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Hydrogen Refuelling Reference Station Lot Size Analysis for Urban Sites


Hydrogen Fuelling Infrastructure Research and Station Technology (H2FIRST) is a project initiated by the DOE in 2015 and executed by Sandia National Laboratories and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to address R&D barriers to the deployment of hydrogen fuelling infrastructure. One key barrier to the deployment of fuelling stations is the land area they require (i.e. ""footprint""). Space is particularly a constraint in dense urban areas where hydrogen demand is high but space for fuelling stations is limited. This work presents current fire code requirements that inform station footprint, then identifies and quantifies opportunities to reduce footprint without altering the safety profile of fuelling stations. Opportunities analyzed include potential new methods of hydrogen delivery, as well as alternative placements of station technologies (i.e. rooftop/underground fuel storage). As interest in heavy-duty fuelling stations and other markets for hydrogen grows, this study can inform techniques to reduce the footprint of heavy-duty stations as well.

This work characterizes generic designs for stations with a capacity of 600 kg/day hydrogen dispensed and 4 dispenser hoses. Three base case designs (delivered gas, delivered liquid, and on-site electrolysis production) have been modified in 5 different ways to study the impacts of recently released fire code changes, colocation with gasoline refuelling, alternate delivery assumptions, underground storage of hydrogen, and rooftop storage of hydrogen, resulting in a total of 32 different station designs. The footprints of the base case stations range from 13,000 to 21,000 ft2.

A significant focus of this study is the NFPA 2 requirements, especially the prescribed setback distances for bulk gaseous or liquid hydrogen storage. While the prescribed distances are large in some cases, these setback distances are found to have a nuanced impact on station lot size; considerations of the delivery truck path, traffic flow, parking, and convenience store location are also important. Station designs that utilize underground and rooftop storage can reduce footprint but may not be practical or economical. For example, burying hydrogen storage tanks underground can reduce footprint, but the cost savings they enable depend on the cost of burial and the cost land. Siting and economic analysis of station lot sizes illustrate the benefit of smaller station footprints in the flexibility and cost savings they can provide. This study can be used as a reference that provides examples of the key design differences that fuelling stations can incorporate, the approximate sizes of generic station lots, and considerations that might be unique to particular designs.

Funding source: USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Fuel Cell Technologies Office (EE-3F)
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United States

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