Chuck Hayes, Principal Applications Engineer for Transportation at Swagelok, started the presentation by distinguishing the key differences between electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as well as advantages and disadvantages of both.
Hayes said on electric vehicles, “Electric vehicles are discussed extensively, and they have some limitation, they mainly have a shorter range and they’re really not compatible for heavy duty, and long haul trucking vehicles, the batteries are very heavy and take a long time to charge.
“If you were to take large trucks over road for long periods of time, refuelling times can range, especially for trucks can range from anywhere from three to 12 hours for a full charge.”
Because of these disadvantages, Hayes believes there is a substantial market for hydrogen in heavy-duty, long-haul trucking with Swagelok aiming to progress this technology.
“300 plus miles on a single fill is very common for light duty vehicles, and up to 1000 miles are being provided by some of the folks that are developing heavy-duty long-haul trucks,” Hayes said.
“Very fast fuel in times very comparable to your current vehicle where you can fill your car with gasoline in about four minutes is about the same for the hydrogen vehicles.
“This is very similar in the way that you approach the pumps and fill in about 15 minutes for heavy duty vehicles with a goal of getting that down to 10 minutes to fill a truck with 100 litres of hydrogen.”
With these different characteristics distinguished between the two technologies, there is clearly a role for both in the growing zero-emission world.
To help grow the hydrogen mobility industry, fittings are becoming a crucial aspect of the value chain and Hayes explained why this is fundamental in scaling the technology and its use.
Hayes said, “Fittings are how we connect all the components that make up the hydrogen fuelling systems and hydrogen dispensers and so the operating conditions are inherently challenging pressures that we use on.
“That are needed are there, and pressure is used to create the density of the hydrogen on a vehicle. The more hydrogen to put in a vehicle, the farther you can go.
“The systems have to withstand fast speeds, bumpy roads and climate weather conditions, temperature changes and a whole bunch of other things going on simultaneously. It needs with that stress and vibrations are very important to your design.”
With the fittings procedure having a major impact on the safety standards of the overall hydrogen system, having a successful technology and supplier able to perform this practice reliably is invaluable to the global hydrogen community where hydrogen is still questioned as an early technology.
In doing so Swagelok is aiming to be the provider to secure hydrogen’s future within this space and in the mobility sector.
Hayes said, “One failure anywhere in the world dealing with consumer products using hydrogen will set the entire industry back. So not only our suppliers, our customers, OEMs and vehicle manufacturers or tier one building into those, we all have to be conscious of that.
“When dealing with the safety and integrity of a high-pressure gas system, especially in hydrogen, it’s not the place to be looking at cost savings. It’s really, truly the place to be looking at the high-quality components that go along with it.
“Selecting and specifying the right components for critical systems can really help that we feel that the FDA suspending this is the optimal choice for both today or tomorrow for growth infrastructure and our vehicle, and we are working on customers worldwide to be able to help them do that.
Revealing to the audience one of the many various attributes that can support hydrogen through the fitting procedure, Hayes referenced the need for a sufficient grip strength.
“When dealing with tubing, you have to make sure that that the pressures inside the system cannot tear that tubing out or push it out through the through the action of the pressure by working against the tubing – we call this tube grip,” Hayes said.
“Our solution we feel getting a robust tube grip that is actually a gripping or hitting and holding action across that tube will hold at four times the working pressure of that system.
“In the case of certain fittings, they need to hold up to 1050 bar. That would be four times that. 4,000 bar and a little bit in a burst condition, with the tubing actually bursting prior to the fitting let it go. High quality for will be able to sustain those types of activities all the way across.”
Clearly the anatomy of fitting is crucial for the overall hydrogen system and ensuring that the safety protocols for hydrogen are carried out. Further details and requirements for fitting purposes were discussed throughout the webinar which you can find on demand at gasworld.tv.
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