Energy / Climate Change

April 26, 2005


Kawasaki Heavy Industries Develops Liquid Hydrogen Container

Keywords: Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry Renewable Energy Transportation / Mobility 

Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. (KHI), a major Japanese heavy machinery manufacturer, announced on January 26, 2005 that it has developed an advanced container for liquid hydrogen that has successfully passed a transportation test on public roads. Liquid hydrogen's volume is about 1/800 of hydrogen gas's volume at normal temperature and pressure, meaning that the liquid form is more appropriate for mass transportation and storage than compressed hydrogen gas or hydrogen absorbed in metallic alloys.

The newly developed 20-foot (6m) container (6 x 2.4 x 2.6 m) houses a 14.65 cubic meter capacity storage tank. Because the container is designed to reduce heat transfer from the outside and prevent sloshing of liquid hydrogen in the tank, evaporation losses can be reduced to 0.7 percent or less per day, half of existing tank trucks.

The public road test was the first attempt of its kind in Japan, and demonstrated the successful transportation of liquid hydrogen from a liquefaction plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture to a refueling station in Koto Ward, Tokyo, where the hydrogen was unloaded. The test also confirmed the proper functioning of the container, including its mechanism for preventing an increase in tank pressure during transport. These results now pave the way for practical application of the container.

KHI is planning to build a series of container models based on this design that have capacities ranging from 15 to 40 cubic meters. The company intends to continue developing the technology to achieve higher performance, and also plans to develop containers that can be carried by more eco-friendly means, such as by rail or ship, with an eye on future potential for mass transport.

Posted: 2005/04/26 06:27:07 PM
Japanese version