skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Boil-off losses along LH2 pathway

Abstract

Losses along the LH 2 pathway are intrinsic to the utilization of a cryogenic fluid. They occur when the molecule is transferred between 2 vessels (liquefaction plant to trailer, trailer to station storage, station storage to pump or compressor, then fuel cell electric vehicles …) and when the fluid is warmed up due to heat transfer with the environment. Those losses can be estimated with good accuracy using thermodynamic models based on conservation of mass and energy, providing the thermodynamic states are correctly described. Indeed, the fluid undergoes various changes as it moves along the entire pathway (2 phase transition, super-heated warming, non-uniform temperature distributions across the saturation film) and accurate equations of state and 2 phase behavior implementations are essential. The balances of mass and energy during the various dynamics processes then enable to quantify the boil-off losses. In this work, a MATLAB code previously developed by NASA to simulate rocket loading is used as the basis for the LH 2 transfer model. This code implements complex physical phenomena such as the competition between condensation and evaporation and the convection vs. conduction heat transfer as a function of the relative temperatures on both sides of the saturated film. Themore » original code was modified to consider real gas equations of state, and some semi-empirical relationships, such as between the heat of vaporization and the critical temperature, were also replaced by a REFPROP equivalent expression, assumed to be more accurate. Non-constant liquid temperature equations were added to simulate sub-cooled conditions. It is shown that although trailer depressurization and transfer losses from the receiving vessel during a LH 2 delivery may constitute the largest sources of losses, those can be greatly reduced and even eliminated if CFR/DOT regulations are properly applied and if no-vent fill methods are implemented, particularly for a stationary LH2 storage operating at reasonably low pressure (45 psia or so). As such, it is expected that the only remaining boil-off losses for a refueling station would come from the LH 2 pump (utilization and idling), pump vessel cool down/warm up, and environment heat transfer. Based on experimental data measured at LLNL on the Linde 875 bar LH 2 cryo-pump and results from the model, and extrapolating for refueling stations of various sizes, it can be shown that boil-off losses can vary from 15% of delivered LH 2 for a 100 kg/day, 5% at 400 kg/day, and down to less than 2% for stations above 1,800 kg/day (for a system similar to the one at LLNL). Less boil-off is to be expected for LH 2 pumps dispensing at 350 bar, so that less than 0.7% can be expected above 1,800 kg/day station capacities. At last, boil-off recovery solutions are briefly analyzed, including compressors, cryo-coolers and stationary fuel cell. Their economic value is strongly related to the costs of H2 and of the electricity needed to perform the recovery, on top of the initial capital expenditures. Effective boil-off could be reduced to 0.6-1% for a 2,000 kg/day station if adequate recovery solutions are used.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1466121
Report Number(s):
LLNL-TR-750685
936219
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
08 HYDROGEN

Citation Formats

Petitpas, Guillaume. Boil-off losses along LH2 pathway. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1466121.
Petitpas, Guillaume. Boil-off losses along LH2 pathway. United States. doi:10.2172/1466121.
Petitpas, Guillaume. Mon . "Boil-off losses along LH2 pathway". United States. doi:10.2172/1466121. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1466121.
@article{osti_1466121,
title = {Boil-off losses along LH2 pathway},
author = {Petitpas, Guillaume},
abstractNote = {Losses along the LH2 pathway are intrinsic to the utilization of a cryogenic fluid. They occur when the molecule is transferred between 2 vessels (liquefaction plant to trailer, trailer to station storage, station storage to pump or compressor, then fuel cell electric vehicles …) and when the fluid is warmed up due to heat transfer with the environment. Those losses can be estimated with good accuracy using thermodynamic models based on conservation of mass and energy, providing the thermodynamic states are correctly described. Indeed, the fluid undergoes various changes as it moves along the entire pathway (2 phase transition, super-heated warming, non-uniform temperature distributions across the saturation film) and accurate equations of state and 2 phase behavior implementations are essential. The balances of mass and energy during the various dynamics processes then enable to quantify the boil-off losses. In this work, a MATLAB code previously developed by NASA to simulate rocket loading is used as the basis for the LH2 transfer model. This code implements complex physical phenomena such as the competition between condensation and evaporation and the convection vs. conduction heat transfer as a function of the relative temperatures on both sides of the saturated film. The original code was modified to consider real gas equations of state, and some semi-empirical relationships, such as between the heat of vaporization and the critical temperature, were also replaced by a REFPROP equivalent expression, assumed to be more accurate. Non-constant liquid temperature equations were added to simulate sub-cooled conditions. It is shown that although trailer depressurization and transfer losses from the receiving vessel during a LH2 delivery may constitute the largest sources of losses, those can be greatly reduced and even eliminated if CFR/DOT regulations are properly applied and if no-vent fill methods are implemented, particularly for a stationary LH2 storage operating at reasonably low pressure (45 psia or so). As such, it is expected that the only remaining boil-off losses for a refueling station would come from the LH2 pump (utilization and idling), pump vessel cool down/warm up, and environment heat transfer. Based on experimental data measured at LLNL on the Linde 875 bar LH2 cryo-pump and results from the model, and extrapolating for refueling stations of various sizes, it can be shown that boil-off losses can vary from 15% of delivered LH2 for a 100 kg/day, 5% at 400 kg/day, and down to less than 2% for stations above 1,800 kg/day (for a system similar to the one at LLNL). Less boil-off is to be expected for LH2 pumps dispensing at 350 bar, so that less than 0.7% can be expected above 1,800 kg/day station capacities. At last, boil-off recovery solutions are briefly analyzed, including compressors, cryo-coolers and stationary fuel cell. Their economic value is strongly related to the costs of H2 and of the electricity needed to perform the recovery, on top of the initial capital expenditures. Effective boil-off could be reduced to 0.6-1% for a 2,000 kg/day station if adequate recovery solutions are used.},
doi = {10.2172/1466121},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}