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Hydrogen Production and Delivery


Vessel Design and Fabrication Technology for Stationary High Pressure Hydrogen Storage

Stationary hydrogen storage is a critical element in the overall hydrogen production and delivery infrastructure. It is needed at central production plants, renewable energy sites, geologic storage sites, terminals, and refueling stations. Stationary storage also provides the surge capacity to
handle hourly, daily, and seasonal demand variations.

The objective of this project is to develop integrated steel and prestressed concrete vessel designs and fabrication technology for cost-effective, high-pressure hydrogen storage system for stationary applications. The integrated approach will enable the following:

  • A systematic integrated vessel design to mitigate hydrogen embrittlement associated with the use of high-strength steel for high-pressure hydrogen storage
  • Use of cost-effective structural materials and engineering design
  • High-productivity and low-cost fabrication technologies
  • Application of embedded sensors to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the storage system

In addition to technical challenges, all aspects of the project will be optimized to meet or exceed the DOE capital cost goal of $300/kg•H2 by the year of 2015 (under revision currently).

Project Documents:

Contact: Zhili Feng, fengz@ornl.gov

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Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Technology for Hydrogen Pipelines

Composite pipeline technology is a promising alternative to low-alloy, high-strength steel pipelines. Recent research into the feasibility of using FRP pipelines for hydrogen delivery has shown that the pipelines have excellent cost and performance advantages. Significantly, FRP pipelines appear to be undamaged by hydrogen exposure. FRP pipelines are an emerging technology with worldwide application in upstream oil and gas operations and in well interventions.

This objective of this project is to define research and development issues relevant to adapting FRP pipeline technology for hydrogen transmission from generation site to distribution terminal and from distribution terminal to dispensing site:

  1. Economic benefits, such as reduced capital investment and lower operating costs
  2. Performance advantages, such as the long-term hydrogen compatibility of FRP pipelines and connections
  3. FRP hydrogen pipeline codes and standards advancement
  4. Commercialization and industry implementation, promoted through successful technology demonstrations

Project Documents:

Contact: Barton Smith, smithdb@ornl.gov

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Hydrogen Permeability & Integrity of Steel Welds and Heat Affected Zones
(Understanding the Effects of Welding on Material Property Degradation)

The hydrogen energy infrastructure, including pipelines, will require extensive use of steels and other cost-effective structural and functional materials under high-pressure gaseous hydrogen exposure. Welds in delivery pipelines has been found to be the susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement, making weld regions the weakest link for the structural integrity and safety of hydrogen pipelines and the hydrogen delivery infrastructure as a whole.

The goals of this project are as follows:

  1. To gain basic understanding of the effects of friction stir welding (as compared to conventional welding) on property degradation of metallic materials, particularly for high-strength pipeline steels.
  2. To develop the technical basis and guidelines for management of hydrogen, stress, and microstructure in the weld region, including the weld metal and the heat affected zone for structural integrity and safety of hydrogen pipelines.
  3. To develop welding/joining technology that can be used to safely and cost effectively construct new pipelines and/or retrofit existing pipelines for hydrogen delivery.

Project Documents:

Contact: Zhili Feng, fengz@ornl.gov

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