Hydrogen Generator HyGen

User’s Manual




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Table of contents_____________________________________





Introduction 3

Safety 4

Description of the generator 5

Installation 11





Disassembly and transport 18

Use 19

Maintenance 29

Troubleshooting 35

© 2010

– 2011 Proton Energy Systems, Inc. d/b/a Proton OnSite

All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

Information in this document is provided in connection with Proton Energy Systems Inc. d/b/a Proton OnSite

(“Proton”) products and services. No license, express or implied, by estoppel or otherwise, to any intellectual property rights is granted by this document. Except as provided in Proton Terms and Conditions of Sale for such products and services, Proton assumes no liability whatsoever, and Proton disclaims any express or implied warranty, whether written or oral, relating to sale and/or use of Proton products or services including liability or warranties relating to fitness for a particular purpose, merchantability, or infringement of any patent, copyright or other intellectual property right. Proton products are not intended for use in medical, life saving, or life sustaining applications.

Proton may make changes to specifications and product descriptions at any time, without notice.

This document as well as any software, processes or procedures described in it is furnished under license and may only be used or copied in accordance with the terms of the license. The information in this document is furnished for informational use only, is subject to change without notice, and should not be construed as a commitment by Proton.

Proton assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies that may appear in this document or any software that may be provided in association with this document.

Except as permitted by such license, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written consent of Proton.

® Proton, Proton OnSite, Proton Energy Systems, the Proton design, StableFlow, StableFlow Hydrogen Control

System and design, HOGEN, and FuelGen are trademarks of Proton Energy Systems, Inc.

Any other brands and/or names used herein are the property of their respective owners.


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1. Introduction_________________________

This document is intended for the User of a HyGen Series Hydrogen Generator and provides all information regarding installation, use and maintenance.

The intended use of the generator is to provide a source (as an alternative to cylinders) of ultrapure hydrogen gas for powering one or more gas chromatographs.

The generator models in this series are listed below:

HyGen 200 part no. 54-0100-0005,

HyGen 400 part no. 54-0100-0006,

HyGen 600 part no. 54-0100-0007.

The cTUVus mark guarantees that these generators comply with IEC/UL/CSA 61010-1, Safety

Requirements for electrical equipment for measurement, control and laboratory use.

This product has been tested to the requirements of CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 61010-1, second edition, including Amendment 1, or a later version of the same standard incorporating the same level of testing requirements.

The margin of the text contains the following symbols, indicating:

Compulsory safety standards to be observed

Electrical hazard

Recommendations and important information

When performing installation and maintenance operations, it is presumed that the manual user is experienced in the use of pneumatic components, and in particular is aware of all safety aspects linked to the use of hydrogen.

It is strongly recommended that all safety warnings are carefully read (para. 2.1.) before carrying out any operation on the generator.


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2. Safety______________________________

The unit must be installed and used according to the instructions in this booklet.

Furthermore, use of the unit must be limited to that described in Chapter 1 Introduction.

Failure to observe the foregoing will render the guarantee null and void and release

PROTON ONSITE. (“PROTON”) from all liability for direct or indirect damage or physical


The user is responsible for asking local authorities if there are local safety regulations that are stricter than what is described in this manual.



Hydrogen is an extremely flammable gas that forms EXPLOSIVE MIXTURES WITH AIR.

If not aware of all safety aspects linked to the use of this gas, consult the relative

safety datasheet


The generator must operate with all covers installed: this guarantees the correct

circulation of air and prevents the formation of gas pockets

Place the generators in an environment PROTECTED AGAINST RAIN AND WIND

NEVER OPEN the generator while it is connected to the electrical mains: RISK OF


In the event of faults that cannot be resolved based on one of the procedures in the

TROUBLESHOOTING chapter, contact exclusively PROTON Technical Service. Repairs and

inspections must be carried out exclusively by QUALIFIED PERSONNEL

If the generator will not to be used for a prolonged period of time, it must be

adequately depressurized (see par. 6.6. and par. 6.7.). In addition, in order to maintain hydrated the cell stack, the water should not be drained, as normally required for transportation (see par. 5.1.)


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It is the Customer’s responsibility to consult with the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) regarding local code requirements for installation and operation of

this equipment.


