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Shell Tour of H2 Refueling Station
  • 23 May 2022 01:33 PM
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Shell Tour of H2 Refueling Station

By Anubhav Datta

Leff explained that a hydrogen delivery truck connects this hose to its pneumatic control system, and connects its hydrogen hose near the top of the supply panel to upload hydrogen to the station. (VFS staff photo)

In addition to the talk at the Symposium, Shell also provided a technical tour of their heavy-duty hydrogen fueling station at the nearby Port of Long Beach on the morning of March 31.

Shell engineers Stephen Leff and Kate Miner explained the intricacies of the station, which fuels zero-emission fuel-cell electric trucks (FCET) for drayage operators at the port and transportation to the Inland Empire area of Southern California.

Leff showed attendees the hydrogen 450 bar (6,500 psi) steel storage tubes that are currently reloaded by tanker trucks that deliver compressed hydrogen from generation plants elsewhere in California. The fuel delivery is not unlike any regular gas station (see image of the supply panel, right). From the storage cylinders, the hydrogen is compressed and chilled to –40°C (–40°F) for dispensing to vehicles. Depending on the design of the vehicle, hydrogen can be dispensed either at 350 bar (5,000 psi) or 700 bar (10,000 psi). The fueling nozzle is similar to any gas pump nozzle in appearance (see image).

Shell’s Stephen Leff gave a tour of the heavy-duty hydrogen fueling station at the Port of Long Beach. He is standing beside the 350-bar gaseous hydrogen fueling nozzle. (VFS staff photo)

The future delivery system will be very different. An on-site hydrogen production facility is currently under construction by FuelCell Energy, Inc., and nearing completion to begin operations later this year. This facility is a fuel-cell based trigeneration plant that converts renewable biogas to hydrogen at low pressure, plus carbon dioxide, electricity and heat. The hydrogen generation capacity is about 60 kg/hr (130 lb/hr) — a hydrogen fuel cell car refills in about 5 kg (11 lb) and a truck refill is around 50 kg (110 lb). The generated electricity will be used by the onsite offices. The hydrogen will be compressed to 450 bar into the same storage tubes.

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