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Enapter Challenge: Design a water trap for AEM electrolyser

The goal of this challenge is to design a water trap that can remove moisture from the hydrogen stream of anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyser in a continuous process.

Introduction
Enapter is the only manufacturer of the anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyser. The standardized modular AEM electrolyser can produce 500 NL of green hydrogen per hour from water and renewable energy source. The core of the device, the AEM stack, consists of two half-cells
separated by an AEM. During the electrolysis process, the electrolyte (potassium hydroxide solution) circulates through the anode half-cell at ambient pressure, while hydrogen is produced in the cathode half-cell at a pressure of 35 bar. The separate half-cell design allows the AEM electrolyser to produce hydrogen with a high purity. The main impurity of the hydrogen from the AEM stack is 12000 ppm of water. For the principle of AEM electrolysis see: https://www.enapter.com/aem-water-electrolysis-how-it-works.

Challenge
To meet the requirement of common hydrogen fuel cells, the water content in the hydrogen needs to be reduced from 12000 ppm to 10 ppm. Enapter’s current AEM electrolyser model EL 2.1 has a water trap (see images below) on the hydrogen pipeline, which can reduce the moisture in the hydrogen produced by the AEM stack from 12000 ppm to 1000 ppm via simple condensation. The water is accumulated in the water trap during hydrogen production and periodically released to the
purge line. The remaining 1000 ppm of water in the hydrogen output of the EL 2.1 is later removed in
a separate dryer module (DRY 2.1) with moisture absorption beads. When the beads become
saturated with water, they need to be regenerated by heating and drying.

Enapter is challenging the GrabCAD Community to design the water trap for the AEM electrolyser that can remove as much moisture as possible from the hydrogen without manual maintenance. The performance of the new water trap should be better than the current design, which is 1000 ppm of water in the hydrogen output. The goal is to have a hydrogen output from the AEM electrolyser that can be fed to fuel cells directly, which requires a water content of 10 ppm or less. In this way, we may eventually eliminate the dryer from the hydrogen generation system, making the system more compact and efficient. For maximizing the energy efficiency of the system, the water trap design should consume as little power as possible.

Requirements

  • Technical Specifications

    The temperature of hydrogen stream flowing into the water trap: 55 °C

    Ambient temperature of the water trap inside the AEM electrolyser: 30 °C

    Flow rate of the hydrogen: 500 NL/h

    Pressure of the hydrogen: 35 bar

    Water content of the hydrogen input: 12000 ppm (vol.)

    Target water content of the hydrogen output: less than 1000 ppm (vol.), aiming for 10 ppm (vol.)

    Specifications process connection: in and out both ¼’’ stainless steel pipes

    Dimension of the current water trap design: ø26x124 mm

    Specific dimensions can be found in the pipeline CAD file of the current water trap. Download the Stp file here!


    “Specifications of the
    AEM electrolyser can be found here!
    and that tof the dryer system can be found here!


    Water content in hydrogen under different conditions can be calculated here:
    http://www.michell.com/uk/calculator/

  • judging criteria


    The design will be judged on their originality and creativity. The concept will be evaluated as well asthe execution of the design.

    The design will be judged on the amount of water that it can potentially remove.
    The water trap should be free from manual maintenance, and regular maintenance should be performed via the build-in program. It should support a continuous process of hydrogen production.

    The dimension of the water trap should be minimized. A target size of <26*80*160 mm (the available space in the current model of EL 2.1) is preferred.

    The design should maximize the overall energy efficiency of the AEM electrolyser by minimizing any additional power input.

    The design should minimize the loss of hydrogen during water removal.
    The water trap should be suitable for low-cost mass manufacture.
    The water trap should be at least as reliable and robust as our electrolyser system, meaning a lifetime of 10-20 years.

  • Specifications for file submission


    Model file format: models should be submitted in .stp or .igs formats and as 3D-pdf file.
    Images of the design from FRONT, SIDE and TOP views should be included in your submission.

    A brief but clear description of the working principle and rationale of your water trap design should be submitted together in PDF format.

    Renderings: renderings are not mandatory, but they can earn bonus points from the jury.
    Any supplementary documents should be in PDF format.

    If the files are zipped, the file compression should be compatible with Windows 10 and should not require any special software to unzip.

  • Download The stp file below

Download specification

Rules

  • ENTERING THE COMPETITION:


    If you think an entry may infringe on existing copyrighted materials, please email challenges@grabcad.com.


