The use of Hydrogen as a fuel for various vehicles and applications is gathering pace. Since the only by-product is water, hydrogen is cleaner than regular fuels such as diesel or petrol. Another key advantage is the higher efficiency, so that in general, less fuel is needed. We at EHL Group and Resato support the development of low carbon technologies and the hydrogen economy with our specialist hydrogen refuelling stations. For those stations, be they vehicle fleet or consumer focused, a safe operation is guaranteed through high-pressure tests on the hydrogen tanks and on all station components
A sustainable vision with hydrogen
We shape the future. As experts in high pressure applications, we put our knowledge to work in order to create sustainable, safe, and efficient solutions for testing with hydrogen gas, fuelling cars/buses with hydrogen, and more. EHL Group and Resato support the development of a wider hydrogen economy with a variety of refuelling stations options. This variety includes not only large stations our society is used to, but also smaller options to provide an affordable alternative to motivate our customers to start investing into a greener future and to provide an incentive for end-users to invest in a sustainable FCEV.
With over 25 years of experience in high pressure technology, we understand the challenges of pressurizing hydrogen. We develop and manufacture our compressors, testing and refuelling systems with a sharp eye on environmental & personal safety. We work hard to offer solutions that meet or exceed your expectations
Five challenges of hydrogen high pressure testing
Over the past few years, the concept of an economy in which hydrogen plays an important role gained significant traction, especially with organizations aiming to reduce their carbon emissions while envisioning a carbon-free energy grid. The advances made in storing electricity in the form of hydrogen can have a major impact on ensuring grid stability and connecting the energy network.
Developing this hydrogen industry does of come with its own challenges. The special properties of the hydrogen molecule can make it hard to handle. Practical applications such as storage tanks, cylinders, pipes, valves and other components used by the energy, automotive and oil & gas industries must always be tested and certified. These test procedures may vary from basic burst tests to complex cycle testing procedures in both low and high temperature ranges. If you are involved in performing high pressure tests with hydrogen in any way, being aware of the following five hydrogen challenges will surely assist you:
According to NACE International, hydrogen embrittlement can be a cause of corrosion which “can seriously reduce the ductility and load-bearing capacity, cause cracking and catastrophic brittle failures at stresses below the yield stress”. As this phenomenon does not affect all metals similarly, it is important to carefully select the right materials.
Hydrogen, together with helium, is a gas that behaves different from nitrogen, air and other gases during a pressure drop (the so called isenthalpic process). Contrary to many other molecules, hydrogen actually becomes warmer when it expands. This effect is also referred to as a reversed Joule-Thomson effect. When working with hydrogen under high pressures of up to 700 bar, the Health and Safety Executive points out that it is critical to understand the implications of this behaviour in order to develop safe solutions.
Although the energy per mass of hydrogen is the highest of any fuel, its low ambient density results in a low energy per unit volume. To increase the energy density of this energy, hydrogen gas is typically stored in tanks at pressures between 350 and 700 bar or even higher.
Many international organizations recognize the broad flammability of hydrogen. According to a NASA project, “a 4 percent to 74 percent concentration in air and 4 percent to 94 percent in oxygen” is sufficient to create a flammable mixture. Preventing hydrogen from mixing with air and oxygen in confined spaces is therefore an advice that must not be taken lightly.
Due to its chemical structure and its light atomic weight, hydrogen easily diffuses through materials and is extremely difficult to contain in confined areas as a result. The right sealing technology and materials are critical for developing safe hydrogen testing equipment that minimizes hydrogen leakages and counter-act hydrogen embrittlement.
Our technologies can help you move safely into the Hydrogen Economy
Safety, testing time, and the cost of defects are important issues to be considered when choosing a testing system. We know that accurate and safe testing of your hydrogen-suited products is critical for market release. With our knowledge on geometry, materials, volumes, and pressures, we assist you in making the best decision for your testing application.
Pressure range, flow rate, and safety are critical success factors for the development of hydrogen systems. Our hydraulic-driven pressure booster is optimized for hydrogen compression by separating the pressure chamber from the hydraulic drive. We develop our products with a focus on safety and operational efficiency.
Filling time, scalability, and return of investment are key criteria for the selection of a hydrogen refuelling station. We want to support the development of the hydrogen economy by providing a variety of solutions for different customer needs. If you are interested in investing into a greener future, contact us to discuss your possibilities!