Hydrogen Storage

Storage is a vital factor in the commercialisation of fuel cells as a safe, efficient and energy dense way of storing hydrogen will greatly improve the viability of fuel cell technology, particularly for automotive applications. Hydrogen can be stored in any state; as a solid, a liquid or a gas.

State Storage Mechanism and supply mechanism Advantages Disadvantages
Gas Pressurised carbon fibre composite gas tank up to 700 bar Commercially available

Energy required for compression

Energy from fossil fuels usually used to produce hydrogen

Tanks are bulky and must be cylindrical

Safety concerns

Costly tanks

Liquid Cryogenic tank at -253°C

Commercially available

Excellent gravimetric and volumetric hydrogen capacity at low pressures

30-40% energy loss to cool to cryogenic temperatures

1%/day losses from boil off

Safety concerns

Costly tanks

Solid Chemical hydrides heated to <100°C to decompose and release hydrogen

Excellent gravimetric and volumetric hydrogen capacity

Safe, easy to handle

In the early development stages

Energy required for off-board regeneration

Harmful by-products must be removed from the impure hydrogen gas stream

More information about hydrogen storage can be found in this document from the International Energy Agency.

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