Enhancing the sustainability of green hydrogen production tools through predictive maintenance 
Green hydrogen has emerged as a pivotal element in the transition towards cleaner and more sustainable energy sources. Developed by Lhyfe, it serves as an ideal solution for decarbonizing both the industrial and transportation sectors.
Wind turbine in the countryside

Since 2017, Lhyfe has solidified its position as a trailblazing European leader in the field of green hydrogen. Aspiring to become a "green unicorn" by preventing the emission of a billion tons of CO2, the company produces green hydrogen through water electrolysis fueled by renewable electricity.

See the client story in fench (FR)
Solutions

IBM Client Engineering

IBM Maximo Application Suite

Challenge

A true pioneer in the energy market, Lhyfe is targeting industry and mobility (hydrogen for industrial vehicle fleets, buses, trains, etc.), two sectors aiming to reduce carbon emissions by diversifying their energy mix.

The company faces a threefold challenge: laying the foundations for a new industry, finding a sustainable business model that combines the requirements of sustainable development with profitability, and convincing clients - industrial, corporate, and local communities - of the sector’s reliability.

"Among all these challenges, converting customers is, of course, essential. For them to commit to decarbonizing their business activities with Lhyfe, our offer must incorporate product quality, customer experience, competitive costs and impeccable lead times," emphasizes Antoine Hamon, Chief Operating Officer at Lhyfe.

Ensuring the reliability of our industrial tool is crucial and at the very center of these requirements. "For example, we have an offshore electrolyzer off the Loire Atlantique coast, near wind turbines belonging to SYDEV (Syndicat Département d’Energie et d’Équipement de la Vendée - Energy and Equipment department of the Vendee region). Using this renewable energy, we produce green hydrogen for public transport in La Roche-sur-Yon. During the winter period, operations are more complex. We must ensure production continuity through optimized maintenance." explains Antoine Hamon.

With the aim of stabilizing the production tool, IBM has supported Lhyfe through IBM Client Engineering, an entity dedicated to technological exploration, the co-design of innovative solutions and realization of demonstrations.

Results 80 tons   Green hydrogen production goal per day by 2026.   1,200 tons   Green hydrogen production goal per day by 2030.  
Working with IBM is a major step forward in our approach, as it is extremely reassuring to have such an experienced partner by our side. Antoine Hamon Chief Operating Officer Lhyfe
Transformation: From start-up to scale-up
 

"I had previously evaluated the effectiveness of the IBM Maximo Application Suite solution." explains Eric Pietri, Operations & Maintenance Support at Lhyfe. "Choosing the tool presented challenges: in the short term, it needed to be lightweight and calibrated for our current production and small teams. In the medium term, it had to swiftly scale up to manage a constellation of production units. Currently producing 1 MWh," says Antoine Hamon, "our ambition is to reach 55 MWh by the end of 2024 and 200 MWh in 2026!”

Together with Lhyfe's teams, IBM Client Engineering clarified the need and developed a Proof of Concept (POC) to tangibly demonstrate how Lyfhe's technicians could effectively work with this tool. "The demo was highly convincing." concludes Antoine Hamon.

IBM Maximo Application Suite, hosted and deployed by IBM partner Arondor, is now being implemented at two sites (an offshore unit in Vendée and an onshore unit in Bouin), before expanding its usage to 7 other sites currently under construction or expansion across Europe. IBM Maximo Application Suite allows for real-time monitoring of equipment status (production units and rolling assets) and the planning of maintenance actions to optimize asset performance, improve their lifespan and control maintenance costs. Moreover, it is a tool that contributes to operational safety and enables traceability – particularly to meet ATEX [1] site requirements.

Lhyfe's collaboration with IBM is a successful example of implementing technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, decrease dependence on fossil fuels, and achieve sustainability goals.

[1] ATEX (Explosive Atmosphere) regulations require companies to control explosion-related risks in these environments.

IBM really took into account our start-up constraints and adapted to them. Antoine Hamon Chief Operating Officer Lhyfe
Results: IBM, driving development through innovation
 

"I was extremely surprised by the accessibility of IBM, often perceived as a company that only works with large accounts." emphasizes Antoine Hamon. "But they really took into consideration our start-up constraints and adapted to them."  

Beyond the implementation of IBM Maximo Application Suite, Lhyfe received support from IBM Client Engineering in other areas of innovation. "We set up multidisciplinary teams composed of technical experts from IBM and business experts from Lhyfe." explains Ouafaa El Moumouhi, Director of IBM Client Engineering. "The goal is to assess how specific IBM technologies could aid Lhyfe in overcoming various operational challenges. When identifying potential, we conducted necessary experiments." The teams explored strategies to leverage data generated by the plants for integration into future applications.

For Antoine Hamon, "even if all the discussions we have with IBM Client Engineering don't lead to concrete implementations, it helps us develop our approach and prepares us for the future. Having such an experienced partner by our side is very reassuring. I genuinely felt that the resources and time IBM invested to expedite our development was a recognition of our potential.”

About Lhyfe

Lhyfe is a European group dedicated to energy transition, producing and supplying green and renewable hydrogen. In 2021, Lhyfe inaugurated the world's 1st industrial green hydrogen production site, directly connected to a wind farm. In 2022, Lhyfe inaugurated the world’s 1st pilot platform for green hydrogen production at sea. Lhyfe currently has 7 sites under construction or expansion throughout Europe. Lhyfe is present in 12 European countries and, at the end of June 2023, had 192 employees. The company is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.