LLNL teams with Quantum Fuel Systems to accelerate high-pressure storage technologies for hydrogen vehicles Vern Switzer and Tim Ross check the pressure on the inner vessel that holds hydrogen of any temperature.
The Laboratory is working with Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies on a next-generation manufacturing technique for hydrogen storage vessels.As part of a $5.6 million three-year contract with the U.S. Department of Energy, Livermore researchers will demonstrate a unique high-speed composite processing technique.
LLNL participates in DOEs National Hydrogen Storage Project, which focuses on developing material-based options that can operate at more practical temperatures and pressures and meet the stringent targets required for the commercialization of hydrogen vehicles across all platforms.
Hydrogen pressure vessels are typically made by winding carbon fiber wetted in adhesive around a liner made of either plastic or metal. This wet winding technique is slow because the winding speed is limited by diffusion processes that control the adhesion of subsequent layers of fiber. Slow winding increases the cost of the pressure vessels because it requires continuous operation of a dedicated, expensive machine. Oven curing of the finished vessel is often required.
LLNL has developed a dry tape winding process that considerably reduces the time required for pressure vessel winding (15 minutes vs. three hours for wet winding), and does not require oven curing. This minimizes the cost of pressure vessel manufacturing, said Salvador Aceves, leader of LLNLs Energy Conversion and Storage Group.
This technique can be applied to any kind of pressure vessel, including those used in the aircraft industry, said Andrew Weisberg, a composite materials engineer at LLNL.
Quantum, which specializes in hydrogen storage systems, also has partnered with the Boeing Company to leverage advances in precision composite material processing technologies in the aerospace sector.
The project will develop and demonstrate an innovative hybrid process, which integrates the most optimal features of high precision aerospace and high speed commercial manufacturing techniques.
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