Approach

The HSECoE is developing on-board vehicular hydrogen storage systems and components that will alow for light-duty vehicles capable of a driving range comparable to today's vehicles while meeting commerical performance, cost, and reliability requirements. This effort includes developing engineering, design, and system models required to optimize on-board subsystems.

Objectives of the HSECoE:

  • Quantify the performance requirements for condensed-phase storage systems.
  • Coordinate with other institutions around the globe to compile storage media requirements and data.
  • Define advanced heat and mass transfer approaches to meet demanding automotive requirements.

One of the major objectives of the HSECoE is to design, evaluate and construct, test and evaluate subscale solid-state hydrogen storage systems for the DOE. These subscale prototypes can include storage systems based on 3 main classes of hydrogen storage materials: adsorbents, metal hydrides and chemical hydrides. The storage systems under investigation must meet several DOE targets and Go/No-Go Decisions before they can move on to the construction and testing phases of the program.

System Architects

The “System Architect” champions the most promising system for each of the storage material classes for further testing and evaluation. In that role the System Architect will follow the technical progress of each storage system and continually assess the system’s ability to meet or exceed the DOE’s performance targets. The System Architect will also take a lead role in the design, building, evaluation and decommissioning of each prototype system. In the HSECoE a separate System Architect is assigned to each of the 3 classes of storage systems.
Metal Hydride System

Metal hydrides are onboard rechargeable materials which chemically bind hydrogen to metal and/or metalloid atoms and have hydrogen densities greater than that of liquid hydrogen. These materials endothermically discharge hydrogen; thus added heat is required for discharge and cooling required for charging. Understanding the role of the sorption enthalpy in concert with chemical kinetics, weight fraction hydrogen specific heat and thermal conductive are essential in designing metal hydride systems.
Absorbent System

Adsorbents are onboard rechargeable materials that bind hydrogen in its molecular state through van der Waals bonds to ultra-high surface area super activated carbons or MOF (Metal-Oxide Framework) materials. The enthalpy of adsorbed hydrogen is much less than in the chemically bound states, thus cooling to typically 77K is required to hold hydrogen. Understanding of cryogenic heat flow, super-insulating materials and compaction of these materials are essential in the design of adsorbent hydride systems.
Chemical Hydride System

Chemical hydrides are off-board rechargeable materials which chemically bind hydrogen and have hydrogen densities greater than that of liquid hydrogen. These materials exothermically discharge hydrogen; thus heat removal is required for hydrogen discharge and energy efficient charging methods need to be developed. Understanding of solid state reactors, solid materials transport and heterogeneous catalysis are essential in designing metal hydride systems.

Technology Areas


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System Architects
Metal Hydride System Absorbent System Chemical Hydride System
Performance Modeling & Cost Analysis      
Integrated Power Plant & Storage System Modeling      
Transport Phenomena      
Materials Operating Requirements      
Enabling Technologies      
Subscale Prototype Demonstrations      

This “matrix” approach provides the Center access to a broad class of technical expertise through its Technology Area Teams as well as the project focus and technical coordination, which is provided by the individual System Architects.

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