Zero boil-off methods for large-scale liquid hydrogen tanks using integrated refrigeration and storage
IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering
NASA has completed a series of tests at the Kennedy Space Center to demonstrate the capability of using integrated refrigeration and storage (IRAS) to remove energy from a liquid hydrogen (LH2) tank and control the state of the propellant. A primary test objective was the keeping and storing of the liquid in a zero boil-off state, so that the total heat leak entering the tank is removed by a cryogenic refrigerator with an internal heat exchanger. The LH2 is therefore stored and kept with zero
... nd kept with zero losses for an indefinite period of time. The LH2 tank is a horizontal cylindrical geometry with a vacuum-jacketed, multilayer insulation system and a capacity of 125,000 liters. The closed-loop helium refrigeration system was a Linde LR1620 capable of 390W cooling at 20K (without any liquid nitrogen pre-cooling). Three different control methods were used to obtain zero boil-off: temperature control of the helium refrigerant, refrigerator control using the tank pressure sensor, and duty cycling (on/off) of the refrigerator as needed. Summarized are the IRAS design approach, zero boil-off control methods, and results of the series of zero boil-off tests.