Increasing the Efficiency of Hydrogen Fueling with a Free-Piston Expander for Hydrogen Cooling

The U.S. Department of Energy is providing funding to GTI to develop a new technology to address the cost associated with dispensing of hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles.

The innovative free-piston expander increases the efficiency of a hydrogen fueling station by eliminating the need for a hydrogen pre-cooling unit and flow control valve that prevent extremely high temperatures from occurring in the vehicle during fueling. Using an efficient expansion device to reduce pressure allows the gas to cool down prior to being dispensed into the vehicle’s storage system.

A free-piston expander is ideally suited for this task due to its proven efficiency and its capability to adjust pressure ratio over the course of the fill. Low maintenance cost is also a key benefit of this technology as there is only one moving part.

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