Safety devices____________________________________

MAXIMUM PRESSURE: Maximum operating pressure that can be set is 8 bar.

There are two points of pressure control:

• One is a pressure sensor, via the control system, which shuts down the generator when pressure values exceed 0.5 bar of the set value;

• The other is a safety relief valve, independent from the control system, which limits pressure to 9 bar.

HYDROGEN-OXYGEN MIXTURE: The formation of potentially hazardous hydrogen-oxygen mixture inside the generator is prevented by a forced ventilation system. If the ventilation system fails to operate, a dedicated sensor makes the generator stop. Any significant gas leaks are also indicated by the control system.


Technical Service_________________________________

PROTON Technical Service can be contacted as follows:

Proton OnSite

10 Technology Drive

Wallingford, CT 06492


203-678-2000 [email protected] www.protononsite.com

3. Description of the generator____________


Equipment supplied_______________________________

Unless otherwise agreed upon, the supply of a HyGen series hydrogen generator includes:


Hydrogen generator

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User manual

Certificate of conformity to safety directives

Cable for the electrical mains

Connection kit


Technical specifications____________________________



Capacity (*)

HyGen 200 up to 0.200 Nl/min

HyGen 400 up to 0.400 Nl/min up to 0.200 slpm up to 0.400 slpm

HyGen 600 up to 0.600 Nl/min


Settable from 2 to 8 bar up to 0.600 slpm

Settable from 30 to 116 psi

(*) flow measurement at 20°C and 1 atmosphere


Deionized water requirements


HyGen 200

HyGen 400

HyGen 600


Maximum Pressure (in case of external deionized water supply line)


Required resistivity

Preferred resistivity


Electrical requirements

up to 12 ml/h up to 24 ml/h up to 36 ml/h from 5°C to 35°C

1.4 bar up to 0.4 fl oz/h up to 0.8 fl oz/h up to 1.2 fl oz/h from 41° to 95°F

20 psi

>1 MΩ cm @25°C ASTM Type II

>10 MΩ cm @25°C ASTM Type I

Supply voltage 110/240 Vac; 50/60Hz

Maximum power consumption

HyGen 200 110 W

HyGen 400

HyGen 600

180 W

250 W


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Pneumatic connections

Hydrogen output

Hydrogen vent

Optional deionized water inlet from external line


Electrical connections

Power supply


CAN bus IN, CAN bus OUT RJ45



G 1/8” female quick coupling for plastic pipe diameter 4mm

Hose connection ¼”



Height (with support base)

Weight (generator only)

38 cm

53 cm

47 cm

29 kg

Weight (with support base) 31 kg

Protection rating



Environmental requirements




64 lbs

68 lbs

Installation site

Minimum ventilation

Maximum inclination

Relative humidity

indoors, classified non-hazardous

4 Nm3/h 150 SCFH

± 1° up to 90%, no condensation

Use temperature

from 5°C to 35°C from 41° to 95°

Storage and transport temperature

from 5°C to 40°C from 41° to 104°



Noise level at 1 meter

< 50 dB(A)


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Generator components____________________________


Front view

A. CPU generator control unit with integrated user interface touch screen;

B. FRONT PANEL removal for maintenance operations;

C. LED WARNING LIGHT indicates the operating condition of the generator (see also par.


D. BASE for supporting the generator on a level surface

FIGURE 3.3.1: Front view


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Rear view

E. AUXILIARY WATER INLET: hose connection for connecting an optional deionized water line (1/4” hose barb)

F. H2 DELIVERY: coupling for connecting the hydrogen product line (G1/8 female)

G. SILENCER for venting at ambient pressure

H. H2 VENT: coupling for connecting the hydrogen vent line (Quick disconnect for 4 mm tube)


J. CAN BUS address (DIP switch)

K. CAN BUS IN: connector for connecting the CPU

L. EXT CMD (for optional equipment)

M. CONNECTOR for electric power supply cable (IEC 320/C13) ; includes housing for main



O. IDENTIFICATION LABEL: states the model, serial number (SN) and electrical specifications


FIGURE 3.3.2: Rear view


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Internal view


R. DEIONIZED WATER DRAIN: quick coupling for drain tube

S. DRYER: metal cylinder containing molecular sieves for drying the gas

FIGURE 3.3.3. Internal view


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4. Installation__________________________


Installation area requirements______________________



The area where the generator is installed must meet the requirements listed under para. 3.2.7.

