Centralised and decentralised automation concepts

The right automation concept for your hydrogen production

Electrolysers are important components in hydrogen production. Choosing the right automation concept for electrolysers can have a significant impact on their performance and efficiency. In this article, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of centralised and decentralised automation concepts for electrolysers and highlight the differences between the two approaches.

Comparison of systems

The choice between centralised and decentralised automation concepts for electrolysers depends on various factors, such as:

  • What the requirements for the systems are
  • What level of flexibility is required
  • How high the reliability must be, and
  • What the maximum incurred cost can be

Both concepts have advantages and disadvantages that, depending on your requirements, you should weigh up carefully. For the best possible solution, the design engineers should analyse the specific requirements of your system and consider the advantages and disadvantages of both concepts.

Concept 1: centralised automation concepts for electrolysers

Centralised automation concepts are based on a central control system or controller. You use it to monitor and operate the entire system.

The centralised data management and monitoring as well as the efficient use of resources are major advantages. However, the susceptibility to failures is higher.

Concept 2: decentralised automation concepts for electrolysers

Decentralised automation concepts for electrolysers distribute the control and monitoring tasks to several decentralised units or modules.

Large systems, such as those found in the chemical or pharmaceutical industry, are usually controlled decentrally. Increased flexibility in the event of changes or extensions is important, for example. The advantages of the decentralised automation concept clearly outweigh the disadvantages. At the same time, however, integrating other systems is more difficult.

Valentin Buleac


About the author

Valentin Buleac
Concept Engineer Process Industries
Festo SE & Co. KG

April 2024

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