Company Uses DOE Award to Develop High-Efficiency Hydrogen Compressor


Sustainable Innovations Inc. (SI) and its partners, Greenway Energy and Savannah River National Laboratory, say they will team up to maximize the benefits of two new hydrogen compressor technologies by combining them into one high-reliability, high-efficiency hybrid compressor.

According to SI, this important research and development effort will address one of the most stubborn problems plaguing the hydrogen fueling industry: how to cost-effectively compress hydrogen for storage on board a vehicle.

Conventional compressor technology has proven less than optimal for hydrogen fueling in early fuel cell vehicle markets, such as California. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the poor reliability of mechanical compressors is related to operating conditions at the hydrogen stations for which mechanical compressors were not designed.

Trent Molter, president and CEO of SI, says, “The goal of the hybrid compressor project is, for the first time, to demonstrate that hydrogen can be efficiently compressed directly to vehicle fueling pressure at significant scale, while avoiding the unacceptable downtime and maintenance pitfalls that have hampered mechanical compressors. Simply put, we’re demonstrating a better way.”

As reported, the company’s high-efficiency, electrochemical hydrogen compressor will be integrated with Greenway Energy’s metal hydride compressor, which leverages advanced technology previously developed at the DOE’s Savannah River National Laboratory.

“We believe that this breakthrough integrated system approach leverages the unique high-reliability attributes of each technology to create a long-awaited solution for the hydrogen fueling industry,” says Scott Greenway, president of Greenway Energy.

“Our hydrogen compression solution is scalable to meet the current and projected needs for commercial fueling stations, will save consumers money, and serves as a keystone in addressing climate change,” adds Molter.

SI says its project is funded through a sub-award from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Further, the company says the project complements its concurrent efforts to develop a hydrogen impurity sensor for vehicular fueling and its H2RENEW hydrogen recycling system for metals, glass and semiconductor processing.

SI develops and manufactures innovative clean energy products, from hydrogen renewal systems to long-term energy storage products, that deliver breakthrough efficiency and contribute to ongoing global sustainability.

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