Hydrogen as a next generation energy carrier, is a clear and zero emission fuel with growing application in various fields. Intermodal transportation is an important issue for the safety and economic use of hydrogen fuel in distributed sites. Hydrogen is usually transported in high-pressure cylinders on trucks with bounded space. In this paper, we investigated different cylinder designs, packing strategies and their impact on the storage density, which is defined as the weight of hydrogen divided by the storage space, and then found out the optimal design and packing strategy. The high-pressure hydrogen gas was considered as real gas, and the stress distribution was analyzed for the 4130 steel cylinders based on the thick-wall cylinder model. Two different head designs of sphere and elliptical head were considered and discussed. A high storage density strategy with cylinder geometric parameter design, hydrogen gas pressure and cylinder packing methods were proposed. An exploration of the carbon fiber cylinder showed the potential of the composite material as a storage cylinder in high-pressure storage situations.

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