Hydrogen infrastructure

(Redirected from Hydrogen station)

A hydrogen infrastructure is the infrastructure of hydrogen pipeline transport, points of hydrogen production and hydrogen stations (sometimes clustered as a hydrogen highway) for distribution as well as the sale of hydrogen fuel,[1] and thus a crucial prerequisite before a successful commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology.[2]

Hydrogen pipelines

Network edit

Hydrogen highways edit

A hydrogen highway is a chain of hydrogen-equipped filling stations and other infrastructure along a road or highway which allow hydrogen vehicles to travel.

Hydrogen stations edit

Hydrogen stations which are not situated near a hydrogen pipeline get supply via hydrogen tanks, compressed hydrogen tube trailers, liquid hydrogen trailers, liquid hydrogen tank trucks or dedicated onsite production. Some firms as ITM Power are also providing solutions to make your own hydrogen (for use in the car) at home.[3] Government supported activities to expand an hydrogen fuel infrastructure are ongoing in the US state of California, in some member states of the European Union (most notably in Germany[2]) and in particular in Japan.

Hydrogen pipeline transport edit

Hydrogen pipeline transport is a transportation of hydrogen through a pipe as part of the hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen pipeline transport is used to connect the point of hydrogen production or delivery of hydrogen with the point of demand, pipeline transport costs are similar to CNG,[4] the technology is proven,[5] however most hydrogen is produced on the place of demand with every 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km) an industrial production facility.[6] As of 2004, there are 900 miles (1,448 km) of low pressure hydrogen pipelines in the US and 930 miles (1,497 km) in Europe.

Buffer for renewable energy edit

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory believes that US counties have the potential to produce more renewable hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles than the gasoline they consumed in 2002.[7]

As an energy buffer, hydrogen produced via water electrolysis and in combination with underground hydrogen storage or other large-scale storage technologies, could play an important role for the introduction of fluctuating renewable energy sources like wind or solar power.[2]

Hydrogen production plants edit

98% of hydrogen production uses the steam reforming menthod.[8] Methods such as electrolysis of water are also used.[9] The world's largest facility for producing electrolytic hydrogen fuel is claimed[10] to be the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R), a 10MW-class hydrogen production unit, inaugurated on 7 March 2020, in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture.[11] The site occupies 180,000 square meters of land, much of which is occupied by a solar array; but power from the grid is also used to conduct electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen fuel.[10]

Hydrogen pipeline transport edit

Hydrogen pipeline transport is a transportation of hydrogen through a pipe as part of the hydrogen infrastructure.

History edit

Economics edit


Hydrogen pipeline transport is used to transport hydrogen from the point of production or delivery to the point of demand. Although hydrogen pipeline transport is technologically mature,[16][17] and the transport costs are similar to those of CNG,[18] most hydrogen is produced in the place of demand, with an industrial production facility every 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km)[19]

Piping edit

For process metal piping at pressures up to 7,000 psi (48 MPa), high-purity stainless steel piping with a maximum hardness of 80 HRB is preferred.[20] This is because higher hardnesses are associated with lower fracture toughness so stronger, higher hardness steel is less safe.

Composite pipes are assessed like:

Fiber-Reinforced Polymer pipelines (or FRP pipeline) and reinforced thermoplastic pipes are researched.[21][22][23][24]

Carrying hydrogen in steel pipelines (grades: API5L-X42 and X52; up to 1,000psi/7,000kPa, constant pressure/low pressure cycling) does not lead to hydrogen embrittlement.[25] Hydrogen is typically stored in steel cylinders without problems. Coal gas (also known as town gas) is 50% hydrogen and was carried in cast-iron pipes for half a century without any embrittlement issues.

Infrastructure edit

  • 2004 - USA - 900 mi (1,400 km) of low pressure hydrogen pipelines[26][27]
  • 2004 - Europe - 1,500 km (930 mi) of low pressure hydrogen pipelines.[28]

Hydrogen highway edit

A hydrogen highway is a chain of hydrogen-equipped public filling stations, along a road or highway, that allows hydrogen powered cars to travel.[29] William Clay Ford Jr. has stated that infrastructure is one of three factors (also including costs and manufacturability in high volumes) that hold back the marketability of fuel cell cars.[3]

Supply issues, cost and pollution edit

Hydrogen fueling stations generally receive deliveries of hydrogen by tanker truck from hydrogen suppliers.[30] An interruption at a hydrogen supply facility can shut down multiple hydrogen fueling stations.[31] A hydrogen fueling station costs between $1 million and $4 million to build.[32]

As of 2019, 98% of hydrogen is produced by steam methane reforming, which emits carbon dioxide.[8] The bulk of hydrogen is also transported in trucks, so pollution is emitted in its transportation.[30]

