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Modeling of Hydrogen Pressurization and Extraction in Cryogenic Pressure Vessels Due to Vacuum Insulation Failure


We have analyzed vacuum insulation failure in an automotive cryogenic pressure vessel (also known as cryo-compressed vessel) storing hydrogen (H2). Vacuum insulation failure increases heat transfer into cryogenic vessels by about a factor of 100, potentially leading to rapid pressurization and venting to avoid exceeding maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP). H2 release to the environment may be dangerous if the vehicle is located in a closed space (e.g. a garage or tunnel) at the moment of insulation failure. We therefore consider utilization of the hydrogen in the vehicle fuel cell and electricity dissipation through operation of vehicle accessories or battery charging as an alternative to releasing hydrogen to the environment. We consider two strategies: initiating hydrogen extraction immediately after vacuum insulation failure, or waiting until MAWP is reached before extraction. The results indicate that cryogenic pressure vessels have thermodynamic advantages that enable slowing down hydrogen release to moderate levels that can be consumed in the fuel cell and dissipated onboard the vehicle, even in the worst case when the vacuum fails with a vessel storing hydrogen at maximum refuel density (70 g/L at 300 bar). The two proposed strategies are therefore feasible and the best alternative can be chosen based on economic and/or implementation constraints.

Related subjects: Safety
Countries: Mexico ; United States

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Modelling of hydrogen pressurization and extraction in cryogenic pressure vessels due to vacuum insulation failure

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