Fuel gas storage and supply system (toyota jidosha) 101 gas station

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Japanese Patent Application Publication No. 2015-148234 (JP 2015-148234 A) discloses a fuel-cell vehicle including a first tank section and a second tank section for fuel gas. The first tank section and the second tank section are connected in series to each other via a first pipe. A filling port which is used to fill the first tank section with fuel gas from the outside is connected to the first tank section via a filling pipe. A high-pressure decompression valve for decompressing fuel gas before the fuel gas is supplied to the fuel cell is connected to the second tank section via a second pipe. When the tank sections are filled with fuel gas, the high-pressure decompression valve is shut and the first tank section and the second tank section are filled with fuel gas from the filling port. When the fuel-cell vehicle travels, the high-pressure decompression valve is activated, and fuel gas flowing from the first tank section to the second pipe via the first pipe and fuel gas flowing from the second tank section to the second pipe are decompressed by the high-pressure decompression valve and are supplied to the fuel cell. SUMMARY

In general, in order to prevent fuel gas from leaking from the filling port to the outside, a check valve is disposed in the filling port. When the high-pressure decompression valve is out of order and is opened while the tank sections are being filled with fuel gas, there is a likelihood that the first tank section and the second tank section will not be satisfactorily filled with fuel gas and the fuel gas will flow to the fuel cell. On the other hand, when the check valve of the filling port is out of order and is opened while the fuel-cell vehicle is traveling, there is a likelihood that fuel gas will flow back from the first tank section and the second tank section to the filling port and will leak to the outside.

According to an aspect of the disclosure, there is provided a fuel gas storage and supply system. The fuel gas storage and supply system that supplies fuel gas to a fuel cell includes: a filling port that includes a first check valve; a decompression valve that adjusts a pressure of the fuel gas; a fuel gas pipe that connects the filling port to the decompression valve; one or more gas tanks that are connected to the fuel gas pipe; an upstream shut valve that is disposed in the fuel gas pipe between an upstream gas tank closest to the filling port among the one or more gas tanks and the filling port; a second check valve that is disposed in the fuel gas pipe between the filling port and the upstream shut valve; a pressure sensor that is disposed in the fuel gas pipe between the upstream shut valve and the decompression valve; and a controller configured to control opening and closing of the upstream shut valve using a measured pressure value of the pressure sensor, wherein the controller is configured to repeatedly acquire the measured pressure value from the pressure sensor over time when the one or more gas tanks are filled with the fuel gas via the filling port and close the upstream shut valve when an increasing rate of the measured pressure value is less than a predetermined increasing rate threshold value.

According to the fuel gas storage and supply system of this aspect, when the increasing rate of the measured pressure value of the pressure sensor is less than a predetermined increasing rate threshold value at the time of filling the gas tank with fuel gas, there is a high likelihood that the decompression valve is out of order and is opened. At this time, since the controller is configured to close the upstream shut valve, it is possible to prevent fuel gas from flowing into the fuel cell rather than filling the gas tank. Since the second check valve is disposed between the filling port and the upstream shut valve, it is possible to prevent fuel gas from flowing back to the filling port by the second check valve and to prevent fuel gas from leaking to the outside when the gas tank is not being filled with fuel gas and the first check valve of the filling port is out of order and is opened.

In the fuel gas storage and supply system according to the aspect, the controller may be configured to additionally repeatedly acquire the measured pressure value from the pressure sensor over time when the fuel gas is consumed in the fuel cell, and may close the upstream shut valve when a decreasing rate of the measured pressure value is greater than a predetermined decreasing rate threshold value or when the measured pressure value is less than a predetermined pressure threshold value.

According to the fuel gas storage and supply system of this aspect, when the decreasing rate of the measured pressure value of the pressure sensor is greater than a predetermined decreasing rate threshold value or the measured pressure value is less than a predetermined pressure threshold value at the time of consumption of fuel gas in the fuel cell, there is a high likelihood that the first check valve is out of order and is opened. At this time, since the controller is configured to close the upstream shut valve, it is possible to further prevent fuel gas from leaking to the outside.

In the fuel gas storage and supply system according to the aspect, the one or more gas tanks may include a first gas tank corresponding to the upstream gas tank and a second gas tank, each of the first gas tank and the second gas tank may include a cap and a valve module connected to the cap, the valve module may include a sub pipe constituting a part of the fuel gas pipe, a branch pipe branched from the sub pipe and connected to the cap, and a shut valve disposed in the branch pipe, and the upstream shut valve may be disposed in the fuel gas pipe between the valve module of the first gas tank and the filling port.

According to the fuel gas storage and supply system of this aspect, when the gas tank is filled with fuel gas, it is possible to prevent fuel gas from flowing into the fuel cell rather than filling the gas tank. At the time of consumption of fuel gas in the fuel cell, it is possible to prevent fuel gas from leaking to the outside.

In the fuel gas storage and supply system according to the aspect, each of the one or more gas tanks may have a temperature sensor installed in the gas tank, and the controller may be configured to close the upstream shut valve when a measured temperature value of the temperature sensor installed in at least one gas tank among the one or more gas tanks is higher than a predetermined temperature threshold value at the time of filling the one or more gas tanks with the fuel gas via the filling port. According to the fuel gas storage and supply system of this aspect, when the temperature of the gas tank becomes high due to a certain abnormality while the gas tank is filled with fuel gas, the upstream shut valve is closed and thus it is possible to stop filling of the gas tank with fuel gas.

In the fuel gas storage and supply system according to the aspect, the pressure sensor may be connected to the sub pipe in the valve module of the second gas tank, a filter, a check valve, and an ON-OFF valve may be disposed in the sub pipe of the valve module of the first gas tank, and a filter, a check valve, and an ON-OFF valve may be disposed in the sub pipe of the valve module of the second gas tank.

FIG. 1 is a diagram schematically illustrating a fuel gas storage and supply system 900 according to a first embodiment of the disclosure. The fuel gas storage and supply system 900 is mounted in, for example, a fuel-cell vehicle and supplies hydrogen (fuel gas) to a fuel cell 400. The fuel gas storage and supply system 900 includes a filling port 100, a fuel gas pipe 200, a first gas tank 510, a second gas tank 520, and a controller 600. The first gas tank 510 corresponds to an upstream gas tank closest to the filling port 100 among the two gas tanks 510, 520.