Liquid Hydrogen Storage: Status and Future Perspectives

J.H. Derking, M.N. Keezer

Cryoworld B.V., the Netherlands

Hydrogen is a potential candidate to replace fossil fuels due to its very high energy density which is more than double of that of most conventional fuels. Methods for hydrogen storage are as a compressed gas at very high pressures up to about 900 bar or as a cryogenic liquid.  For heavy transport vehicles, such as air planes, ships, trucks and heavy construction machines, the use of liquid hydrogen is particularly promising. For these applications, bulk storage of liquid hydrogen  is required.

Conventional bulk storage tanks are typically based on insulation techniques used for liquid nitrogen storage tanks, resulting in boil-off rates of about 1-5% of volume per day. Taken into account the high costs of liquid hydrogen production, it is advantageous and needed to drastically reduce the boil-off rate, preferably to zero boil-off.

In this presentation, we will give a brief introduction of the liquid hydrogen production cycle. Then we give an overview of conventional liquid hydrogen storage tanks focusing on the energy balance. We will end the presentation with Cryoworld’s perspective on how to optimize the design of liquid hydrogen storage tanks with the potential to reach zero boil-off.