    By entering the Challenge you:

      1) Accept the official GrabCAD Challenges Terms & Conditions.
      2) Agree to be bound by the decisions of the judges (Jury).
      3) Warrant that you are eligible to participate.
      4) Warrant that the submission is your original work. Warrant, to the best of your knowledge, your work is not, and has not been in production or otherwise previously published or exhibited.
      5) Warrant neither the work nor its use infringes the intellectual property rights (whether a patent, utility model, functional design right, aesthetic design right, trademark, copyright or any other intellectual property right) of any other person.
      6) Warrant participation shall not constitute employment, assignment or offer of employment or assignment.
      7) Are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any costs.
      8) Agree the Sponsor and GrabCAD have the right to promote all entries.


  • SUBMITTING AN ENTRY


    Only entries uploaded to GrabCAD through the "Submit entry" button on this Challenge page will be considered an entry. Only public entries are eligible. We encourage teams to use GrabCAD Workbench for developing their entries. Entries are automatically given the tag "EnapterChallenge2020" when uploading to GrabCAD. Please do not edit or delete this tag. Only entries with valid tag will participate in the Challenge.

  • AWARDING THE WINNERS

    The sum of the Awards is the total gross amount of the reward. The awarded participant is solely liable for the payment of all taxes, duties, and other similar measures if imposed on the reward pursuant to the legislation of the country of his/her residence, domicile, citizenship, workplace, or any other criterion of similar nature. Only 1 award per person. Prizes may not be transferred or exchanged. All winners will be contacted by the GrabCAD staff to get their contact information and any other information needed to get the prize to them. Payment of cash awards is made through PayPal. All team awards will be transferred to the member who entered the Challenge.

  • We will release the finalists before the announcement of the winners to give the Community an opportunity to share their favorites in the comments, discuss concerns, and allow time for any testing or analysis by the Jury. The Jury will take the feedback into consideration when picking the winners.


    Winning designs will be chosen based on the Rules and Requirements.

Prizes

Up to $2000 in Prizes

First Place

$1000

Second Place

$600

Third Place

$400

About Enapter

Green hydrogen is the oil of the 21st century. Enapter designs and builds one of the most efficient electrolysers for green hydrogen production. We strive to make electrolysers a commodity - a modular and scalable product just like the solar panel. Our product is demonstrated and readily available in the market. We are currently scaling production to deliver low-cost devices that will produce hydrogen for industrial and commercial purposes, energy storage, transport, or fuel for heating.

The energy sector is slow to respond to digital change. We believe successful energy players of the future think energy in terms of hardware and software being inseparable. With a strong background in software in our team, we use this opportunity: Enapter’s software-defined Energy Management System (EMS) is a decentralized energy system controller. It is capable to configure, control and monitor energy systems and as well as individual (hydrogen) components. Our approach is to build the EMS as an operating system for any energy system that offers core functionality and can easily be built upon to accommodate for individual needs via open collaboration tools.

Our goal at Enapter is to make green hydrogen cheaper than fossil fuels. Find a brief overview here.

Find more about us here: https://www.enapter.com/

Learn more about the AEM electrolyser and EMS here:
https://www.enapter.com/electrolyser and https://www.enapter.com/energymanagement-system

54 comments

  • S.C.

    S.C. about 1 year ago

    "Entries are automatically given the tag "HeroesToo2020" when uploading to GrabCAD. Please do not edit or delete this tag"..the tag is wrong and the attached documents cannot be downloaded.

    S.C. has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 41 comments.
  • TARUN KUMAR DUTTA

    TARUN KUMAR DUTTA about 1 year ago

    Thanking you very much for the challenge

    TARUN KUMAR DUTTA has uploaded 4 CAD models & has left 3 comments.
  • Ankush Sharma

    Ankush Sharma about 1 year ago

    Very interesting challenge.

    Ankush Sharma has uploaded 2 CAD models & has left 23 comments.
  • Ayush Singh

    Ayush Singh about 1 year ago

    Please provide working link to download pipeline CAD file.

    Ayush Singh has uploaded 11 CAD models & has left 4 comments.
  • Fred Lee

    Fred Lee about 1 year ago

    I have a few questions: 1) is the purpose of the contest to introduce new components within the size requirements or reorient known components to preserve a supply chain solution? 2) The requirement "The water trap should be suitable for low-cost mass manufacture." can you please define low cost, over what time frame? 3) My partners have a solution involving a Pd-Cu membrane and a separate solution involving nanoporous graphene membranes, both solutions are sole-source (as in, I get a cut). Are you committed to any particular technology? Both have excellent life-spans. 4) Could a consumable cartridge be considered? For example, a simple bed of lithium will dry the stream to near 0 ppm and it will make hydrogen and expel valuable lithium hydroxide (for other processes).

