Hydrogen refueling stations: the future of green and clean energy

1. What is a hydrogen refueling station?

A hydrogen refueling station is a place that provides hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, similar to traditional gas stations that provide fuel for fuel vehicles. It consists of hydrogen storage, compression, transportation, and filling equipment, and the core equipment includes hydrogen compressors and hydrogen storage tanks. The main function of a hydrogen refueling station is to quickly and safely fill hydrogen from the ground into the onboard hydrogen storage system of a fuel cell vehicle.

Hydrogen refueling stations

Compared with ordinary cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have stronger power and endurance, and do not pollute the environment. Therefore, they are regarded by the world as an important direction for the development of green energy vehicles and the future of clean energy.

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2. Classification of hydrogen refueling stations

Classification by hydrogen source
  • External hydrogen refueling station: There is no hydrogen production device in the hydrogen refueling station. Hydrogen is transported to the hydrogen refueling station through tube trailers, pipelines, liquid hydrogen tankers, etc. for compression, storage, and refueling (Advantages: Low cost of hydrogen refueling station. Disadvantages: The cost of hydrogen transportation will be included in the purchase price of hydrogen)
  • On-site hydrogen production and refueling station: The station is equipped with hydrogen production equipment such as water electrolysis, industrial by-product hydrogen production, and fossil fuel reforming hydrogen production. Hydrogen is purified and compressed before storage and refueling (advantages: saving transportation costs, disadvantages: increasing design and construction costs)
Classification by website building method
  • Hydrogen refueling station: An independent hydrogen refueling station that only has the function of hydrogen refueling. The construction of a hydrogen refueling station must comply with GB50516 “Technical Specifications for Hydrogen Refueling Stations”. (Advantages: Complete planning, design, and construction. Disadvantages: New site selection is required, approval is difficult and time-consuming, and the investment cost is high.)

Classification by website building method

  • Hydrogen refueling combined station: refers to adding hydrogen engineering facilities based on the existing gas station, gas station, and charging station, so that it has multiple functions of refueling/gas/charging + hydrogenation. The construction of the combined station needs to comply with GB50156 “Technical Standards for Automobile Refueling, Gas and Hydrogenation Stations”. (Advantages: This model does not require re-site selection, does not occupy new land resources, and shortens the approval time. Disadvantages: The area requirements for the station are relatively high, and the safe distance from existing equipment needs to be considered)
Classification according to hydrogen supply pressure level
  • 5Mpa hydrogen refueling station: The maximum working pressure of the hydrogen compressor and high-pressure storage tank does not exceed 45MPa, and the hydrogen refueling pressure is 35Mpa, which is generally used for heavy trucks and public buses; (Advantages: fast refueling speed, reducing hydrogen compression time. Disadvantages: single refueling pressure, only 35Mpa vehicles can be refueled)
  • 70Mpa hydrogen refueling station: The maximum working pressure of the hydrogen compressor and high-pressure storage tank is 90MPa, and the hydrogen refueling pressure is 70Mpa, which is generally used for passenger cars; (Advantages: high refueling pressure, Disadvantages: high investment cost, need to add corresponding hydrogen refueling guns and hoses)

Classification according to hydrogen supply pressure level

Classification based on the system structure within the site
  • Fixed hydrogen refueling station: Due to the refueling rate requirements, in addition to the corresponding booster, hydrogenator, refrigerator, and other equipment, it is also equipped with a high-pressure storage tank to ensure large-flow refueling, with a maximum refueling rate of more than 3kg/min (Advantages: fast refueling rate to ensure continuous supply of hydrogen. Disadvantages: high investment cost)
  • Skid-mounted station: The booster, hydrogenated, and refrigerator are concentrated in a hydrogenation skid for hydrogenation. The maximum filling rate varies with the pressure of the front-end gas source, and the average filling rate is 0.8kg/min (Advantages: less space and low investment. Disadvantages: The filling rate is slower than that of a fixed hydrogenation station)

Classification based on the system structure within the site
So how much does it cost to build and operate a hydrogen refueling station? The next article will provide an analysis of the construction and operation costs of a hydrogen refueling station.

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