Hydrogen Fueling Station Case Study: Washington, District of Columbia
On Nov. 10, 2004, Shell Hydrogen opened the first hydrogen dispenser at a retail gasoline station to service a fleet of six fuel cell vehicles from the General Motors Corp. Located in northeast Washington, D.C, the station is part of a collaboration between Shell and GM to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and refueling infrastructure technology. The companies also are working together on the U.S. Department of Energy's Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project to help demonstrate and gather data on hydrogen fuel cell vehicles so that they can become an everyday reality. Shell will offer both compressed gaseous and liquid hydrogen fuels at the Benning Road station.
Shell has developed a step-by-step approach to the development of the hydrogen mass market. Its plans include:
Step One: Stand-alone projects with restricted access (such as depots for hydrogen-fueled buses)
Step Two: Second-generation sites with public access that are separate from existing gasoline stations (such as the facility it opened in Iceland in April 2003, which supplies hydrogen made from water to three city buses)
Step Three: Fully integrated fuel stations (which include traditional fuels and hydrogen)
Step Four: Mini-network "lighthouse projects" (which are semi-commercial, public-private partnerships that involve multiple energy companies, governments, and fleets of 100 or more vehicles) to be developed within the next 5 years
Step Five: Mini-networks that connect hydrogen fueling corridors to be developed during the 2010-2020 time period.
The Benning Road station meets Step 3 of this approach.
3355 Benning Road, NE
This station offers:
- Gaseous hydrogen (5,000 psig)
- Gaseous hydrogen (10,000 psig)
- Liquid hydrogen.
Liquid hydrogen is delivered to the station by a tanker truck.
Liquid Hydrogen Storage:
The liquid hydrogen is stored below-grade in 1,500-gallon (400-kg) double-walled, insulated, stainless-steel vessels at -420°F.
A vaporizer vaporizes the liquid hydrogen by raising its temperature from -420°F to ambient temperature.
A three-stage compressor compresses the vaporized gas to 5,500 psig. A one-stage compressor compresses it to 11,000 psig.
Gaseous Hydrogen Storage:
Gaseous hydrogen from the compressor is stored at 5,500 psig in 24 ASME cylinders (above grade) and at 10,000 psig in three ASME cylinders (above grade).
The station offers one liquid hydrogen dispenser and one gaseous hydrogen dispenser with dual hoses for dispensing at 5,000 psig and 10,000 psig (20 kg per day).
The station's safety features include:
- Emergency shut-offs
- Hydrogen detectors
- Flame detectors
- Tank vent active control valves for vapor control
- Pressure relief devices
- Vapor control at the dispenser by means of vapor capture
- Breakaway hoses
- Below-grade piping
- Electrical grounding
- Crash bars around dispensers.
Station Permitting Process
The Benning Road station underwent and extensive review and approval process by the Office of the Fire Marshall in Washington, D.C. See the Shell Hydrogen Installation Overview (PDF 4.9 MB), prepared by the Office of the Fire Marshall, for more information. Download Adobe Reader.
For more information, contact:
Office of the Fire Marshall
441 4th Street N.W., Suite 370
Washington, D.C. 20001
Two Shell Plaza
777 Walker Street
Houston, TX 77002