Storage and transportation technologies in the deployment phase of hydrogen energy are characterized by those applied at hydrogen refueling stations. Among these technologies, compressors and pressure vessels and the systems thereof are important in terms of cost reduction, as well as safety. This article gives the perspectives of these technologies from the view point of the “Strategic road map on hydrogen and fuel cells” formulated by the Ministry of economy and trade of Japan in June, 2014.
In the early stages of the popularization of fuel cell vehicles (FCV), it is necessary to develop infrastructure for hydrogen refueling. On-site hydrogen refueling stations have an advantage that transportation of hydrogen gas to these stations is unnecessary because they produce their own hydrogen on-site, however, high initial construction cost because of the installation of a hydrogen reformer is a disadvantage. To overcome this cost limitation due to the installation of a hydrogen reformer, we propose “Mother & Daughter System” for hydrogen supply. The proposed system is comprised of an on-site hydrogen refueling station (Mother station) that has a hydrogen reformer to produce hydrogen gas and hydrogen gas shipment facilities to transport the produced hydrogen, and an off-site hydrogen refueling station (Daughter station) that receives the hydrogen gas from Mother station.
Hydrogen energy has come as the key to a low carbon society. Based on our philosophy “Gas and Energy”, Iwatani has developed liquid hydrogen technology and supply system to expand the use of hydrogen through various activities as a pioneer and market leader of gaseous and liquid hydrogen in Japan. The shift to liquid hydrogen, the largest liquefaction plant in Japan operating from 2006 and another two production bases, is enabled to build up and roll-out of liquid hydrogen distribution systems covering not only increasing industrial demands but also potential hydrogen energy use in energy segment. Following various promotional activities for the coming hydrogen energy society have been taking positive steps towards realizing this: (1) Major three liquefied hydrogen plants including a new plant in western Japan has been operated since 2013, (2) Liquid hydrogen delivery and storage type refueling station, (3) Commercial hydrogen refueling station including Linde ionic compressor technologies, IC-90 system.
TAIYO NIPPON SANSO Corporation (TNSC) developed the Package-Type Hydrogen Station. The brand name is “Hydro Shuttle”. TNSC chose an air drive-type booster and a carbon fiber reinforced pressure vessel in Hydro Shuttle. TNSC also developed the high efficiency pre-cooler for Hydro Shuttle. Hydro Shuttle is compact and lightweight, and will be most suitable for a mobile Hydrogen Station.
Samtech started to produce aluminum liners for high pressure composites cylinders in 1996 in the United State. Then, since 2003, Samtech has developed high pressure composites cylinders, which contribute to realize hydrogen society ― used for Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) or other hydrogen storage, in Japan.
Now, Samtech is developing the high pressure composites cylinders for Hydrogen Fuel Stations. This paper introduces the current status of this development.
In April, 2014, the Hydrogen Energy Test and Research Center (HyTReC) completed the testing equipment of the large hydrogen storage tank for hydrogen refueling stations. Thereby, the examination of all the hydrogen apparatus used by the infrastructure of a fuel cell electric vehicle is attained. The storage tank for test evaluation is the maximum internal capacity of 500 liters, and maximum-working-pressure 110MPa.The capability of hydrogen gas testing equipment is the maximum pressure 110MPa and maximum flow late 2,400Nm3/hr. Becoming, this serves as equipment of the world’s most advanced testing capability. This facilities was named CRADLE (acronym representing the Center for Research Activities and Development of Large scale pressure vessel Equipment).