Panasonic Releases New Gas Flow Sensor for Hydrogen and Industrial Applications

August 27, 2020 by Stephanie Leonida

Panasonic introduces its new hydrogen gas sensor suitable for use in evaluating a wide range of hydrogen-related technology.

Panasonic is an industry heavy-weight leading the development of a wide variety of electronics technologies and solutions for its vast network of customers in housing, consumer electronics, automotive, and B2B businesses. The company has a global reach, encompassing 528 subsidiaries, and 72 associated companies worldwide.

Recently, Panasonic developed a sensor that intends to be used for both research and evaluation purposes and expects to create hydrogen-related technologies further. The new sensor is an industry-first, processing the real-time measurement of flow rate and concentration of hydrogen under highly humid conditions. 


Hydrogen Technology

Hydrogen-powered technology is an area of intense research and development. Current and future applications span various areas, including transportation, material handling, stationary, portable, and emergency backup power. In stacked fuel cells, hydrogen reacts with oxygen without the process of combustion taking place.

This releases water and heat as byproducts. This is a much safer alternative to combustion from diesel or petrol care engines that produce toxic greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The research and development going into the evaluation of stack units are becoming increasingly important for driving forward the adoption of cleaner and more efficient power supply technologies. 


Panasonic’s New Sensor 

Panasonic combines its fluid control technology and ultrasonic measurement technology to achieve the simultaneous measurement of both flow rate and hydrogen concentration under highly humid conditions. This technology rests on the development of the company’s gas meter devices.

With Panasonic’s sensor, systems configurations can be simplified to evaluate both hydrogen fuel cells and fuel cell stack units. Any unreacted hydrogen can be effectively measured and monitored with this sensor compared to previous models. This enables proper recycling and use of the unreacted hydrogen.


Panasonic’s ultrasonic gas flow and concentration sensor for hydrogen. Image courtesy of Panasonic.


Another feature of Panasonic’s new sensor is the use of the ultrasonic method to measure gas. This enables the achievement of a low pressure-drop performance even while high-flow gases are measured. Flow rate and the concentration of gases can be measured without unwanted disruptions like a reduction in flow. 


Industry's First Sensor of It's Kind

For any hydrogen-related technology such as hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen supply will always vary depending on the application. Panasonic’s sensor has adapted to incorporate the ability to measure a range of flow rates (0 to 700 NL/min) for hydrogen. To achieve this, Panasonic utilized its own in-house signal processing technology.


Specifications of the new sensor. Image courtesy of Panasonic


The technology also allows for a wider range of hydrogen concentrations to be measured with an accuracy of ±2.0% (H2: 100%) and operates at a temperature between 0 to 70°C. 

Panasonic’s sensor will be invaluable in the research and development of hydrogen-related technologies in industries, including automotive, energy, aerospace, and more.