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We are working on developing an alternative technology for storage of hydrogen or natural gas on light-duty vehicles. This technology has been titled insulated pressure vessels. Insulated pressure vessels are cryogenic-capable pressure vessels that can accept either liquid fuel or ambient-temperature compressed fuel. Insulated pressure vessels offer the advantages of cryogenic liquid fuel tanks (low weight and volume), with reduced disadvantages (fuel flexibility, lower energy requirement for fuel liquefaction and reduced evaporative losses). The work described in this paper is directed at verifying that commercially available pressure vessels can be safely used to store liquid hydrogen or LNG. The use of commercially available pressure vessels significantly reduces the cost and complexity of the insulated pressure vessel development effort. This paper describes a series of tests that have been done with aluminum-lined, fiber-wrapped vessels to evaluate the damage caused by low temperature operation. All analysis and experiments to date indicate that no significant damage has resulted. Future activities include a demonstration project in which the insulated pressure vessels will be installed and tested on two vehicles. A draft standard will also be generated for obtaining insulated pressure vessel certification.

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