2016-05-02

Transportable Hydrogen Dispensing

Station
Rendering of our modular hydrogen dispensing station design.

A drop-in, modular hydrogen fueling station has been designed to be much cheaper than current hydrogen fuel stations. Based on current demand, this station can refuel a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) in less than 5 minutes for $11.31 per kilogram. The station is transportable across the highway system utilizing standard shipping equipment. This allows the station to be moved to areas of new demand without high initial capital costs. The system is designed to meet all current fueling standards including 5 minute refueling, dispensing hydrogen at -40 °C, fueling 6 vehicles per hour, and accommodating a 48 hour shutdown. The hydrogen fuel station is in accordance with all federal, state, and local regulations.

Currently, 80-90% of all non-pipeline hydrogen distribution is done using cryogenic liquid tanker truck. This new hydrogen station would utilize the existing 5 bar liquid delivery infrastructure to fill a cryogenic storage tank.  Liquid hydrogen will allow the station to maximize storage capacity, and through autogenous pressurization, reduce the amount of energy and equipment that would be required to deliver and compress gaseous hydrogen for fueling vehicles. This system will reduce compressor operational costs by an estimated 63% per refuel as compared to a 200 bar gaseous delivery system. This modular design couples cryo-storage with a two stage compression system optimized for efficient fuel dispensation.

 

Dispensing

The two stage dispensing process will draw hydrogen from the high pressure and medium pressure tanks within the station. Hydrogen in the medium pressure tanks will first fill the vehicle to 75% of total charge. Then hydrogen in the high pressure tank will be directed to fill the rest of the vehicle to a total of 5 kg. Easy-to-use fueling nozzles with data interface and breakaway coupling will facilitate fast, simple, and safe dispensing for users.

 

Transport

The refueling station is contained entirely within a 40-foot standard ISO container to maximize scalability and mobility. The fuel station will be mounted on a trailer and delivered via semi-truck. The station will then be connected to the main power grid and on-site water. Fuel stations can be fully installed or removed in less than 24 hours to minimize disruption to the public.

 

Safety

Public safety was a primary concern in this design. The system is designed with state-of-the-art fire suppression, surveillance, emergency, and monitoring systems. Each hydrogen storage tank is equipped with a temperature sensor, pressure sensor, and pressure relief valve with remote, real-time monitoring to ensure tanks do not over pressurize. Boil-off from the liquid hydrogen storage tank will be used to power fuel cells which run the remote monitoring and emergency systems in the event of a shutdown or power outage. Hydrogen storage tank levels will be maintained to accommodate a minimum of 48 hours of fuel cell operation in the absence of power from the main grid to ensure the safety of the public and the integrity of the station.

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