Traditional high-pressure mechanical compressors account for over half of the car station’s cost, have insufficient reliability, and are not feasible for a large-scale fuel cell market. An alternative technology, employing a two-stage, hybrid system based on electrochemical and metal hydride compression technologies, represents an excellent alternative to conventional compressors. The high-pressure stage, operating at 100–875 bar, is based on a metal hydride thermal system. A techno-economic analysis of the metal hydride system is presented and discussed. A model of the metal hydride system was developed, integrating a lumped parameter mass and energy balance model with an economic model. A novel metal hydride heat exchanger configuration is also presented, based on minichannel heat transfer systems, allowing for effective high-pressure compression. Several metal hydrides were analyzed and screened, demonstrating that one selected material, namely (Ti0.97
, is likely the best candidate material to be employed for high-pressure compressors under the specific conditions. System efficiency and costs were assessed based on the properties of currently available materials at industrial levels. Results show that the system can reach pressures on the order of 875 bar with thermal power provided at approximately 150 °C. The system cost is comparable with the current mechanical compressors and can be reduced in several ways as discussed in the paper.
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