Why High-Pressure Trailers are the Future of Hydrogen Transport

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Why High-Pressure Trailers are the Future of Hydrogen Transport

Article by Tim Bahr on May 24, 2022
5 minute read

BayoTech believes that the need for the efficient movement of hydrogen from the point of production to the end user will continue to be a critical factor for the hydrogen industry’s success. Currently, there are approximately 45 hydrogen fueling stations in California and another 123 planned or under development. More than 12,500 drivers rely on these stations to refuel their vehicles. Most fueling stations don’t produce hydrogen on-site, so station owners rely on the hydrogen to be delivered in bulk. 

The goal of the hydrogen distributors is to transport the maximum amount of hydrogen per trailer while remaining compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s road weights limits. Distributors face a choice of transport methods – either via high-pressure gas or liquid hydrogen. More and more, customers are recognizing the high energy costs associated with liquification as well as the high carbon intensity impact of liquifying hydrogen, which make it uncompetitive with higher pressure gas transports for most hydrogen transport requirements.

When evaluating the right equipment to transport hydrogen, fuel distributors prioritize the following:

  • Operations: Fast filling and discharge trailer capabilities are needed for increased return on investment. Combine that with high-capacity storage, BayoTech’s transports are a “force multiplier” in terms of increased driver productivity and operational efficiencies.
  • Safety: Owners are demanding the safest possible equipment, which includes non-permeable, metal-lined, composite cylinders and safety features which go beyond the capabilities of traditional gas trailers.
  • Customer Support and Warranties: Product warranties of 15 years demonstrate to station and equipment owners that the manufacturer stands behind its equipment. Additionally, a responsive customer support and technical team to assist when needed and provide on-site training is expected.

Read on to find out why BayoTech is the number one supplier of high-pressure transport trailers to hydrogen distributors. hydrogen fill up station

Safe Hydrogen Transport

Safety is a top priority, and it’s reflected in BayoTech’s products through a continuous safety improvement program. Product safety takes many forms in our hydrogen transport equipment – starting from the components we use, through developing and incorporating the most efficient thermal protection devices in the industry.

An example of a safety event that our products and safety program take into consideration is an on-road crash that causes a fire. If that happens, the pressure build-up of the hydrogen could rupture the cylinder. Therefore, the hydrogen needs to be quickly vented so it can dissipate into the air. This is where our valves and pressure relief devices are key differentiators in the market. 

To address this potential issue, all of our cylinders are fitted with our patented thermal pressure relief device. Based on the reliable glass-bulb technology, the bulbs burst when they are exposed to high temperatures and quickly vent the hydrogen to prevent cylinder rupture. They also have a faster reaction time than traditional thermal relief devices and are reliable at any cylinder pressure. 

Our proprietary, patented high-pressure valves provide the most lightweight, reliable, ball valve design for high-pressure cylinder-based gas storage. The ball valve configuration provides extremely high flow rates for both filling and discharging. Furthermore, they’re designed for a 3x burst strength, considerably higher than the industry norm. 

Our trailers also come equipped with emergency shut off devices, fire extinguishers, and welded manifold connection to mitigate potential manifold leaks. 

Higher Productivity Even During a Driver Shortage

HazMat endorsed CDL drivers are becoming a scarce commodity, which requires the industry to begin looking at options to improve logistic efficiencies. With BayoTech’s HyFill™ trailers carrying up to three times more hydrogen per load than traditional steel tube trailers, they become an immediate force multiplier for anyone transporting hydrogen. 

The ability to carry more fuel means that more sites can be refueled on a single run before returning to base. Pair that with fast fill and fast discharge capabilities, drivers spend less time filling up and dispensing their hydrogen payload. In short, BayoTech’s HyFill trailers give operators a clear edge over traditional steel tube trailers and Type 4 composite cylinder-based trailers.

Learn more about the types and characteristics of hydrogen cylinders

How We Utilize Compressed Gas for Reliable Transportation

Hydrogen gets delivered either as a compressed gas or as a very cold, cryogenic liquid. BayoTech’s focus is on providing compressed gas transportation options. In this new environment where customers are increasingly concerned with measuring carbon intensity and wasted energy, cryogenic hydrogen (aka “LH2”) is not an ideal option. LH2 requires an immense amount of energy to liquify, transport to customers, and convert back into its gaseous form in addition to the evaporation losses during transport and storage.

BayoTech focuses on gaseous hydrogen because it allows us to transport more fuel in a smaller footprint. Other suppliers opt for Type 4 cylinders, but we use Type 3 cylinders for four key reasons:

  • Safety – Hydrogen doesn’t permeate through type 3 cylinder’s metal liners, but it does permeate through type 4 cylinder’s plastic liners. Our customers don’t like paying for transports that knowingly leak; it just simply isn’t safe.
  • Productivity– Type 3 cylinders don’t have the temperature constraints which limit fill rates and conditions found in type 4 cylinders. Additionally, there are no restrictions on the discharge rates. And there is never a possibility of collapsing a liner, which is a – a potential concern with Type 4 cylinders.
  • No Conflicts of Interest — Simply put “we don’t make cylinders.” At BayoTech we endeavor to use the best and safest technology available, which we believe are type 3 cylinders, not the cylinders that were previously made for CNG and which are now being repurposed for hydrogen.
  • Warranty and Longevity— The type 3 cylinders BayoTech uses come with a 15-year warranty while type 4 cylinders come with one-to-five-year warranties. It demonstrates the confidence and pride BayoTech takes in the longevity and quality of the products it makes.

BayoTech_HyFill Easy Operation

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the safe and reliable delivery of hydrogen, there’s only one choice. The BayoTech HyFill™ transport line of trailers offering unparalleled value and support for hydrogen distributors. They allow you to maximize the total delivery of hydrogen per trip—a valuable benefit at a time when drivers are harder than ever to employ. Finally, BayoTech enables the consistent delivery of hydrogen to ensure fueling stations never run empty. BayoTech is an experienced and trusted supplier to the world’s leading industrial gas suppliers. Check out our brochure to learn more about our HyFill™ transport trailers. 

Do you know what type of hydrogen transportation is best for your business?

Ask yourself the right questions to find out.

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