Environmental requirements

In particular, check if ventilation is adequate. Do not install the generator into a closed

cabinet with insufficient ventilation.


Mating surface

The surface where you plan to install the generator must be level (maximum incline ± 1°)


Installation procedure_____________________________


Step 1: Remove the packaging

Open the packaging from the top

Remove the box containing the accessories

Lift the generator by grasping its side handles (two people are needed for this operation) and set it momentarily on a flat surface

• Remove the support base and place it on the desk where you plan to install the generator.

It is recommended storing the packaging to ensure adequate protection if the

generator is transported in the future.


Step 2: Position the generator

• Position the generator on its support base or above another generator of the same series (two people are needed for this operation).

Ensure a clearance of at least 20cm at the rear of the generator. There must be no potential sources of sparks in this clearance at the rear of the generator, such as: flames, electrical contacts, hot surfaces, moving parts that can generate sparks, etc.

To not decrease ventilation efficiency, also ensure a clearance of at least 20cm at the front of the generator


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If positioned vertically with other generators of the same series, the HyGen

hydrogen generator must be at the top.

For the correct installation of a "stack" of generators, consult the dedicated

User's Manual


Step 3: Fill the deionized water tank

• Remove the front panel

FIGURE Removal of the front panel

Locate the deionized water tank inside the generator, at the top right

Disconnect the tank by means of the quick coupling at the bottom of the tank


FIGURE Filling tank quick coupling disconnection

Remove the tank

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Unscrew the cap, fill the tank with the type of deionized water required to para.

3.2.2. Deionized water requirements and refit the cap

Put the tank back in place, reconnect the quick coupling

Check that water flows from the filling tank to the internal tank; otherwise squeeze the tube to force air bubble to exit

• Reposition the front panel

If the required type of water is not used, the performance of the generator may no longer be ensured and it may lead to permanent damage to the generator


To connect an optional external deionized water supply line, follow these directions:

Disconnect the quick coupling from the tank and connect it to the AUXILIARY

WATER INLET coupling (side inside the generator)


FIGURE Auxiliary water inlet coupling inside generator

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Connect the deionized water line to the AUXILIARY WATER INLET coupling

(outside the generator). ATTENTION: maximum pressure = 1.4 bar (20 psi)

FIGURE Auxiliary water inlet coupling outside generator

If an external container of water is used to periodically fill the internal HyGen deionized water tank, it is recommended that an Ionic Exchange Resin Bag be added to the external container in order to maintain the purity of the deionized water after the initial seal of the container has been broken.


Step 4: Connect the DRYER vessel

Remove the DRYER vessel from the accessories box of the packaging

Remove the two caps [A] from the DRYER vessel and store them

Connect the DRYER vessel in its seat (snap-on quick couplings)

Put the front panel back on


FIGURE 4.2.4

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Step 5: Connect the hydrogen line

• Locate the coupling H


DELIVERY at the rear of the generator

• Connect the line

The hydrogen line must be able to withstand a pressure of at least 9 bar

Downstream to the H


DELIVERY outlet, the customer must install a manual three-way valve (*) and, downstream to the valve, a check valve (*). This combination will avoid return of pressure from the line to the generator and allow the depressurisation and purging of the generator hydrogen line when necessary (example for Dryer desiccant replacement - see para. 7.3. Drier


(*) May not be included in the equipment supplied, may be ordered separately


Step 6: Connect the electrical mains

Check that the mains specifications correspond to the data on the generator nameplate

Ensure that the POWER key is set to OFF

Make the electrical connection using the cable supplied with the generator

Make sure that the off button on the rear of the generator is easily accessible.

For safety purposes, the following instructions must be strictly observed.

The electrical installation must comply with current standards, in particular regarding the protection line / ground wire.

Recommendations for correct installation:

Do not use extension leads, adaptors or multiple sockets; if necessary, replace the cable supplied with one that is longer. In case the standard supplied cable is not suitable, it is the Customer’s responsibility to obtain a power cable conforming to the local plug configurations.


