Physical model of non-adiabatic blowdown of cryo-compressed hydrogen storage tanks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


This paper describes a model of hydrogen blowdown dynamics for storage tanks needed for hydrogen safety engineering to accurately represent incident scenarios. Heat transfer through a tank and pipe walls affects the temperature and pressure transients inside the storage vessel and at the nozzle exit, and thus the characteristics of the resulting hydrogen jet in the case of loss of containment. Current non-adiabatic blowdown models are validated against experiments performed with hydrogen storage tanks at only ambient temperature. The effect of heat transfer for cryo-compressed hydrogen is more significant due to a larger difference of temperature between the stored hydrogen and the surrounding atmosphere, especially in case of equipment insulation failure during an incident. Our previous work demonstrated that the heat transfer through a discharge pipe wall can significantly affect the mass flow rate of cryogenic hydrogen releases. Thoroughly validated models of non-adiabatic blowdown dynamics for cryo-compressed hydrogen are missing at the moment. This work develops further the non-adiabatic blowdown model at ambient temperature using the under-expanded jet theory developed at Ulster University, to expand it to cryo-compressed hydrogen storage tanks. The non-ideal behaviour of cryo-compressed hydrogen due to low temperatures is taken into account through the high-accuracy Helmholtz energy formulations. The developed model includes effect of heat transfer at both the tank and the discharge pipe walls. The model is thoroughly validated against sixteen tests on blowdown of hydrogen storage tanks with initial pressure 0.6–20 MPa ab and temperature 80–310 K, through release nozzle of diameter in the range 0.5–4.0 mm, performed within the PRESLHY project. The model well reproduces the experimental pressure and temperature recordings in the storage tank during the entire blowdown duration for the whole set of sixteen tests. In conjunction with the volumetric source model, explained in detail, the physical model allows to perform CFD simulations accurately reproducing the temperature distribution in time and space for the cryogenic hydrogen jet experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35387-35406
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number90
Early online date13 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 9 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under grant agreement No.779613 (PRESLHY), No.826193 (HyTunnel-CS), No.875089 (HyResponder) and No. 101101381 (ELVHYS). ELVHYS project is supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and its members. UK participants in Horizon Europe Project ELVHYS are supported by UKRI grant numbers 10063519 (University of Ulster) and 10070592 (Health and Safety Executive).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Cryogenic hydrogen
  • Non-adiabatic blowdown
  • Conjugate heat transfer
  • Physical model
  • hydrogen safety engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Physical model of non-adiabatic blowdown of cryo-compressed hydrogen storage tanks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this