Zero boil-off methods for large-scale liquid hydrogen tanks using integrated refrigeration and storage

W U Notardonato, A M Swanger, J E Fesmire, K M Jumper, W L Johnson, T M Tomsik
2017 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
more » ... 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.
doi:10.1088/1757-899x/278/1/012012 fatcat:j2qfxzzvu5fjvkvr5pcoqmz4su