Abstract

Insulated pressure vessels are cryogenic-capable pressure vessels that can be fueled with liquid hydrogen (LH2) or ambient-temperature compressed hydrogen (CH2). Insulated pressure vessels offer the advantages of liquid hydrogen tanks (low weight and volume), with reduced disadvantages (fuel flexibility, lower energy requirement for hydrogen liquefaction and reduced evaporative losses). The work described here is directed at verifying that commercially available pressure vessels can be safely used to store liquid hydrogen. The use of commercially available pressure vessels significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the insulated pressure vessel development effort. This paper describes a series of tests that have been done with aluminum-lined, fiber-wrapped vessels to evaluate the damage caused by low temperature operation. All analysis and experiments to date indicate that no significant damage has resulted. Required future tests are described that will prove that no technical barriers exist to the safe use of aluminum-fiber vessels at cryogenic temperatures. Future activities also include a demonstration project in which the insulated pressure vessels will be installed and tested on two vehicles. A draft standard will also be generated for obtaining certification for insulated pressure vessels.

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