Innovative Dense Lightweight Design for On-Board Hydrogen Storage Tank 2012-01-2061
The hydrogen economy envisioned in the future requires safe and efficient means of storing hydrogen fuel for either use on-board vehicles, delivery on mobile transportation systems or high-volume storage in stationary systems. The main emphasis of this work is placed on the high -pressure storing of gaseous hydrogen on-board vehicles. As a result of its very low density, hydrogen gas has to be stored under very high pressure, ranging from 350 to 700 bars for current systems, in order to achieve practical levels of energy density in terms of the amount of energy that can be stored in a tank of a given volume. This paper presents 3D finite element analysis performed for a composite cylindrical tank made of 6061-aluminum liner overwrapped with carbon fibers subjected to a burst internal pressure of 1610 bars. As the service pressure expected in these tanks is 700 bars, a factor of safety of 2.3 is kept the same for all designs. The results indicated that a stress reduction could be achieved by a geometry change only, which could increase the amount of pressure sustained inside the vessel and ultimately increase the amount of hydrogen stored per volume. Such reductions in the stresses will decrease the thickness dimension required to achieve a particular factor of safety in a direct comparison to a cylindrical design.