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Pressure vessel storage


Technology Description

Pressure vessels are the most established hydrogen storage technology and involve the physical storage of compressed hydrogen gas in high-pressure vessels for stationary or mobile (such as tube trailers) applications. The pressure rating and internal volume of the container determines the quantity of hydrogen it can hold, and they are often classified into four types: I) vessel made of metal, usually steel (around 1 wt% hydrogen); II) vessel made of a thick metallic liner hoop wrapped with a fibre-resin composite; III) vessel made of a metallic liner fully-wrapped with a fibre-resin composite; IV) vessel made of polymeric liner fully-wrapped with a fibre-resin composite (around 5.3 wt% hydrogen) and V) fully composite vessel (under consideration). The choice of pressure vessel will depend on the final application, being a compromise between volumetric density and cost. Pressure vessels are already used in the chemicals industry and at hydrogen refuelling stations, mostly all-steel tanks. Trucks that haul gaseous hydrogen compress it to pressures of around 180-250 bar into steel vessels (long tubes) carrying approximately 380 kg onboard and limited by the weight of the vessel. However, recently light-weight composite storage vessels have been developed that have capacities of 560-900 kg of hydrogen per trailer, increasing considerably the hauling efficiency per trip. Types III-IV have gravimetric capacities that exceed four times that of steel vessels working on the same pressure, can endure high pressures and are used in the vehicle industry.

Relevance for Net Zero

Compressed hydrogen storage in pressure vessels will be needed to in vehicle fleets and to balance fluctuations from hydrogen production.

Key Countries

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