Enhancement of hydrogen storage performance in shell and tube metal hydride tank for fuel cell electric forklift

Hanbin Wang, Miao Du, Qi Wang, Zhipeng Li* (Corresponding Author), Shumao Wang, Zhengming Gao* (Corresponding Author), J J Derksen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Novel metal hydride (MH) hydrogen storage tanks for fuel cell electric forklifts have been presented in this paper. The tanks comprise a shell side equipped with 6 baffles and a tube side filled with 120 kg AB5 alloy and 10 copper fins. The alloy manufactured by vacuum induction melting has good hydrogen storage performance, with high storage capacity of 1.6 wt% and low equilibrium pressure of 4 MPa at ambient temperature. Two types of copper fins, including disk fins and corrugated fins, and three kinds of baffles, including segmental baffles, diagonal baffles and hole baffles, were applied to enhance the heat transfer in metal hydride tanks. We used the finite element method to simulate the hydrogen refueling process in MH tanks. It was found that the optimized
tank with corrugated fins only took 630 s to reach 1.5 wt% saturation level. The intensification on the tube side of tanks is an effective method to improve hydrogen storage performance. Moreover, the shell side flow field and
hydrogen refueling time in MH tanks with different baffles were compared, and the simulated refueling time is in good agreement with the experimental data. The metal hydride tank with diagonal baffles shows the shortest hydrogen refueling time because of the highest velocity of cooling water. Finally, correlations regarding the effect of cooling water flow rate on the refueling time in metal hydride tanks were proposed for future industrial design.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23568-23580
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number61
Early online date28 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2023


  • Metal hydride tank
  • AB5 alloy
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Tube side fins and shell side baffles


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