VESSEL LIFE CYCLE MANAGEMENT
By: Erick Ritter and Daniel Peters
Initial introduction of many of the hydrogen fueling stations to support this rapidly growing demand were installed around 2010. There were many designs of cylinders developed and installed at that time, many with known limitations on the life of the equipment due to the high pressures involved and cyclic fatigue crack growth issues due to hydrogen embrittlement. The designs were often kept relatively simple to lower their costs often with little or no considerations for in-service inspection or potential end of life considerations. Others involved innovative designs with reinforcing wrapping to try to enhance the life of the vessels, but by doing so, these designs limited the access to the main cylinder wall for in-service inspection.
Many of these vessels are now reaching or passing the design life established by ASME. This is resulting in problems for operators of this equipment as some jurisdictions will not allow the vessels to operate beyond the design life without inspection or re-rating of the vessels to extend the fatigue life. SI’s FatiguePRO is a commercial software solution which has been addressing this exact concern for over 25 years.