The most effective IoT tool for long-term hydrogen monitoring in subsurface
While the potential for hydrogen as clean energy is not a recent discovery, these last years have seen a boom in the interest in this resource, following renewable energy development. One of the key elements in the growth of this industry is the detection of hydrogen concentration: not only for natural hydrogen exploration, but also for transport and storage monitoring. However, hydrogen gas sensors on the market combine too many constraints: unsuitable for external conditions, energy consuming, bulky, operating on a spectrum of low or high concentrations (but not both), and for the most performant very expensive (>10k€ each). Developing a new generation of sensor, compact, autonomous and suitable for harsh conditions is the best solution to meet the needs of many geoscientists and industrial players.
In this context, 45-8 ENERGY developed in partnership with Solexperts, a new type of multi-gas sensor and probereunited in one technology: SurfMoG H2. 45-8 ENERGY’s knowledge of subsurface and expertise into industrial gases, coupled with SOLEXPERTS' recognised skills in terms of mechanics and electronics, led to the creation of what is considered as the most effective IoT tool to monitor hydrogen, accurately and continuously over months in the subsurface, SurfMoG H2. The sensitive element is integrated into a 1m long probe installedentirely in the underground/soil. This smart device, composed of a gas chamber, with an electrochemical sensor for hydrogen measurements up to 40,000 ppm (4%), a logger with battery and communication system,takes measurements regularly, store the data and send it to a dedicated platform for further processing and interpretation. The communication is also possible from the user to the probe to modify the measurement parameters.
This brand-new technology has already proven its worth, particularly in the framework of the H2NA programme, which aims to carry out a technical and economic study of the natural hydrogen’s potential in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region (France) in association with solid experts: CVA, BRGM, ENGIE, the University of Pau. Several SurfMoG H2 probes have been leased to the project to monitor natural hydrogen on a high potential area, and are sending data as you read this article.
SurfMoG H2 probes find applications in various domains: for hydrogen exploration to detect seepingand/or leaks in the near subsurface and to characterize long-term flux (concentration, daily or seasonal variations....). They could also address some risks concerns in underground infrastructures (storage, pipeline...), some of the issues faced in radioactive waste confinement, and even for natural hazard monitoring (H2 pulse is seen in relation with earthquakes).