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Pre-cooling Systems for Hydrogen Fueling Stations: Techno-economic Analysis for Scaled Enactment


Hydrogen fueling standards stipulates a sustainable cooling system technically and economically. Accordingly, the interior surface temperature of the on-board H2 storage tank in fuel cell electric vehicles must not exceed the maximum specified limit (358.15 K), and the fueling rate must be ≤ 42.86 sec / kg-H2, with T40 dispenser at 70 MPa. In this context, H2 refueling stations often employ double-tube and block heat exchangers for heat transfer. This study examines the H2 pre-cooling system for various loads and provides a comparative techno-economic analysis of double tube heat exchangers (DTHE) and microchannel heat exchangers (MCHE) under stipulated technical, operational, and outlet gas standards. For this purpose, thermal and hydraulic performances were simulated using ANSYS-CFX. Technical and cost models utilize manufacturer specifications and literature-based technical and economic characteristics to derive the minimum sustainable price, defined as the price to sustain the product. The results showed that the MCHE outperformed the DTHE for setups in mass manufacturing, improved effective heat transfer area, and predicted long term unit cost. The annual quantitative output affects manufacturing expenses and profit margins substantially. With high production rates, it is expected that the unit cost of the MCHE will decrease by up to 74%. In switching from DTHE to MCHE, general material requirements decreased by ~60%, with scrap waste savings of ~45% reflecting an appreciable footprint reduction.

Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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