Hydrogen storage method and system

  • US 8,757,926 B2
  • Filed: 01/28/2013
  • Issued: 06/24/2014
  • Est. Priority Date: 06/10/2010
  • Status: Active Grant
First Claim
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1. A system for storing and supplying hydrogen to a hydrogen pipeline at a combined carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide content of less than 10 parts per million, comprising:

  • a compressor for compressing a feed stream of the hydrogen to produce a compressed hydrogen feed stream;

    a salt cavern having a residual brine layer located at a bottom region of the salt cavern and side regions extending upwardly from the bottom region of the salt cavern;

    at least one conduit in communication with the salt cavern for injecting the compressed hydrogen feed stream into a salt cavern to produce stored hydrogen within the salt cavern and for withdrawing a stored hydrogen stream composed of stored hydrogen from the salt cavern and without hydrogen purification, the at least one conduit having at least one lower end located in an interior region of the salt cavern and spaced above the brine layer and from the side regions of the salt cavern;

    a flow network configured to selectively connect the compressor to the at least one conduit such that the compressed hydrogen feed stream is injected into the salt cavern to produce the stored hydrogen within the salt cavern and to selectively connect the at least one conduit to the hydrogen pipeline such that the stored hydrogen stream is injected into the pipeline without removing carbon dioxide contained in the stored hydrogen stream;

    that salt cavern having at least a minimum quantity of the stored hydrogen within the salt cavern before, during, and between times at which the compressed hydrogen feed stream is injected and at which the stored hydrogen stream is withdrawn such that a stagnant layer of hydrogen is maintained that has at least a bottom portion overlying the residual brine layer and a lateral portion situated along side regions of the salt cavern, the stagnant layer having a carbon dioxide content that is a potential source of carbon dioxide contamination to the stored hydrogen stream; and

    supervisory control system for limiting the flow rates and the velocities at which the compressed hydrogen feed stream is injected into the salt cavern and the stored hydrogen stream is withdrawn from the salt cavern such that the stagnant layer is not disturbed and the carbon dioxide contamination of the stored hydrogen stream from the stagnant layer is inhibited, the minimum volume of the hydrogen stored within the salt cavern is maintained at a volume ratio equal to a stored volume of the hydrogen to the actual cavern volume of no less than 29.0 scf/cf;

    the at least one lower end of the at least one conduit is open and spaced from the top region of the salt cavern at an upper distance of no less than 50 feet;

    the at least one lower end of the at least one conduit is spaced from the residual brine layer at a lower vertical distance of no less than 250 feet;

    the at least one lower end of the at least one conduit is spaced from the side regions of the salt cavern at a lateral distance of no less than 40 feet from a vertical line extending between 10 and 250 feet below the at least one lower end of the at least one conduit; and

    the flow rates and velocities are limited such that, as measured at the at least one lower end of the at least one conduit, the compressed hydrogen feed stream is injected at an injection ratio equal to an injection flow rate of the compressed hydrogen feed stream to the actual cavern volume of no greater than 7.5 scfd/cf and at an injection velocity of the compressed hydrogen feed stream of no greater than 100 feet per second and the stored hydrogen stream is withdrawn at a withdrawal ratio equal to the withdrawal flow rate of the stored hydrogen stream to the actual cavern volume of no greater than 10.0 scfd/cf and at a withdrawal velocity of the stored hydrogen stream of no greater than 150 feet per second.

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