Numerical models for the evaluation of cryo-adsorbent based hydrogen (H2) storage systems for fuel cell vehicles were developed and validated against experimental data. These models simultaneously solve the equations for the adsorbent thermodynamics together with the conservation equations for heat, mass, and momentum. The models also use real gas thermodynamic properties for hydrogen. Model predictions were compared to data for charging and discharging both activated carbon and MOF-5™ systems. Applications of the model include detailed finite element analysis simulations and full vehicle-level system analyses. The full system models were used to compare prospective system design performance given specific options, such as the adsorbent materials, pressure vessel types, internal heat exchangers, and operating conditions. The full vehicle model, which also allows the user to compare adsorbent systems with compressed gas, metal hydride, and chemical hydrogen storage systems, is based on an 80 kW fuel cell with a 20 kW battery evaluated using standard drive cycles.

This work is part of the Hydrogen Storage Engineering Center of Excellence (HSECoE), which brings materials development and hydrogen storage technology efforts together to address onboard hydrogen storage in light duty vehicle applications. The HSECoE spans the design space of the vehicle requirements, balance of plant requirements, storage system components, and materials engineering. Theoretical, computational, and experimental efforts are combined to evaluate, design, analyze, and scale potential hydrogen storage systems and their supporting components against the Department of Energy (DOE) 2020 and Ultimate Technical Targets for Hydrogen Storage Systems for Light Duty Vehicles.

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