    Fred Lee has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 2 comments.
  • Umang Dholakiya

    Umang Dholakiya about 1 year ago

    Download the step file from the given link which can be saved as text document. Then open the text document and save as ".stp" format which will give you an openable step file. For those who couldn't find step file.

    Umang Dholakiya has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • lucas.t

    lucas.t about 1 year ago

    when entering the trap the hydrogen is in liquid form?

    lucas.t has uploaded 5 CAD models & has left 5 comments.
  • Steven Minichiello

    Steven Minichiello about 1 year ago

    Good video on the process : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfkNf7kMZPA

    Steven Minichiello has uploaded 285 CAD models & has left 671 comments.
  • Kenneth G McNeil

    Kenneth G McNeil about 1 year ago

    The current link to download the STEP files is not working.

    Kenneth G McNeil has uploaded 10 CAD models & has left 23 comments.
  • Kesa

    Kesa about 1 year ago

    Working on getting a new working STEP File

    Kesa has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 180 comments.
  • Kesa

    Kesa about 1 year ago

    Kesa has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 180 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang about 1 year ago

    @lucas.t The hydrogen is in gas form when entering the water trap. It is saturated with moisture.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang 12 months ago

    @TC Before entering the water trap, the dew point is relatively high due to the high moisture. When the water content in the hydrogen is very low, e.g. 10 ppm, the dew point can be lower than -5 ° C. Therefore, the simple condensation method of the current water trap can only removed a limited amount of moisture in the hydrogen stream.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang 12 months ago

    @TC Thank you for your feedbacks. Just to clarify the possible confusion for everyone, the objective of the new water trap design is to reduce the moisture in hydrogen from 12000 ppm to a level that is lower than 1000 ppm, i.e. better than the current water trap. It is already an achievement to have hydrogen output with moisture significantly less than 1000 ppm (vol.). The 10 ppm ultimate target would be a dream case scenario.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Trevor Tietgen

    Trevor Tietgen 12 months ago

    For all us Americans;
    a Nl is a Normal liter. It is a way to measure gases at "normal" conditions. Here is a link for more info on Nm^3. I am assuming 500 Nl is 0.5 Nm^3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_cubic_feet_per_minute

    Trevor Tietgen has uploaded 2 CAD models & has left 3 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang 12 months ago

    @Trevor Tietgen Thank you for providing the information.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Holger Eisenlohr

    Holger Eisenlohr 12 months ago

    @Fred Lee 1) The idea is to replace the current component with a new one, preferably within the geometrical constraints. We are ok to create a new supply chains for new components. We will review any solution which has higher space requirements, but it will get some minus points.
    2) Low cost means less than $25, however it depends on the achieved output quality. If we get to single digit ppm, a higher cost would be acceptable.
    3) We are not committed to any technology. Membrane solutions sound exiting and would be acceptable as long as we do not lose more than 2% of the hydrogen flow.
    4) The preferred solution will not have consumables, however yearly maintenance with replacement parts can be considered. The replacement material must be easy to ship worldwide and recycle. Lithium will probably not fulfil shipping limitations.

    Holger Eisenlohr has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 5 comments.
  • mohamad iyad kalo

    mohamad iyad kalo 12 months ago

    ı have an idea can solve the matter ı will design it

    mohamad iyad kalo has uploaded 17 CAD models & has left 6 comments.
  • mohamad iyad kalo

    mohamad iyad kalo 12 months ago

    ı found the sulotion

    mohamad iyad kalo has uploaded 17 CAD models & has left 6 comments.
  • Amin Ghedmat

    Amin Ghedmat 12 months ago

    What are the maximum dimensions of the desired product?
    Are we able to use electricity in our design? If yes, how much current and voltages is allowed?

    Amin Ghedmat has uploaded 12 CAD models & has left 53 comments.
  • Amin Ghedmat

    Amin Ghedmat 12 months ago

    And one more question. How much flow rate is acceptable?

    Amin Ghedmat has uploaded 12 CAD models & has left 53 comments.
  • Ella van der Put

    Ella van der Put 12 months ago

    @Amin Ghedmat, ideally the newly designed water trap will fit into the space currently occupied by the water trap, which is ø26x124 mm. We will review any solution which has higher space requirements, but it will get some minus points.
    Use of 24 V DC is possible, the less power you need the better.
    To what flow rate are you referring?

