Hydrogen filling stations rely on F-gas refrigerants for process cooling and circulation chillers

15 September 2023

A leading temperature control specialist recently announced the supply of another 36 equipment sets to a European producer of hydrogen filling stations. Each set consists of a process cooling unit, responsible for cooling the hydrogen before the refuelling process and a circulation chiller, which cools the hydrogen compressors. The process cooling unit, specially designed for use in hydrogen filling stations, uses indirect cooling with non-flammable R-449A refrigerant, according to available specification data, and pre-cools the hydrogen to -40°C at the start of the refuelling process. This is necessary as refuelling at a pressure of 700 bar causes high compression of the remaining gas in the tank and heats it up; the pre-cooled hydrogen absorbs the heat. The specially designed circulation chiller uses non-flammable R-410A in a hermetic circuit, according to available product literature.

According to the equipment manufacturer, the production of green hydrogen is one of the key technologies for a successful energy transition, which requires temperature control expertise. Liquid refuelling is usually an attractive option for heavy vehicles, where much larger quantities of hydrogen need to be stored. In addition, for Horizon Europe, the new EU research project, RHeaDHy is developing innovative and powerful solutions for faster refuelling in heavy-duty applications. RHeaDHy aims to advance the development of high-performance hydrogen fuelling stations. The ultimate goal is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from freight transport using hydrogen-powered vehicles. However, in order for the solution to be viable, it must be possible to refuel trucks and other means of transport of a similar size within a short time – the target for refuelling a truck with 100 kg of hydrogen is ten minutes. In order to do this, the hydrogen must be refuelled under high pressure, which significantly increases the temperature.

Source Refrigeration Industry, manufacturers and suppliers information.

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