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• Always connect the protection wire / ground wire;

• The mains socket must be located in an easily accessible position.

If a failure in gas supply (due to a power failure, activation of an electrical safety device, or generator fault), even temporary, is not admissible, a pneumatic panel should be developed, to enable provisional activation of a reserve gas source

(totally or partially automatic).


Step 7: Connect the vent line

The VENT outlet is a vent for automatically depressurizing the generation module in the case of production shutdown or alarm. Vented hydrogen may be wet or moisture may be present.

Locate the H2VENT outlet at the rear of the generator

Connect the vent line to the quick disconnect fitting.

VENT line must be directed to an exhaust hood or non-pressurized H2 vent

stack, away from ignition sources and far away from the suction of the fans

The vent line must never be clogged or subjected to the risk of freezing


Step 8: Connect the CPU

Position the CPU where it will be used, e.g. above the generator, using the supplied support

Connect the Ethernet cable to the rear of the CPU (top connector)


FIGURE Ethernet cable connection to CPU

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Connect the Ethernet cable to the rear of the generator (CAN BUS IN connector) •

FIGURE Ethernet cable connection to generator

Additional information about the communication connections can be found in the

Stack User’s Manual.


Packaging disposal________________________________

It is recommended to store the original packaging to ensure adequate protection for the purifier when moved in the future.


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5. Disassembly and transport_____________



Stop the generator (see par. 6.6.)

Wait for depressurization and for the circulation pump to stop (1 minute)

Switch off the generator (see par. 6.7.)

Disconnect the electric power cable

Disconnect the Ethernet cable connected to the CPU

Close the valves downstream of the generator and detach the pneumatic connections

Remove the front panel

Empty the deionized water tank and re-place it in the unit

Drain the water from the generation module using the supplied hose, connecting it to the drain coupling (see para. 3.3.3. Internal view)

Remove the Dryer hose and close its couplings using the two original caps

Put the front panel back on



Use the original packaging, if available; otherwise use a pallet of adequate dimensions to hold the generator, affixing instructions in visible locations, such as: THIS WAY UP, FRAGILE.

Take the necessary precautions so that the generator is never exposed to temperatures lower than 5°C during transport and storage: risk of the deionized water freezing inside the electrolytic cell, will result in permanent damage to the generator.


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6. Use________________________________


Operator interface________________________________


The CPU screen enables the user to interact with the generator, i.e. give specific commands or display and set parameters.

The table shows the function of the various keys on the screen:

Key Function

CPU Access to CPU menu

PREVIOUS Go to previous page

NEXT Go to following page

ALARM Access to list of alarms

WARNING Access to list of warnings

RESET Reset of alarms and warnings

MAINTENANCE Go to maintenance request description

MENU Access to different menus

ESC Exit from menu


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Do not press on the touch screen with sharp objects



Start the production of gas

Stop the production of gas

Decrease the value

Increase the value

Add one digit

Delete last digit

Confirms modified value


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The following chart shows the accessible menus for the operator:

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LED warning light_________________________________

In addition to the information on the CPU screen, a LED warning light on the front panel (see

par. 3.3.1. Front view) indicates the operating condition of the generator.

The LED is yellow in the READY TO START condition.

The LED is green in the PRODUCTION condition.

The LED is flashing red in case of an error condition (see par. 8.4. List of errors).


Generator start-up________________________________

To switch on the generator, put the start button on the rear of the generator in position I: the

CPU screen lights up.

After the LOGO page is shortly displayed, the GENERATORS LIST page appears

Press on the generator of interest.

The READY TO START page appears


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Hydrogen production______________________________

To start production, press the START operation key

If initiating from start-up, the generator initially carries out a SET-UP preparation cycle lasting about 1 minute

After the set-up, the generator starts to pressurize the generation module, showing the following page

After few minutes, the generation module has reached the set-point pressure and the product valve will open. From this point, the dryer and the hydrogen line connected to the generator starts to pressurize.

Depending on individual customer plumbing and process usage, it may take several minutes for operating pressure to be realized

WARNING: on first start-up, the internal pneumatic circuit may contain residual air. For this reason, the line should be vented with the gas (for approx. 40 minutes) before employing the hydrogen for the application utility


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Stopping the generator____________________________

At any time during production the generator can be stopped by pressing the STOP key.

