A rechargeable device that stores and discharges hydrogen is described. The device stores hydrogen in a solid form and supplies hydrogen as a gas when needed. The solid storage medium may be metal hydride in a ground particle form that avoids the need for compaction or other treatment. Dividers partition a container into separate chambers, each provided with a matrix, formed from an appropriate material like a thermally-conductive aluminum foam, which forms a number of cells. For proper chamber size, the ratio of chamber length to container diameter should be between about 0.5 and 2. Metal hydride particles (or other hydrogen storage medium) may be placed within the cells, which help prevent excessive particle settling. The container is provided with a hydrogen transfer port through which hydrogen gas passes upon either discharging from or charging of the metal hydride particles. A filter may be placed within the port to allow hydrogen to flow but prevent particles from escaping. A heat transferring surface is formed by, for instance, a channel that is thermally coupled with the aluminum foam. Fluid flows through the channel to deliver or remove heat during the respective hydrogen discharging or charging processes.
This invention relates to a rechargeable device for storing and, when desired, releasing hydrogen. Among other applications, the device can be used in the energy generation or transportation industries. The U.S. government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract no. DE-AC09-89-SR18035 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Savannah River Company.