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Kobe Steel markets new compressor package

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Kobe Steel Ltd has announced that it has started marketing the HyAC mini-A, an all-in-one, compact compressor package for stationary hydrogen refuelling stations designed for use in the US.

The HyAC mini-A consists of a high pressure hydrogen compressor and a refrigerator sold together with a high pressure storage tank unit and a dispenser as a set.

Kobe Steel is the first Japanese manufacturer to sell hydrogen compressors and other associated equipment for hydrogen refuelling stations overseas. The company is working in cooperation with Kobelco Compressors America Inc., a compressor subsidiary, to expand sales.

The US is making progress on building a hydrogen infrastructure. California has opened 25 retail hydrogen refuelling stations and plans to establish over 100 stations by 2024, according to the California Energy Commission.

Kobe Steel has supplied approximately 30% of the Japanese market for stationary hydrogen refuelling stations with the HyAC series.

Owing to its success in Japan, Kobe Steel developed a new model, the HyAC mini-A, for sale in the US. The HyAC mini-A comes with a dispenser made by Tatsuno Corp. This enables Kobe Steel to provide equipment from hydrogen compression to fuelling FCVs, simplifying the need for customers to procure components separately and reducing onsite adjustment work.

As hydrogen refuelling stations are often located in urban areas or on small sites, there is a strong need for compactness. For the US market, Kobe Steel redesigned the layout of the HyAC mini-A to achieve a footprint that is 10% smaller than the Japanese model.

To meet the US fuelling protocol, the filling pressure of the HyAC mini-A was raised to 87.5 MPa. The HyAC mini-A is also equipped with a remote monitoring system. It includes compact micro channel heat exchangers called DCHE. Kobe Steel has supplied over 100 DCHE heat exchangers for use in domestic hydrogen refuelling stations.

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