The generator will immediately start to depressurize the generation module, showing the following page

When depressurization is completed, after approximately 15 seconds, the READY TO START page appears


Generator shutdown______________________________

After stopping the generator (see par. 6.6.), wait for the circulation pump to stop (approx. 1

minute), then put the main switch on the rear of the generator in position O

Avoid turning off the generator directly, without first stopping it as described in par. 6.6..


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Parameter display_________________________________


Hydrogen pressure display

At any moment, during production, it is possible to read the hydrogen pressure in the line


Parameter settings________________________________

Modification of system parameters may greatly affect the operation of the system. Ensure parameter to be modified is fully understood prior to proceeding

with the change.


Hydrogen delivery pressure settings

To set the operating pressure to the required value, proceed as follows.

Press on the pressure value:


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The following page appears:

Press the displayed value.

To modify the value, use the INCREASE or DECREASE keys

To set the required value, press the OK key

To exit this menu, press the ESC key


Adjustment of the display contrast

To increase the legibility of the LCD display, press the CPU key


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The following page appears:


Adjust to the desired value.

To exit this menu, press the ESC key


Selecting measuring units

The CPU allows the selection of different measuring units for temperature and pressure.

To perform the selection, press the CPU key


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The following page appears:


Select the desired measuring unit for pressure

Or go to the next page using the NEXT key

Select the desired measuring unit for temperature

To exit this menu, press the ESC key


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7. Maintenance_________________________

The maintenance operations required on hydrogen generators of the HyGen series are minimum.

para. 7.2. Maintenance schedule lists these operations and the recommended frequency


Maintenance counters display_______________________

Press the MENU key


The following maintenance counters are displayed:


WORKING TIME indicates the total working hours of the generator

PRODUCED H2 indicates the total volume (in liters) of hydrogen produced by the generator

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To display other counters, press the NEXT key

The following maintenance counters are displayed:

PUMP LIFETIME indicates the residual working hours before recommended replacement of the pump.

DESICCANT AUTONOMY indicates an estimation of the residual percentage of active desiccant before maintenance is required (see par. 7.3. Dryer


When one of these counters reaches zero, a WARNING will be display to recommend the related maintenance intervention.


Maintenance schedule_____________________________

To maintain generator efficiency and reduce the risks of faults, strictly observe the recommended maintenance schedule.


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The following table specifies the frequency of the recommended maintenance operations.

Maintenance Operation

Dryer Replacement


User / technical assistance

Operation Frequency

Refer to the dryer_life_time counter

Ionic exchange resin bag replacement

Water circulation pump replacement

User / technical assistance

Technical assistance

Every 6 months

Every 2 years

If a correct maintenance schedule is not followed, the performance of the generator may no longer be ensured and it may lead to permanent generator



Dryer replacement________________________________


- A dryer recharge


-About 15 minutes

It is recommended to wear gloves, safety glasses or goggles and dust mask.

Avoid contact of the desiccant with moist skin and eyes.

Turn off the generator according to the procedures indicated in par. 6.6.

Stopping the generator and par. 6.7. Generator shutdown

Remove the front panel

Depressurize the hydrogen line downstream of the generator


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• Remove the DRYER hose by pressing on the two quick couplings

• loosen the cap

• empty the old dryer material from the dryer vessel open the new dryer package


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• Pour the contents of the dryer recharge into the dryer vessel (if necessary, aided by a funnel); if used, ensure the funnel is completely dry.

Install the cap

Reposition the dryer vessel

• Reset the DESICCANT AUTONOMY counter to the value 100% (see para. 7.1.

Maintenance counters display)

To avoid exposing the dryer to humidity in the ambient air, open the recharge cartridge only at the time of transfer and close the dryer vessel as soon as

recharging is complete.

