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Robot-based Assembly of Hydrogen Tube Fittings for large-scale Electrolyzers
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  • Patrick Adler ,
  • Daniel Syniawa ,
  • Lukas Christ ,
  • Bernd Kuhlenkoetter
Patrick Adler
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Daniel Syniawa
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Lukas Christ
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Bernd Kuhlenkoetter
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Hydrogen is one of the main pillars in the transition to renewable energy and can be used in particular for buffering and storing energy. Electrolyzers are needed to produce sustainable, green hydrogen. Today, these electrolyzers are mainly manufactured by hand. An electrolyzer plant consists of two main com-ponents, the stack in which the actual electrolysis takes place and the balance of plant that ensures the operation of the stack. Different electrolysis technologies have essential similarities in the balance of plant so that automation can achieve particular optimization potentials at this point. The use of automation technologies such as industrial robots is intended to bring this production to series maturity. For this reason, large-scale electrolysis plants are analyzed with regard to their design, the combination of different elec-trolysis technologies and the connection technology used. A significant propor-tion of the necessary assembly steps are cable, hose and tube connections, which automation technology has not yet been able to assemble in a process-safe and economical manner. In this paper, the process of tube connection using tube nuts is explained in more detail and a design system for a robotic tool is presented. A robot tool is called an end-effector because it is used at the end of the robot kinematics. This end-effector is designed for use on industrial robots and is intended to make series production more economical. For this purpose, the necessary information pro-cessing, material flows and energy transformations are investigated and their in-terrelationships are presented. The goal is to evaluate a suitable physical operat-ing principle for bolting hydrogen tube nuts.