MHI and FirstElement Fuel complete reliability testing of MHI’s LH2 pump

FirstElement Fuel (FEF), a provider of hydrogen refuelling solutions, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), delivering innovative and integrated solutions to realize a carbon-neutral world, have reached 250 hours of operation on the long-term durability test of MHI’s 90 MPa class liquid hydrogen pump (LH2 pump).

Courtesy of MHI

MHI said the test, which began in April 2023 at FEF’s Hydrogen Distribution Hub in Livermore, CA, U.S., and will continue into next year, involved 300 run cycles of the pump, resulting in 30 tons of liquid hydrogen transfer, which is said to be the equivalent of fueling 1,100 fuel cell buses.

The hydrogen transferred was used to refuel hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in California, resulting in zero emissions transportation, MHI noted, adding that the inspection of the pump revealed that all internal pump components are still in excellent condition, confirming the robustness and longevity of the pump.

“The MHI LH2 pump has consistently and reliably achieved an excellent output of 160 kilograms/hour at a discharge pressure of 90 megapascals. MHI’s LH2 Pump design also ensures that hydrogen loss due to boil-off is negligible, thus enhancing the economics of the hydrogen refuelling stations,” MHI stated.

To note, FEF operates a field-testing facility for hydrogen cryopumps at its Hydrogen Distribution Hub in Livermore, and this testing capability is said to allow for multiple, long-run cycles of cryopump operations under real-world hydrogen conditions.

MHI said the companies worked closely together to test its LH2 pump because of the shared view that liquid hydrogen is required to achieve a full-scale hydrogen society and that liquid hydrogen cryopump technology will be critical to meeting the refuelling needs of all hydrogen vehicle classes.

As for MHI’s other endeavours, at the beginning of 2023, MHI and MHI-MME, a wholly-owned operating company of MHI, conducted demonstration testing of 100 kW class cryogenic ORC (organic rankine cycle) power generation using the world’s first next-generation oilless cryogenic turbine generator.

According to MHI, this testing demonstrated that with the use of liquid nitrogen as the cryogenic energy source it is possible to secure a stable refrigerant cycle and the specified regeneration output without freezing-induced clogging, etc., even under conditions more severe than the low temperatures of conventional liquefied natural gas (LNG) cryogenic generation.