    Ella van der Put has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • Nick Drobot

    Nick Drobot 12 months ago

    Can you please be so kind to explain,
    1. The purge line in the long cylinder has a cap at the bottom of the tube preventing any type of flow from exiting this purge line, what is the purpose of this?
    2. What is "to ammine trap" mean?
    3. In the rectangular block, you have another hexagonal cap inside the 0.81in diameter hole, what is the purpose of this?

    I have previous experience in the biotechnology industry so these answers would help my design process a lot! Thank you!

    Nick Drobot has uploaded 22 CAD models & has left 10 comments.
  • Lorenzo Giobbi

    Lorenzo Giobbi 12 months ago

    @Nick Drobot
    1. The cap at the bottom of the trap serves to retain any particles of impurities and to prevent them from going into the purge line;
    2. The chemical reaction to produce hydrogen uses an ammino-based catalyst, this trap is used to capture these ammines that would damage the fuel cells.
    3. The cap is needed to prevent the resin contained in the ammine trap from escaping from it and going into the purge line.
    Hoping these replies can be helpful for you!

    Lorenzo Giobbi has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 3 comments.
  • Nick Drobot

    Nick Drobot 12 months ago

    @Lorenzo Giobbi
    Thank you for getting back, the replies are helpful. I have a couple more questions,

    1. Correct me if I am wrong, but the current set up is that saturated H2 with ammino-based impurities enters the "orange" input line. Now, this gaseous mixture can only exit at three places, 1. "to ammine trap" and 2. "to purge line". 3. "exit near the H2 input" Both of these exits are directly located on the rectangular block.

    However, what we care about here is this little hollow cylinder called the water trap that collects water through condensation.

    Now, this is the part where it is hard to follow. There is a little cap that prevents flow or manual drainage you said "The cap at the bottom of the trap serves to retain any particles of impurities and to prevent them from going into the purge line"

    Why is there two purge lines?
    How do you open the purge line connected to the hollow cylinder? (there is a cap blocking you from collecting the condensate)
    How is this water trap+rectangular block oriented in the EL2.1 box?
    What means are you using to condense the current set up?

    Thanks,

    Nick

    Nick Drobot has uploaded 22 CAD models & has left 10 comments.
  • Lorenzo Giobbi

    Lorenzo Giobbi 12 months ago

    @Nick Drobot
    The two purge lines are connected together; the bottom one is used to collect the condensed water, the top one is connected to a safety device which is used in case of overpressure, then they are connected just near the bottom part. I hope I have clarified your doubt

    Lorenzo Giobbi has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 3 comments.
  • Gabriel Motta

    Gabriel Motta 12 months ago

    Hello there!
    I have a question:
    I noticed the wet hydrogen input is not tangential to the cylinder, but rather it "strikes" directly on the vortex finder. Was that intentional for some reason? In centrifugal moisture separators it is usually tangential.

    Gabriel Motta has uploaded 2 CAD models & has left 2 comments.
  • Nick Drobot

    Nick Drobot 12 months ago

    Hi Gabriel, I am going to assume your question is meant for me because you used the term vortex and my concept is the only one that uses a vortex. The hydrogen does need to hit the cylinder tangentially. It may not seem like it in my design, but the inner design of a cooling vortex has a chamber that redirects the pressurized (35 Bar) hydrogen tangentially to the inside walls of the vortex. This is what starts the helical motion of the pressurized gas up and down the vortex tube.

    For further information please visit the the informational page by Nexflow.

    https://www.nexflow.com/blog/vortex-tubes-use-compressed-air-generate-cold-hot-air-simultaneously/

    Nick Drobot has uploaded 22 CAD models & has left 10 comments.
  • Jickji Nguyen

    Jickji Nguyen 12 months ago

    @Lorenzo Giobbi
    May I ask you a simple question?
    What is the pressure below "over pressure" in the upper purge line?

    Merry Christmas!!

    Jickji Nguyen has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • Bintang Farhan

    Bintang Farhan 11 months ago

    How many finalist will be selected? Thank you

    Bintang Farhan has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 59 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 11 months ago

    Is the bottom purge line also for hydrogen? For me it isn't clear how that would work if there is a cap on it. I read the comments above but it isn't clear to me. Is the bottom one is used to collect water, how does the hydrogen pass?

