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Hydrogen Properties for Energy Research (HYPER) Laboratory H2 refuel project

HYPER H2-Refuel Team


Our Objective:

To develop and build a hydrogen refueling system for either in-home or community use in order to win the 2014-2016 H2Refuel $1 million prize challenge. A major step forward in the HOW of a Hydrogen Organized World.

The Plan:

In order to be a viable option as a renewable resource that enables the hydrogen economy an efficient (>30% of ideal) small (5 kg/day) modular hydrogen liquefier is essential. This will be made possible by applying our patent pending vortex tube technology to liquefy hydrogen, as well as our patent pending cryogenic thermal compression system for dispensing. With the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, NASA, and others in need of this technology a major advancement in the commercial use of hydrogen fuel is imminent. For more information watch Jacob Leachman’s Jefferson County Energy Luncheon (talk starts at ~5 min into video).

How Is It Possible?

Liquid hydrogen has nearly twice the energy density of gaseous hydrogen at 10,000 psi and is worth 20-30 times more as a portable energy product than the electricity or natural gas used to produce it. However, even thermodynamically perfect liquefaction loses 30% of the hydrogen energy, similar to compressors trying to reach 700 bar (10,000 psi). That’s where cryogenic thermal compression comes into play; once liquid hydrogen has been created cryogenic thermal compression only requires heat from the environment and a valve to close for compression over 12,000 psi. With this application the liquefaction approach can be as quiet as the refrigerator in your home and dispense fuel at the required -40°C without extra refrigeration.


Optimize the vortex tube to maximize cold flow fraction and minimize inlet pressure. If we can reduce the vortex tube pressure to less than 100 psi we can utilize simple blower and compressor technology for re-circulation of the non-liquefied hydrogen.

Do You Want to Help?

Graduate and undergraduate students have come together for this project to apply their knowledge and skills in order to shape future energy implementations in society. We are always looking for partners in the community who share the need for this technology and are willing to support our student team efforts. Click on the link to see “How you can help.”

Previous Accomplishments:

In the past students have handled difficult projects very successfully. Both in and out of competition work have yielded teams to revolutionize engineering practices.

2014 Hydrogen Student Design Winners

winners_2014        fueling station

2012 Hydrogen Student Design 2nd Place


The Genii Liquid Hydrogen Fueled UAS

WSU UAS Flight Team May 18 2013     20130531 Flight 2 Climbout