Development of a 1 L/hr Scale Liquid Hydrogen System

Development of a 1 L/hr Scale Liquid Hydrogen System
liquid hydrogen; ortho-para hydrogen converters; multilayer insulation; hydrogen liquefaction; LN2 precooling
Issue Date
Proceedings of the 7th Asian Conference on Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Various industries including automotive, aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing, military surveillance, commercial communication, fuel cell, solar panel etc. are showing great interests in liquid hydrogen (LH2) as one of the most efficient hydrogen storage methods for their applications. However, there are only few large-scale LH2 plants available in foreign commercial market, which are not readily accessible by researchers and engineers in related fields. In order to acquire hydrogen liquefaction and storage technology and mature them to be applied to future research, a small-scale LH2 plant was developed. The hydrogen liquefaction plant consists of cryocooler, cryostat, liquid nitrogen (LN2) precooling bath, two ortho-para (o-p) hydrogen converters, heat pipe, multilayer insulations, sensors and auxiliary components. The liquefaction plant was designed as both a cryocooler-cooled liquefier and a long-term zero boil-off liquid storage reservoir to meet various demands from applications. A Gifford-McMahon (GM) cryocooler was selected as a cold sink and purchased from Cryomech Inc. A vacuum-jacketed 200 L capacity cryostat was designed to provide highly efficient thermal protection to LH2 storage space by intensive thermal and structural analysis. A heat pipe was uniquely designed and installed in the cryostat to enhance heat transfer between the cryocooler and hydrogen gas and liquid. A LN2-cooled precooling bath was designed in a way that it can act as a precooler and an o-p hydrogen converter at given temperature. A temperature sensor rake, a liquid level sensor and multiple pressure sensors provide thermophysical status of hydrogen in the cryostat to National Instrument data acquisition system in real time. Multilayer insulation blankets with hydrogen getter under high vacuum in the cryostat minimize heat loss into LH2 storage. All the components were carefully assembled in dust, oil and solvent-free environment
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