DOE Technical Targets for Hydrogen Storage Systems for Material Handling Equipment

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This table summarizes hydrogen storage technical performance targets for material handling equipment. These targets were developed with input to DOE through extensive communications with various stakeholders, industry developers, and end users, including through a 2012 request for information and workshops, as well as additional national lab assessments.

More information about targets can be found in the Hydrogen Storage section of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan.

Technical System Targetsa: Material Handling Equipment

Storage Parameter Units 2015 2020
Hydrogen Capacity
Hydrogen capacity kg 2 2
System Volumetric Capacity
Usable energy density from H2 (net useful energy/max system volume)b kWh/L
(kg H2/L system)
Storage System Cost
System cost $/kWh net
($/kg H2 stored)
External operating temperature rangec ºC -40/60 -40/60
Min/max delivery temperatured ºC -40/85 -40/85
Operational cycle life (1/10 tank to full) cycles 5,000 (5 yr) 10,000 (10 yr)
Min delivery pressure from storage system bar (abs) 3 3
Max delivery pressure from storage system bar (abs) 12 12
Shock and Vibration
Shock g 40 40
Vibration g 5@10Hz–0.75@200Hz 10@10Hz–1@200Hz
Charging/Discharging Rates
System fill time (2 kg) min (kg H2/min) 4.0 (0.5) 2.8 (0.7)
Minimum full flow rate (g/s)/kW 0.02 0.02
Start time to full flow (20ºC) s 5 5
Start time to full flow (-20ºC) s 15 15
Transient response 10%–90% and 90%–0% s 0.75 0.75
Fuel Purity
Fuel purity (H2 from storage)e % H2 SAE J2719 and ISO/PDTS 14687-2 (99.97% dry basis)
Environmental Health and Safety
Permeation and leakagef Meets or exceeds applicable standards (e.g., CSA HPIT 1)
Loss of usable H2g (g/h)/kg H2 stored 0.1 0.05

a The targets are based on the lower heating value of hydrogen, without consideration of the conversion efficiency of the fuel cell power plant. Targets are for the complete hydrogen storage and delivery system, including tank, material, valves, regulators, piping, mounting brackets, insulation, added cooling or heating capacity, and/or other balance-of-plant components. All capacities are defined as usable capacities that could be delivered to the fuel cell power plant during normal use. All targets must be met at the end of service life. Since most applications of material handling equipment (MHE) require extra mass as a counterbalance, the system gravimetric capacity is not specified as it can vary widely among types of MHE. However, system gravimetric capacity should be considered when developing hydrogen storage systems for MHE applications. All targets must be met at the end of service life.

b "Net useful energy" or "net" excludes unusable energy (i.e., hydrogen left in a tank below minimum fuel cell power plant pressure, flow, and temperature requirements) and hydrogen-derived energy used to extract the hydrogen from the storage medium (e.g., fuel used to heat a material to initiate or sustain hydrogen release).

c Stated ambient temperature. No allowable performance degradation from –20°C to 40°C. Allowable degradation outside these limits is to be determined.

d Delivery temperature refers to the inlet temperature of the hydrogen to the fuel cell.

e Hydrogen storage systems must be able to deliver hydrogen meeting acceptable hydrogen quality standards, such as CSA HPIT 1: Compressed Hydrogen Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts) On-Board Fuel Storage and Handling Components. Note that some storage technologies may produce contaminants for which effects are unknown and not addressed by the published standards; these will be addressed by system engineering design on a case by case basis as more information becomes available.

f Total hydrogen lost into the environment as H2; relates to hydrogen accumulation in enclosed spaces. Storage system must comply with appropriate standards, for example CSA HPIT 1: Compressed Hydrogen Powered Industrial Trucks (forklifts) On-Board Fuel Storage and Handling Components. This includes any coating or enclosure that incorporates the envelope of the storage system.

g Total hydrogen lost from the storage system, including leaked or vented hydrogen; relates to loss of operational time.