Advanced Sealing Technology for Hydrogen Compressors

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-07ER84779
Agency Tracking Number: 82621
Amount: $99,605.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: 03
Solicitation Number: DE-PS02-06ER06-30
Small Business Information
1037 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Albany, NY, 12205
DUNS: 883926594
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Hooshang Heshmat
 (518) 862-4290
Business Contact
 James Walton II
Title: Mr
Phone: (518) 862-4290
Research Institution
To successful develop the hydrogen economy, the significant cost, energy inefficiencies, and difficulties in transportation and storage must be overcome. For example, current hydrogen compression technology is not reliable and can contaminate hydrogen, both of which result in high costs. This project will develop oil-free centrifugal hydrogen compressors capable of transporting up to 1,000,000 kg/day and compressing the hydrogen from 300 to 1,000-2,000 psi, through the use of non-contacting low leakage foil seal technology. The approach includes analytical trade studies to establish design requirements, followed by an experimental program to demonstrate the ability of the oil-free foil seal technology to meet the machine requirements. Phase I will apply an existing foil seal analysis capability to enhance the foil seal design needed for use with hydrogen. Then, a subscale version of the enhanced seal design will be fabricated, and preliminary static testing will be conducted to verify performance. Phase II will fabricate the full-scale seal and demonstrate low leakage over a wide range of operating conditions, up to and including expected compressor pressures, surface speeds, and temperatures. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The seal technology should make large-scale hydrogen gas delivery viable and allow higher efficiency natural gas pipeline compressors to be built and operated. Based upon the almost 50 million horsepower of natural gas pipeline compressors in service today, it is estimated that a savings of 33,000 MW-hours of energy per year would be possible by using oil-free non-contacting bearings and seals in both hydrogen and natural gas pipeline compressors. Significant commercial potential also should exist in the aerospace industry by enabling more efficient gas turbine engines.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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