The spent desiccant has not been in contact with toxic chemicals; therefore it should not be considered as hazardous waste: discard it in full compliance with applicable government regulations


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Ionic exchange resin bag replacement________________


- Ionic exchange resin bag replacement


-5 minutes

Remove the front panel

Disconnect the tube from the coupling on the bottom of the deionized water filler tank

Remove the tank

Locate the black plastic pull tab on the resin bag cap

• Pull up to remove the spent ion exchange resin bag and cap


Minimize the amount of direct handling of the resin bag in order to minimize the amount of contamination prior to insertion into the deionized water tank

Replace with a new ion exchange resin bag assembly, reseat the cap in place

Reposition the deionized water tank

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Reconnect the tube onto the bottom of the tank

Reassemble the front panel

Consumables list__________________________________

The following table summarizes the consumable parts available at PROTON











8. Troubleshooting______________________



The generator informs about a malfunction or the necessity of intervention in two different ways: warning or error.


It indicates a condition that may require the intervention of the operator, but gas production is not shut down.

In WARNING status:

• An acoustic signal is emitted;

• The following page is displayed


It indicates a condition that prevents continuation of gas generation. The generator shuts down production and depressurizes the generation module.


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In ERROR status:

An acoustic signal is emitted;

The LED on the front panel is intermittent red;

The following page is displayed


Reset and identification of an alarm__________________

To shut off the acoustic signal, press the alarm page (WARNING yellow page or ERROR red page)


To visualize a warning message, press on the WARNING symbol

The following page will appear

To find the active warning, scroll down the pages using the NEXT key


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Active warnings are those highlighted; once the warning has been identified, follow the instructions in the following chapter.


To visualize an error message, press on the ERROR symbol

The following page will appear:

To find the active error, scroll down the pages using the NEXT key

Active errors are those highlighted; once the error has been identified, follow the instructions in the following chapter.

To reset the alarm, press the RESET key


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List of warnings___________________________________

Warning Identification



Data loss: the memory has lost the set up values of the parameters and has restored the default values

Water shortage


Contact service in order to set the correct values of the parameters

Refill deionized water filling tank

Water system feeding error Contact service

Expiring desiccant Recommended to replace desiccant, the reset counter to 100%

Pump maintenance required Recommended to replace circulation pump (contact service)


List of errors_____________________________________

Alarm Indication

E-00 type error

E-01 cell voltage high


Generator not identified


Assign a number to the generator (see Stack user’s manual)

Contact service

E-02 cell voltage low

E-03 poor water resistivity

Voltage to electrolyzer over the maximum threshold

Voltage to electrolyzer below the minimum threshold

Deionized water quality below requirement

Contact service

Check deionized water quality; drain water from generator; refill using water with higher resistivity

Refill fill tank E-04 water tank level empty Water level below minimum threshold

E-05 high pressure

E-06 system leak detected

Pressure in the line is higher than set-point

Leakage in the generation module

E-07 product leak detected Set-point pressure not reached

Check pressure in the line

Contact service

Check for leakage in the line


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Alarm Indication

E-10 water resistivity sensor failed

E-11 temperature low


E-08 failed pressure transducer

No signal from pressure transducer

E-09 system high temperature Water temperature in generation module above max threshold

No signal from resistivity sensor

Water temperature in generation module below minimum threshold


Contact service

Check if environment temperature is within specifications

Contact service

Check if environmental temperature is within specifications

Contact service E-12 temperature sensor failed

E-13 fan error

No signal from temperature sensor

Internal ventilation failure Check if the rear fan is obstructed; contact service

Contact service E-14 pump error

E-16 microprocessor fault No communication with the control board microprocessor

E-17 invalid level sensor state Level sensor failure

E-18 water reserve over

Circulation pump is not powered

E-20 cell thermal switch failure

Proper water level is not restored

Cell thermal switch disconnected

E-21 electronic box temperature high

E-22 current generator temperature high

E-23 vent error

Electronic box temperature above threshold

Current generator temperature above threshold

Generation module is not able to depressurize

Invalid status of safety sensors

E-24 safety circuit malfunctioning

E-26 electronic box temperature

E-27 current generator temperature

E-28 max current

E-29 CAN communication fault

No signal from electronic box temperature sensor

No signal from current generator temperature sensor

Cell current above threshold

CPU cannot communicate with the generator

Contact service

Contact service

Refill fill tank

Contact service

Contact service

Contact service

Check if vent line is obstructed

Contact service

Contact service

Contact service

Contact service

Check connection within generator and CPU.


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Proton OnSite

10 Technology Drive

Wallingford, CT 06492


203-678-2000 www.protononsite.com


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