Hydrogen station edit

Hydrogen fueling pump

A hydrogen station is a storage or filling station for hydrogen fuel.[33] The hydrogen is dispensed by weight.[34][35] There are two filling pressures in common use: H70 or 700 bar, and the older standard H35 or 350 bar.[36] As of 2021, around 550 filling stations were available worldwide.[36]

Delivery methods edit

Hydrogen fueling stations can be divided into off-site stations, where hydrogen is delivered by truck or pipeline, and on-site stations that produce and compress hydrogen for the vehicles.[37][38]

Types of recharging stations edit

Home hydrogen fueling station edit

Home hydrogen fueling stations are available to consumers.[39] A model that can produce 12 kilograms of hydrogen per day sells for $325,000.[40]

Solar powered water electrolysing hydrogen home stations are composed of solar cells, power converter, water purifier, electrolyzer, piping, hydrogen purifier,[41] oxygen purifier, compressor,[42] pressure vessels[43] and a hydrogen outlet.[44]

Disadvantages edit

Volatility edit

Hydrogen fuel is hazardous because of its low ignition energy, high combustion energy, and because it easily leaks from tanks.[45] Explosions at hydrogen filling stations have been reported.[46]

Supply edit

Hydrogen fuelling stations generally receive deliveries by truck from hydrogen suppliers. An interruption at a hydrogen supply facility can shut down multiple hydrogen fuelling stations due to an interruption of the supply of hydrogen.[47]

Costs edit

There are far fewer Hydrogen filling stations than gasoline fuel stations, which in the US alone numbered 168,000 in 2004.[48] Replacing the US gasoline infrastructure with hydrogen fuel infrastructure is estimated to cost a half trillion U.S. dollars.[49] A hydrogen fueling station costs between $1 million and $4 million to build.[50] In comparison, battery electric vehicles can charge at home or at public chargers. As of 2023, there are more than 60,000 public charging stations in the United States, with more than 160,000 outlets.[51] A public Level 2 charger, which comprise the majority of public chargers in the US, costs about $2,000, and DC fast chargers, of which there are more than 30,000 in the U.S.,[51] generally cost between $100,000 and $250,000,[52] although Tesla superchargers are estimated to cost approximately $43,000.[53]

Freezing of the nozzle edit

During refueling, the flow of cold hydrogen can cause frost to form on the dispenser nozzle, sometimes leading to the nozzle becoming frozen to the vehicle being refueled.[54]

Locations edit

Consulting firm Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik tracks global hydrogen filling stations and publishes a map.[55]

Asia edit

In 2019, there were 178 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation.[56]

Hydrogen station in Ariake, Tokyo

As of May 2023, there are 167 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation in Japan.[57][58] In 2012 there were 17 hydrogen stations,[59] and in 2021, there were 137 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Japan.[36]

By the end of 2020, China had built 118 hydrogen refueling stations.[60]

In 2019, there were 33 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in operation in South Korea.[56][61] In November 2023, however, due to hydrogen supply problems and broken stations, most fueling stations in South Korea offered no hydrogen.[62] 41 out of the 159 hydrogen stations in the country were listed as open, and some of these were rationing supplies of hydrogen.[63]

Europe edit

In 2019, there were 177 stations in Europe.[56][64][65] By early 2024 that number had grown to 178, half of which were in Germany.[66]

As of June 2020, there were 84 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Germany,[64] 5 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in France,[64] 3 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Iceland,[64] one publicly available hydrogen fuel station in Italy,[64] 4 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in The Netherlands,[64] 2 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Belgium,[64] 4 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Sweden,[64] 3 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Switzerland[64] and 6 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Denmark.[64] Everfuel, the only operator of hydrogen stations in Denmark, announced in 2023 the closure of all of its public hydrogen stations in the country.[67][68]

As of June 2021, there were 2 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in Norway, both in the Oslo area.[69] Since the explosion at the hydrogen filling station in Sandvika in June 2019, the sale of hydrogen cars in Norway has halted.[70] In 2023, Everfuel announced the closure of its two public hydrogen stations in Norway and cancelled the opening of a third.[67]

As of June 2020, there were 11 publicly available hydrogen fuel stations in the United Kingdom,[64] but as of 2023, the number decreased to 5.[71] In 2022, Shell closed its three hydrogen stations in the UK.[72]

North America edit

Canada edit

As of July 2023, there were 10 fueling stations in Canada, 9 of which were open to the public:

  • British Columbia: Five stations are in the Greater Vancouver Area and Vancouver Island, with one station in Kelowna. All six stations are operated by HTEC (co-branded with Shell and Esso).[73]
  • Ontario: One station in Mississauga is operated by Hydrogenics Corporation. The station is only available to certain commercial customers.[74]
  • Quebec: Three stations in the Greater Montreal area are operated by Shell, and one station in Quebec City is operated by Harnois Énergies (co-branded with Esso).[74]
United States edit

As of December 2023, there were 58 publicly accessible hydrogen refueling stations in the US, 57 of which were located in California, with one in Hawaii.[51]

  • California: As of December 2023, there were 57 retail stations.[51] Continued state funding for hydrogen refueling stations is uncertain.[75] In September 2023, Shell announced that it had closed its hydrogen stations in the state and discontinued plans to build further stations.[76] In 2024 it was reported that "a majority of the hydrogen stations in Southern California are offline or operating with reduced hours" due to hydrogen shortages and unreliable station performance.[77]
  • Hawaii opened its first hydrogen station at Hickam in 2009.[78][79] In 2012, the Aloha Motor Company opened a hydrogen station in Honolulu.[80] As of April 2023, however, only one publicly accessible station was in operation in Hawaii.[51]
  • Michigan: In 2000, the Ford Motor Company and Air Products & Chemicals opened the first hydrogen station in North America in Dearborn, MI.[81] As of November 2023, no publicly accessible stations were in operation in Michigan.[51]

Oceania edit

In 2021, the first Australian publicly available hydrogen fuel station opened in Canberra, operated by ActewAGL.[82]

Hydrogen tank edit

A hydrogen tank on a Honda FCX platform

A hydrogen tank (other names- cartridge or canister) is used for hydrogen storage.[83][84][85] The first type IV hydrogen tanks for compressed hydrogen at 700 bars (70 MPa; 10,000 psi) were demonstrated in 2001, the first fuel cell vehicles on the road with type IV tanks are the Toyota FCHV, Mercedes-Benz F-Cell and the GM HydroGen4.

Low-pressure tanks edit

Various applications have allowed the development of different H2 storage scenarios. Recently, the Hy-Can[86] consortium has introduced a small one liter, 10 bars (1.0 MPa; 150 psi) format. Horizon Fuel Cells is now selling a refillable 3 megapascals (30 bar; 440 psi) metal hydride form factor for consumer use called HydroStik.[87]

Type I edit

  • Metal tank (steel/aluminum)
  • Approximate maximum pressures: aluminum 175 bars (17.5 MPa; 2,540 psi), steel 200 bars (20 MPa; 2,900 psi).

Type II edit

Type III edit

  • Tanks made from composite material, fiberglass/aramid or carbon fiber with a metal liner (aluminum or steel).
  • Approximate maximum pressures: aluminum/glass 305 bars (30.5 MPa; 4,420 psi), aluminum/aramid 438 bars (43.8 MPa; 6,350 psi), aluminium/carbon 700 bars (70 MPa; 10,000 psi).

Type IV edit

Hydrogen tanks for the Toyota Mirai.

Type V edit

  • All-composite, linerless tank. Composites Technology Development (Colorado, USA) built a prototype tank for a satellite application in 2010 although it had an operating pressure of only 200 psi and was used to store argon.[90]
  • Approximate maximum pressure: 1,000 bars (100 MPa; 15,000 psi).

Tank testing and safety considerations edit

In accordance with ISO/TS 15869 (revised):

  • Burst test: the pressure at which the tank bursts, typically more than 2× the working pressure.
  • Proof pressure: the pressure at which the test will be executed, typically above the working pressure.
  • Leak test or permeation test,[91] in NmL/hr/L (Normal liter of H2/time in hr/volume of the tank.)
  • Fatigue test, typically several thousand cycles of charging/emptying.
  • Bonfire test where the tank is exposed to an open fire.
  • Bullet test where live ammunition is fired at the tank.

This specification was replaced by ISO 13985:2006 and only applies to liquid hydrogen tanks.

Actual Standard EC 79/2009

  • U.S. Department of Energy maintains a hydrogen safety best practices site with a lot of information about tanks and piping.[92] They dryly observe "Hydrogen is a very small molecule with low viscosity, and therefore prone to leakage.".[93]

Metal hydride storage tank edit

Magnesium hydride edit

Using magnesium[94] for hydrogen storage, a safe but weighty reversible storage technology. Typically the pressure requirement are limited to 10 bars (1.0 MPa; 150 psi). The charging process generates heat whereas the discharge process will require some heat to release the H2 contained in the storage material. To activate these types of hydrides, at the current state of development you need to reach approximately 300 °C (572 °F). [95][96][97]

Other hydrides edit

See also sodium aluminium hydride

Research edit

  • 2008 - Japan, a clay-based film sandwiched between prepregs of CFRP.[98]

See also edit

References edit

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External links edit