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Chinese H2 firm PERIC selects ABB to supply rectifier system to Texas pilot plant

ABB’s portfolio of automation and digital solutions continues to support the H2 industry worldwide and ABB has been selected by partner PERIC Hydrogen Technologies Co (PERIC), an electrolyzer producer, to support a green H2 pilot facility in the Texas desert in the U.S. The facility will convert renewable energy into green H2 and combine it with industrially-sourced carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce ultra-low carbon fuels.

The project comes a year after ABB signed a Memorandum of Understanding with PERIC to support its capabilities to manufacture highly efficient electrolyzers—systems that generate H2 by using electricity to split water molecules into H2 and oxygen.

In August 2022, ABB started working on the project with PERIC to deliver the customized UNIREC H2 power rectifier to the facility. Based on a proven full-wave thyristor converter and ABB’s latest control technology with advanced regulation and protection functions, UNIREC H2 is designed for projects with high requirements in terms of performance and capacities.

The UNIREC H2 water-cooled power rectifier has the potential to achieve electrolyzer currents of up to 36 kA and generates three times more power than the air-cooled version.

“We have previously worked with ABB and experienced their advanced control, power distribution, and excitation systems and decided to expand our collaboration to a real partnership,” said Mr Lian XiaoFei at PERIC. “In this project, ABB not only customized the rectifier as per our client’s requirements but also attuned the system to the temperature conditions given the plant is in a desert.”

Deserts usually display extreme weather conditions. Because of the plant location and the unusual harsh environment, the custom-made UNIREC H2 has been tested in extreme weather conditions through digital simulations based on historical climate data to ensure uninterrupted power supply and optimized production.

As an additional benefit for the end user, the rectifier was designed to occupy less space and with low maintenance costs due to its compact features and reduced number of components. As for the PERIC case, UNIREC H2 can also be delivered in a container with all components pre-tested and pre-assembled, thus optimizing space needs and reducing the commissioning time.

“Our solution delivers a current output that goes well beyond the standard provided for such systems. It has laid down the foundation to become a standard for ABB soon,” said Bernhard Loher, Head of Products & Technology for Excitation and Rectifiers at ABB Energy Industries. “This project will strengthen our position in the H2 industry, and we are looking forward to continuing to play our role building a cleaner and more energy efficient world.”

ABB has carried out the factory acceptance tests for the rectifier to ensure it runs seamlessly and enhances the overall plant performance. The UNIREC H2 rectifier is now on site and the plant is expected to enter commercial operations in December, 2023.