Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - 11:25 AM

Technical and Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Refueling Stations

Amgad Elgowainy1, Marianne Mintz1, Jerry Gillette1, Mark D. Paster2, and Matthew Hooks3. (1) Argonne National Laboratory, (2) U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, (3) TIAX LLC

The transition to hydrogen-powered vehicles requires detailed technical and economic analyses of all aspects of hydrogen infrastructure including refueling stations. Initially, hydrogen will be supplied primarily via distributed production facilities and low-capacity dispensing options like mobile refuelers. Over time, however, a more robust refueling network may evolve. This paper provides detailed information on design requirements for gaseous and liquid hydrogen refueling stations and their associated capital and operating cost contribution which in turn impact hydrogen selling price at various levels of hydrogen demand. The engineering economics approach examines the effect of variations in station size, seasonal, daily and hourly demand profiles, dispensing rates and pressures, and the state of hydrogen received by the station, i.e., liquid or gaseous. Hydrogen refueling stations require not only dispensers to transfer the fuel onto a vehicle, but also an array of ancillary equipment including storage vessels, compressors and/or pumps/evaporators. The technical analysis determines the optimum design configuration for each component at the gaseous and liquid refueling station. The economic analysis calculates the contribution to estimated hydrogen selling price from each component as well as a total cash flow analysis for the required capital investment.