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Bintang Farhan

    Bintang Farhan 11 months ago

    @Martijn Piket correct me if I'm wrong, but the water trap is a cyclone separator, so after reaching the bottom the hydrogen will go up again and enters the smaller tube inside the water trap

    Bintang Farhan has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 59 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 11 months ago

    @Nick Drobot i'm having the same doubt about the cap and the exits. I see the cap in the bottom that's called "watertrap_gas_block" so it does block gasses. So if the bottom exit doesn't allow hydrogen to pass through, there are two exits left. A flow that passes the "amine trap", and a flow to the "purge line".
    So is the bottom "purge line" also used to continuously used to collect hydrogen?
    on which exit is the over-pressure device? on the upper "to purge line?"

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Lorenzo Giobbi

    Lorenzo Giobbi 11 months ago

    @Jickji Nguyen the safety device opens when the pressure inside the line reaches 42.5 bar

    Lorenzo Giobbi has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 3 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 11 months ago

    the deadline changed?

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang 11 months ago

    @Martijn Piket yes. Thanks for pointing that out, Martijn. We think that it makes sense to give everyone more time to finalize your designs over the weekend.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Alessandro

    Alessandro 11 months ago

    Hi, in requirements I don't find the maximum pressure drop allowed in the water trap.
    Can you tell if there is a minimum exit pressure? thank you

    Alessandro has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 4 comments.
  • Jan-Justus Schmidt

    Jan-Justus Schmidt 11 months ago

    @alessandro:

    Thanks, good question! No, there is no strict limit, and some pressure drop could be acceptable if the solution is very effective at catching water. However, we would like the output pressure from the system to still be as high as possible. The input pressure into the water trap is maximum 35 bar, so a large pressure drop could reduce the useful H2 output pressure for the customers, which is inconvenient.

    Jan-Justus Schmidt has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • V.Novacov

    V.Novacov 11 months ago

    Gentlemans.In all this Entries there is not clear- Where the conensate goes out?

    V.Novacov has uploaded 21 CAD models & has left 54 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 11 months ago

    what's the next step?

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Bintang Farhan

    Bintang Farhan 11 months ago

    just wait for the finalist announcement

    Bintang Farhan has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 59 comments.
  • Jingwen Wang

    Jingwen Wang 11 months ago

    Hi everyone, thank you very much for submitting your designs, and our jury members are carefully reviewing all of them. The finalists will be announced by the end of this week.

    Jingwen Wang has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 17 comments.
  • Daxpatel

    Daxpatel 11 months ago

    Sounds Great.

    Daxpatel has uploaded 8 CAD models & has left 6 comments.
  • Nick Drobot

    Nick Drobot 11 months ago

    Can't wait to see who the finalists are! Fingers crossed everyone!

    Nick Drobot has uploaded 22 CAD models & has left 10 comments.
  • Nelson De Wit

    Nelson De Wit 10 months ago

    Greetings, When will the winner be announced?

    Nelson De Wit has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • Kesa

    Kesa 10 months ago

    Winners will be announced within the next hour or so.

    Kesa has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 180 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 10 months ago

    Are the images and description already in the right order? The concepts don't seem to fit the feedback. Thanks!

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Bintang Farhan

    Bintang Farhan 10 months ago

    Congratulations for the winner!!

    Bintang Farhan has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 59 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 10 months ago

    At third place it says "less components is better" while that's the top concept/image. I feel like the order isn't right. Does someone else see it the same way?

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Alessandro

    Alessandro 10 months ago

    Yes, i think there is something wrong, either the description or the picture

    Alessandro has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 4 comments.
  • Alay Pandya

    Alay Pandya 10 months ago

    The one on third place (Enapter water trap by Dax Patel), it is very nice concept, it has less components and easy manufacturing, and as he uses TEC, so maintenance is low, it improves the condensation compare to others, and as per my experience with TEC.
    I think!
    It need to change the postion of ranking as nano technology is not easy to implement at the large scale and third one can be directly implement....
    According to me that is best implementing concept

    Alay Pandya has uploaded 0 CAD models & has left 1 comments.
  • Martijn Piket

    Martijn Piket 10 months ago

    Is there someone from Grabcad or Enapter who could fix this? I assume that's going to be Monday, as it's weekend now.

    Martijn Piket has uploaded 1 CAD models & has left 26 comments.
  • Kesa

    Kesa 10 months ago

    We want to issue an apology, We have given the wrong results of the Enapter challenge. We sincerely apologize for this mistake and, the new results have been updated as this message is live. Again we apologize for this misinformation, have a great rest of your day.
    -Kesa
    GrabCAD Community Manager

    Kesa has uploaded 3 CAD models & has left 180 comments.
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