Hanwha Delivers Carbon-Fiber-Reinforced Hydrogen Tanks to Shell
Hanwha Solutions has joined Shell’s efforts to build extensive hydrogen refueling infrastructure in California. The Korean company will help accelerate California’s energy transition and decarbonization initiatives by supplying the oil major with high-pressure hydrogen tanks for transport within its network of stations.
Hanwha Solutions’ hydrogen tank manufacturing subsidiary, Hanwha Cimarron, said it finalized a purchase order with Shell to provide its Neptune tanks, which are Type IV high-pressure hydrogen tanks. The carbon-fiber-reinforced, 2,000-liter capacity vessels can store hydrogen at a pressure of 517 bar, the highest pressure level among Type IV tanks.
Another strength of the Neptune tanks is their anti-buckling technology, which allows the hydrogen inside to be fully extracted without causing any internal damage to the tank. Typically, Type IV high-pressure tanks must reserve 10% of total contents to prevent the tank from shrinking during storage, which reduces transport efficiency. However, Neptune tanks have proven their stability, receiving certificates from the US Department of Transportation for transportation efficiency and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for storage usage.
Hanwha Cimarron’s supply of hydrogen tanks will support Shell’s efforts to extend its hydrogen refueling network across California. The state is emerging as a key US hydrogen hub, operating 52 of the country’s total 66 refueling stations. According to research firm MarketsandMarkets, the global hydrogen energy storage market is projected to reach $119.2 billion by 2027; North America will represent about 13% of global market volume.
“This supply contract is a great foundation for our collaboration with Shell and our efforts to expand our presence in the US hydrogen market,” said Du-hyoung Ryoo, head of Hanwha Solutions’ Advanced Materials Division. “We are also expanding the company’s hydrogen tank business in Europe, including Germany, to attract more clients globally.”
Acquired by Hanwha Solutions in December 2020, Hanwha Cimarron, formerly known as Cimarron Composites and founded by NASA scientist Tom Delay, is seeking to scale up its business. The firm’s $51-million investment plan to build a high-pressure tank manufacturing facility in Opelika, AL, is well underway. When construction is completed later this year, the Opelika factory will be able to produce up to 4,000 high-pressure tanks annually.
In 2021, Hanwha Cimmaron signed a deal with Texas-based energy company Sunbridge Energy Services to provide storage tanks for compressed natural gas (CNG). The $260-million deal aims to deliver tube trailers containing dozens of vessels that can store CNG and other pressurized gases such as hydrogen.