You can find a wide variety of hydrogen compressor and pump technologies in use today. Kinds of compressors consist of diaphragm, reciprocating piston, and centrifugal. Pumping systems for hydrogen applications include various kinds of positive displacement systems. Each membrane compressor and pump system functions using various methods, and each is used for specific factors and for specific markets.

Introducing readers to this particular topic, we requested several hydrogen compressor and pump manufacturers to illustrate the systems found in hydrogen applications nowadays.


Hydrogen will be the easiest and a lot abundant aspect in the world. (See CGI, Feb. 2008, p. 52.) It is an effective, non-polluting, green energy. Emerging hydrogen technologies require the storage space and the usage of hydrogen at high pressures.

Compressors are used to boost the stress of gaseous hydrogen (H2). In general, however, liquids are not considered compressible. Pumping systems consequently are used to increase the pressure of liquid hydrogen (LH2) on the use point through providing a constant flow. Limitations and final use back stress result in the pressure improve. LH2 at high pressure will then be changed into vapour as it passes via a vaporizer, and is also used or stored at the elevated stress. Gaseous compressors and liquid pumps both are found in hydrogen applications.

Even though basic principles of compressing and working are common to most gases and liquids, you can find unique distinctions and requirements, such as safety, when confronted with hydrogen. One of the most popular challenges to using hyrogen is its safe containment, due to the low molecular mass.


The three basic kinds of compressors – diaphragm, reciprocating piston, and centrifugal (also known as radial) – have different qualities which make them suitable for use in different settings.

Diaphragm Compressors

“Diaphragm compressors,” advises Osama Al-Qasem with Pdc Machines Inc., “are a good choice for compressing fumes without taking on toxic contamination from the process media or leakage of gas to background air.” H2 is remote from your mechanical parts of the compressor and through the atmosphere by a set of three metal diaphragms. These are clamped among two exactly contoured concave tooth decay in top and lower plates. The three diaphragms are nested and take action together as one. The top diaphragm is in touch with the H2 and the bottom is in contact with the hydraulic oil. A 3-diaphragm set is used to make certain there is no cross-contamination between the hydraulic oil as well as the H2 becoming compressed. The center diaphragm, used for leak detection, has lines scribed on edges. In case a leak develops inside the top or lower diaphragm, or maybe the O-bands wear, the mass media will leak across the scribe lines into an accumulator. When an accumulator stress reaches a set restrict, the oxygen compressor will instantly quit. “As static seals are utilized,” advises Al-Qasem, “there is no seepage of fumes for the environment, and no requirement to purge or vent the crankcase.”

A engine-powered crankshaft connected to a piston movements a column of hydraulic liquid up and down. Pressure occurs because the hydraulic fluid is pushed upwards to fill up the lower oil-dish cavity, exerting a uniform force against the bottom of the diaphragm set, deflecting it in to the H2-filled gas-dish cavity above. The displacement of the diaphragm up against the gasoline-dish cavity compresses the H2, pushing it the discharge check valve. Because the piston, which moves the hydraulic liquid, strokes downwards, the diaphragm is drawn back down in to the lower cavity, the inlet check device opens up, as well as the top cavity fills with H2. The cycle is repeated.

The primary benefit to diaphragm compressors can there be is not really the issue for seepage similar to other compressors or pumps.

Stephen Saint. Martin of Gas And Air Systems, Inc. reports that “Diaphragm compressors are utilized to compress H2 in tube trans-satisfying and pipe trailer offloading procedures, and for gasoline recovery from your vapor space of cryogenic storage vessels. Due to its high-pressure ability, and inherently oil-free compression, the diaphragm compressor is additionally frequently used in car hydrogen fueling stations, in which demands of 10,000 psi and above are used.”

The hydrogen energy cell demands ultra-wholesomeness H2 to function properly. “The diaphragm compressors,” based on Osama Al-Qasem, “are created to provide exactly this feature. Numerous diaphragm compressors have already been set up globally included in the renewable power system to discover alternative resources for oil.” Al-Qasem claims that 85 to 90 % with this marketplace needing diaphragm compressors had been supplied by Pdc.

