The Development of a Rapid Charging Hydrogen Fuel Cell
A new and innovative design for the storage of solid-state hydrogen offers the potential to significantly reduce charging times.
A team of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Technology in Sydney has developed a brand new method to upgrade the charging times of solid-state hydrogen fuel cells.
Hydrogen is gaining popularity in terms of being an efficient method of storing green energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind. The most common hydrogen storage form is a compressed gas, however, it can be stored in solid state or liquid form as well.
Doctor Saidul Islam, a professor at the University of Technology in Sydney stated that solid-state hydrogen storage, specifically metal hydride, is gaining interest because it is a cheaper, more compact, and safer option compared to liquid or compressed gas. He added that it can also be absorbed reversibly and discharge hydrogen.
According to Islam, applications include rechargeable batteries, hydrogen compressors, heat storage and heat pumps, isotope separations, as well as hydrogen purification. This can also be used as hydrogen storage in space and be utilized in satellites as well as other green and clean space technology, he added.
However, the issue pertaining to metal hydride in the storage of hydrogen energy is its inadequate thermal conductivity which results in significantly slow times for charging and discharging. In order to address this issue, the researchers have designed a new method to boost the solid-state hydrogen’s charging and discharging hours. This is where the study titled: “Design Optimization of a Magnesium-Based Metal Hydride Hydrogen Energy Storage System” was then published.
According to Puchanee Larpruenrudee, the study’s first author and a candidate for Ph.D. at the UTS School of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering, the faster removal of heat from the solid-state fuel cells results in quicker charging times.
Larpruenrudee stated that a number of internal exchangers of heat have been developed to be used with the storage of metal hydride hydrogen. These exchangers include fins, U-shape tubes, spiral tubes or helical coils, and straight tubes. He noted that using helical coils has noticeably improved mass and heat transfer in the storage.
As of now, the team of researchers is working on the hydrogen desorption process’s numerical simulation, and they also continue to work on improving absorption times. The development of a semi-cylindrical coil exchanger will be developed further for this process.
Finally, they also aim to work out a new design for new-generation hydrogen storage which integrates several heat exchanger types.