Gas Technology Institute (GTI), the leading research, development and training organization serving the natural gas industry, is being awarded a patent on its new hydrogen dispenser control technology.
The hydrogen dispenser control technology and algorithm, called HydroFill, was developed as part of a collaborative advanced hydrogen station technology initiative between GTI and the U.S. DOE’s Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Technologies Program.
The gas temperature within a cylinder rises rapidly when high-pressure hydrogen or natural gas are charged into the container. This temperature rise results in lower energy density and, ultimately, can decrease driving range by 5% to 20%, according to GTI.
HydroFill recognizes the amount of temperature rise and provides dispenser control techniques to compensate and restore vehicle-driving range.
The technology resulted from extensive thermodynamic modeling (using GTI’s CHARGE model) and high-precision empirical testing from -20°F to 115°F ambient temperature conditions using GTI’s large-scale environmental chamber for testing high-pressure gas systems. The technology was also incorporated into a real-world hydrogen dispenser for a wide range of precision validation tests.
The HydroFill technology includes several advanced features that allow users to customize to their specific requirements. The core HydroFill technology does not require on-board vehicle sensors or communication links between a hydrogen vehicle and dispenser. Derivative versions of the GTI HydroFill algorithm have been developed, however, that can work with vehicle and dispenser systems that incorporate communications technologies.
GTI will license the HydroFill hydrogen dispenser control technology to interested parties.
Separately, in November, GTI was awarded a patent for novel technology for the direct splitting of water to produce hydrogen from solar energy. All twenty-six of its technical claims were allowed.
GTI’s Direct Solar Hydrogen technology electrochemical cell concept evolved from its work on proton exchange membranes for fuel cells.
The technology allows direct water splitting without the solar energy having to pass through a liquid layer, resulting, when compared to conventional solar water splitting cells, in higher efficiency and easier release of product gases, as well as elimination of corrosion.