Diaphragm compressors are perfect for high pressure applications. It is really not surprising that diaphragm compressors are best for hydrogen programs, especially in the development in the emerging hydrogen economic climate. Osama Al-Qasem pointed out one distinctive and interesting emerging “double-green” technology. Pdc has compressors used in conjunction with wind turbines. The electric power from wind turbines can be used to supply a water electrolyzer to electrochemically split water into its components, hydrogen and oxygen. One feature that creates the marriage of such two technologies this kind of fascinating match is the fact that electrolyzer can run with variable power input, as windmills transform at varying speeds, in accordance with the wind. Hydrogen thus created is compressed and stored for later use, either within a stationary energy cell to produce electricity when there is no wind, or to supply a hydrogen vehicle.

Hydrogen compressor applications are lots of. They consist of making use of solar technology to electrolyze water to produce H2, which, like the windmill application, will then be compressed and stored for later on use, either inside a fixed fuel cell to create electricity if you have no sunshine, or energy a hydrogen car. Compressors are used at hydrogen fuel cell stations, including those for vehicles, coaches, fork-lifts, scooters, and residential re-fuelers for fuel cell (FC) cars; for filling and away-launching H2 from tube trailers, gas cylinders, and storage tanks; for your compression of syngas from green resources; as well as for wind and solar energy. H2 compressors are utilized in these disparate programs as gasoline mixing, trying to recycle, and combining, steel handling, hydrogenation of delicious oils, specialty gas filtering, float glass production, and power herb turbine cooling. Gases for semiconductor, electronic devices and fiber optics production require compressors. They are also used for feedstock for chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutic sectors, stress improving and storage of gases from on-site era systems, and then for energy back-up utilizing hydrogen FC for telecom towers, as well as research and development.

Multiple-stage Reciprocating Piston Compressors

Multi-phase reciprocating piston compressors are commonly utilized for pressure of H2 gas. Piston compressors work on a simple theory. Rick Turnquist, with RIX Sectors instructs, “The piston within a large cylinder pushes a fixed amount of gasoline into a smaller tube, therefore causing a stress improve. This is based on the ideal gas legislation, which in abbreviated type is: PV=nT (pressure by volume = Moles of gasoline by heat). Therefore as volume will go down, pressure rises (note right after the final phase pressure improve is forced by the back pressure in the user’s tank or piping).”

Turnquist continues to explain that “H2 compressors are similar to these employed to compress other gases; however you will find occasionally style distinctions due to the very small molecular scale of the H2. These may be: an exclusive valve style; unique piston diamond ring components; overlapping piston diamond ring style to reduce leakage; lower compression ratios; or tube and head castings may need to be impregnated to avoid leaks brought on by casting porosity. Additionally, the quality of steel used in the compression end elements may must be changed.”

Hydrogen, like all fumes, is heated by compression. “Intercooling” from the gas is necessary when using multi-stage high-pressure compressors.

The greatest end-users of multi-stage reciprocating liquid nitrogen generator are refineries and chemical plants. Clients consist of such companies as Air Products, Praxair, and Chevron Study. These compressors are also used lrnhbl some refueling programs, for syngas, pilot vegetation, and laboratory R&D.

Centrifugal Compressors

Centrifugal compressors are rarely employed for hydrogen programs due to the molecule’s low molecular weight. Nevertheless, centrifugal compressors are employed in cryogenic H2 programs in which flow is comparatively higher and the stress head preferred is comparatively low. Barbers Nichols Inc. (BNI), designer and manufacturer of specialty turbo-machinery, has made cryogenic H2 centrifugal compressors for two programs. These two applications include sub-chilling H2 by sketching down fluid boil-off gasoline stress listed below atmospheric. Jeff Shull, with Barber Nichols, clarifies that “this produces a much more dense liquid that can then be utilized inside a rocket more effectively (takes up much less space and decreases overall weight). BNI used 4 separate centrifugal stages (4 single stage machines every using a engine) to draw in down the stress to approximately 3 psia with the atmospheric pressure electric outlet and high flows for any propellant densification test at NASA. BNI’s H2 cryogenic compressors employ a motor and bearings operating at space heat with the overhung impeller on the hollow shaft to lower warmth enter for the liquid. No dynamic closes are employed so styles are hermetic. BNI has also supplied a number of H2 circulators in supercritical applications (supercritical H2 is a lot more like a fluid when compared to a gas, however) for cryogenic cooling.”

Nitrogen Compressor – Intriguing Facts..