TANK

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Div of Materials Mech and Structures

Abstract

The technology for the generation and use of hydrogen as a fuel is established however at present the best way to store the hydrogen is to pressurise the gas to 350 bar or higher (i.e. 350 times atmospheric pressure). This has cost and safety
considerations. Handling high pressure hydrogen requires thick and heavy metal cylinders or bulky composite cylinders. Electrolysers driven by electricity from renewables or from the grid can readily generate hydrogen but this is at low
pressures. Thus mechanical gas compressors are needed to compress the gas to above 350 bar. Such mechanical compressors are expensive and require maintenance, the storing of large quantities of hydrogen at high pressure requires blast zones. Being able to store the majority of gas at low pressure utilising metal hydride (MH) solid state stores is not only safer but it requires much less volume. Fuel cells (which convert hydrogen and oxygen to water and electricity) operate at these low pressures too, so for certain stationary applications, storing hydrogen by a low pressure MH store makes sense. This project will build a prototype to prove the viability of the technology and explore the market potential for MH stores.

This project will use an innovative metal hydride that has been developed and tested via EPSRC funded research and this combined with our latest heat management modelling will deliver the next generation metal hydride stores with reduced
materials cost, reduced complexity of balance of plant and higher efficiency. These stores will be based on a lightweight aluminium pressure vessel with a passive internal thermal management design. This will deliver a prototype "off the shelf" hydrogen store that can store at a pressure of a few bar the equivalent mass of gas to a 350 bar pressure cylinder for stationary applications yet in a smaller volumetric footprint. The metal hydride has over 2 wt% working capacity operating between 1 and 30 bar, ideal for storing gas from electrolysers and delivering to fuel cells. This is a working capacity double that of AB5 and 30% that of commercially available AB2 hydrides, but at lower raw material cost than either competitor alloy.

Planned Impact

While an energy storage device will contribute to meeting the combined objectives of the energy trilemma, the purpose of the project is to demonstrate to the partners the economics of delivering a practical hydrogen store. If successful this will
generate economic benefits for Arcola and ITM power through offering an integrated low pressure hydrogen store with their systems, a new market for Luxfer's aluminium pressure vessel technology and a potential spin out for the UoN. Thus it has
the potential to generate jobs as well as being a clean energy storage medium. The timescale for these benefits depends on the uptake of hydrogen storage in the market. Estimates range from 3 to 10 years.

As well as economic benefits there are social and environmnetal benefits. The social benefits come from demonstration and acceptance of the use of hydrogen by the public. This is vital for the hydrogen economy whether hydrogen is used
directly or indirectly through augmenting gas supplies. The environmental benefits of using MH tanks is they store the hydrogen at low pressure which negates expensive energy inefficient mechanical compressors that require constant maintenance and improves safety. Another key benefit is the reduction of safety zone areas required for high pressure hydrogen stores. By reducing the total amount of hydrogen that is
stored at high pressure effectively reduces vital land usage due to reduced safety zone requirements. This project addresses all three aspects of the energy trillema and brings associated benefits to the UK and potentially globally. Greater deployment of energy storage at scale enables greater renewables penetration reducing carbon
emissions and increasing energy security, as well as reducing costs at the energy system level with a 25% reduction in costs projected compared to comparable existing technologies. Energy storage also helps improve grid stability by both reducing the amount of renewables exported to the grid and helping to turn renewables into a schedularised asset.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We have successfully developed a low temperature and cost effective hydrogen store enabling storing hydrogen at room temperature and low pressure with a smaller footprint than compressed gas. The challenges of adopting a mass produced storage cylinder and modifying internal structure while not influencing the heat treatment protocol for strengthening the alloy enabling a potential mass produced product to be available combined with a cost effective metal hydride that can be handled safely for loading the vessel and potentially at a quarter of the cost of current commercial product. We have demonstrated that the modified internal structure is sufficient to maintain the required heat management of the system as the tank is hydrided and dehydrided and validated our models of this complex system with a reactive metal hydride bed. We have also explored with the partners the pathways through regulatory hurdles that are required for the development and commercialization of such a product.
Exploitation Route The protype is now proposed being taken from 2 and 10 L to full size 50 L tank for potential fully demonstrable configuration such as 10s of cylinders used to store hydrogen for many applications such as a buffer tank for a refueling station or for a gas pipeline buffer or for a stationary store in a remote heating location within a hydrogen economy such as currently being developed through projects such as EU Big Hit project. this project has potential to replace compressed hydrogen in a number of applications offering a cost effective safer lower pressure gas storage and existing and new partners are seeking funds for this follow on full demonstrator. Other demonstrators are being submitted and potential impact accelerator to help with next steps is under review
Sectors Energy,Transport

 
Description The potential of such a storage tank has shown potential interest to the partners with potential commercialization routes currently being discussed and others through dissemination events. On UK and one European company are interested in validating their own compositions based on our experience of scale up.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Energy,Transport
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Standard Research - Thermally-driven solar air conditioning (TSAC)
Amount £202,437 (GBP)
Funding ID R00143X 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2017 
End 08/2019
 
Description 14th International Metal Hydrogen Congress, Salford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact MH2014 is the 14th International Congress International conference on Metal Hydrogen systems. The modeling work we presented by this project work generated interest and potential collaborations with other groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://mh2014.salford.ac.uk/
 
