Global glass manufacturer Guardian has chosen an on-site hydrogen generation system (HGS) for its production facilities in remote areas.

It has selected Dutch clean-tech company HyGear to provide the systems with the aim of helping Guardian profit from a cost-attractive and reliable supply of industrial hydrogen.

Guardian chose HyGear after a testing programme that started with a Luxembourg field trial three years ago. One of HyGear’s container-based HGS systems was installed in parallel with the existing tube trailer supply to deliver Guardian’s local glass plant’s base-load need of pure hydrogen. An experimental period in which the system was tested thoroughly proved that the system operates successfully in a 24/7 environment, directly feeding the float glass production line at Guardian’s Luxguard II factory.

Guardian used the HyGear HGS-produced hydrogen in its float glass production process, mixing it with nitrogen to create a reductive atmosphere over its tin baths.

It required a high level of hydrogen quality, with strict limitations on the rest fractions of steam and carbon monoxide. HyGear’s systems fulfiled these requirements, as they are able to produce between 3 and 200Nm3 of hydrogen at a quality grade of 5.0, equal to a purity of 99,999%. In cases where lower quality gas is acceptable, the hydrogen purity can be reduced by adjusting the settings of the system.
This increases the efficiency inversely proportional.

HyGear’s small-scale HGS was tested for a full year and the system was operational for nearly 7500 hours. The first part of the test was experimental and related to the HGS operating as part of the total gas supply system. Several improvements were identified and implemented in the products.

During the second part of the year, the base load operations were tested and the uptime outnumbered the reliability of the tube trailer supply.

Guardian is now considering using HyGear equipment instead of the conventional tube-stored hydrogen supply for several of its production plants.

This would be particularly cost-effective in factories situated in remote locations, far away from the nearest large-scale hydrogen production plant. But even in locations with established infrastructures, HyGear’s SMR technology proved to reduce costs and increase reliability.