directly in the unit kg/h. This means it is fast and the results are immediately comparable because they do not have to be compensated. The P Compact is also highly accurate over a wide measuring range of 80 to 5000 kg/h for a device of nominal diameter 200 mm. In a hydrogen fuel cell test, it will measure the amount of air that enters the fuel cell to combine with hydrogen, and the response time is less than 25 milliseconds which makes it ideally suited for detecting rapid load changes."

The P Compact is compatible with other products in the Sensyflow range, and it is as well suited to conventional engine research as analyzing hydrogen fuel cell performance. The compact design integrates supply and evaluation functionality, so it is easy to install with just one cable.

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