Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: The roll-out of hydrogen energy applications requires compression of hydrogen at several stages in the supply chain. When centrally produced, the hydrogen will need to be compressed to the pressure it will be stored or distributed. Examples are hydrogen production via electrolysis at 20 bar followed by underground storage at 200 bar or injection into natural gas distribution pipelines close to 100 bar.


For compression of gases reciprocating compressors are commonly used below flow rates of around 1700 m3/hr. At larger flow rates centrifugal compressors are recommended. Centrifugal compressors technology is not optimised for hydrogen, where because of the low molecular weight of hydrogen higher circumferential are required which in turn call upon different materials.


The challenge is to develop reliable as well as cost-effective and energy efficient centrifugal compression technology for hydrogen.


Scope:  The objective of the work is to design and test a centrifugal compression system to compress industrial volumes of hydrogen from 20 up to 500 bar, whereby energy efficiency is increased and cost of ownership reduced compared to state of the art compression systems at this scale and pressure ratio. The system should take into account the properties of hydrogen when selecting materials and operational speed and therefore go beyond the direct adaptation of existing compressors to hydrogen.


The concept must be validated in a relevant environment, i.e. operated using hydrogen and run at full speed at a representative size (minimum mass flow rate of 3,000 kg/hr). It should enable validation of the expected efficiency, durability and cost. The validation should be at least at a single stage level.


The concept must be validated in a relevant environment, i.e. operated using hydrogen and run at full speed at a representative size. It should enable validation of the expected efficiency, durability and cost.


A roadmap for further development of large hydrogen compression systems should be presented.


TRL should meet at least 3 at start of the project and 5 at the end of the project.


Expected impact: The project should enable the further development and future manufacture of large compression systems that are optimised for hydrogen and achieve better efficiency and lower total cost of ownership than existing technology.


The energy consumption of the system should be below 4 kWh / kg H2 when compressed from 20 to 500 bar.

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