Description 15th International Metal Hydrogen Congress, Interlaken 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact MH2016 is the 15th International Congress Conference on Metal Hydrogen systems. Research on the optimization of AB2 type alloy composition with superior hydrogen storage properties for stationary applications was presented generating interest and potential collaborations with other groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://mh2016.ch/
 
Description Arcola visit to University of Nottingham (25/01/17) - Fuel cell generator integration with 2L prototype store 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Peter Stephens (Arcola Energy) visited the University of Nottingham delivering the 150W Hymera fuel cell generator which was integrated with 2L prototype TANK store. Discussions about testing scenarios to be carried out.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies by Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI). David Grant, Metal hydride compressor optimisation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI) hold an energy conference once every two years around a particular theme. In 2019 the theme was 'Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies'.The two-day conference featured academics, researchers and industrial experts from around the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energy-for-life-energy-solutions-for-developing-economies-registratio...
 
Description Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies by Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI). Kandavel Manickam presentation - Metal hydrides for stationary hydrogen storage application 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI) hold an energy conference once every two years around a particular theme. In 2019 the theme was 'Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies'.The two-day conference featured academics, researchers and industrial experts from around the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energy-for-life-energy-solutions-for-developing-economies-registratio...
 
Description Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies by Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI). Ming Li, Case Study: Developing self-sustained, renewable, low-carbon energy generation and storage systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Energy Technologies Research Institute (ETRI) hold an energy conference once every two years around a particular theme. In 2019 the theme was 'Energy for Life: Energy Solutions for Developing Economies'.The two-day conference featured academics, researchers and industrial experts from around the globe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energy-for-life-energy-solutions-for-developing-economies-registratio...
 
Description Heading trials of 10L cylinders with internal architecture at Luxfer (19/07/16) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact University of Nottingham delivered ten 10L cylinder shells with internal fin architecture to Luxfer. Single fin test was conducted to assess the position of the top fin for safe cylinder heading. Once determined the ten 10L shells were headed and fully processed (heat treatment, machining, washed and pressure testing).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Heading trials of 2L cylinders with internal architecture at Luxfer (03/11/16) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact University of Nottingham delivered ten 2L cylinder shells with internal fin architecture to Luxfer. Single fin test was conducted to assess the position of the top fin for safe cylinder heading. Once determined the ten 2L shells were headed and fully processed (heat treatment, machining, washed and pressure testing).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Meeting with Lloyd's Register & Luxfer to certify 2L prototype store for research purposes (15/12/16) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation and meeting with Lloyd's Register & Luxfer discussing the steps and documentation required to certify the 2L prototype store for research purposes at the University of Nottingham. Certification was received, and hence delivery of two 2L prototype stores to the University of Nottingham, on 26/01/17.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Plenary Gavin Walker Metal hydrides fo r energy systems , 268 MH2016 16th International Symposium of Metal Hydrogen Systems, Guangzhou 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact International conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mh2018.cn/
 
Description Quarterly meeting 0 (03/12/15) Kick-off meeting with project partners at University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Introductory presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) laying out previous knowledge expertise. This meeting led to development of a detailed plan of what would be achievable in the time limits of the feasibility project. The TANK prototype store size with metal hydride powder was downgraded to 2L for proof of concept but the 10L was also produced for thermal management research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Quarterly meeting 1 (08/03/16) with project partners at Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) reporting the past quarter's project progress and plans for future completion of work packages. This meeting led to discussion of further market exploitation opportunities and how to advance the developed technology to a higher TRL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Quarterly meeting 2 (14/06/16) with project partners at ITM Power 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) reporting the past quarter's project progress and plans for future completion of work packages. This meeting led to discussion of further market exploitation opportunities and how to advance the developed technology to a higher TRL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Quarterly meeting 3 (12/09/16) with project partners 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) reporting the past quarter's project progress and plans for future completion of work packages. This meeting led to discussion of further market exploitation opportunities and how to advance the developed technology to a higher TRL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Quarterly meeting 4 (16/12/16) with project partners at Arcola Energy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) reporting the past quarter's project progress and plans for future completion of work packages. This meeting led to discussion of further market exploitation opportunities and how to advance the developed technology to a higher TRL.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Quarterly meeting 5 (24/02/17) with project partners at University of Nottingham 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation made to project partners (ITM Power, Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd and Arcola Energy) reporting the past quarter's project progress and completion of work packages for overall project completion. This meeting led to discussion of further market exploitation opportunities and how to advance the developed technology to a higher TRL. Discussions with Michael Priestnall, Innovate UK Lead Technician - Energy Catalysts about further funding avenues either as project extension (submit a 'change request') or newly funded project (energy catalyst round 5).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Rushlight Show - Innovate UK Energy Catalyst Round 2 Showcase, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Poster presented at exhibition describing the TANK project aim, progress and potential outcomes which led to discussions with Innovate UK Technologists and businesses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.rushlightevents.com/rushlight-show/
 
Description Talk MoOA03 A1: David Grant Metal hydride compressor optimisation , 232 16th International Symposium on Metal-Hydrogen Systems: in Guangzhou 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Dissemination of research outputs
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.mh2018.cn