Novel Risk-Based Design Approach for Hydrogen Refueling Stations

Authors: 
Ade, N., Texas A&M University
Wilhite, B., Texas A&M University

In order to move towards further commercialization of the Hydrogen economy, it is essential to minimize the associated safety concerns and maximize the profitability of the involved systems such as that of Hydrogen refueling stations. Currently, Hydrogen refueling stations are primarily designed to satisfy required consumer demand while ensuring that Hydrogen is supplied at a profitable rate (13-16 $/kg). The developed design is then supported by a quantitative risk analysis (QRA) carried as per the NFPA-2 standard to validate that the associated risks (such as that of fire and explosion) are acceptable. However, the absence of QRA in the design stage itself leads to a possibility of the refueling stations being over-designed from the perspective of safety. As a part of this study, we have developed a novel risk-based design approach for Hydrogen refueling stations that allows the design of these facilities with optimized cost, quality, and risk. The Hydrogen refueling station is designed using state of the art process simulation platform, SimCentral that allows integration of quantitative risk analysis. The results obtained from this study provide deeper insights into the risk-benefit counterbalance associated with the design of Hydrogen refueling stations and provides design guidelines to facilitate further commercialization of the Hydrogen economy.