Hydrogen Compression

What is the right compressor for the job?

Comp Skid_r1_c1

Here is a chart that will help you determine the compressor you need.

Compressor Table_r1_c1

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The most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen fuel is clean, flexible, and energy-efficient.

  • H2 can be transported as a gas by pipelines or in liquid form by ships, much like liquefied natural gas (LNG).
  • H2 can be transformed into electricity and methane to power homes and feed industry, and into fuels for cars, trucks, ships, and planes.
  • H2 can enable renewables to provide an even greater contribution.

Somewhere along the way, Hydrogen must go through one of these, a gas compressor. H2 gas compressors have a different set of specifications because the Hydrogen cell is so much smaller. Build standards are tighter.

Before selecting a compressor, the operator should know the value of compression ratio, the heat of compression, duty cycle, packaging, location, and lubrication system.

Compression Ratio

The absolute discharge pressure is divided by absolute suction pressure. It is represented as a ratio of X:X.

The higher the compression ratio equates to more work for the compressor, so decisions must be made on the number of stages required and whether air-cooled or liquid-cooled equipment is a better choice. There is no one-size-fits-all rule when selecting a compressor.

If the compression ratio is between:

  • >1:1 and 5:1 - a single-stage compressor is likely the best choice.
  • 5:1 to 8:1 - a single-stage machine may still work, but a two-stage compressor may need to be considered.
  • 8:1 to 12:1 - a two-stage unit is the best choice.
  • >12:1 usually requires a three-stage or higher compressor.

Heat from Compression

The specific heat ratio of the product being compressed plays a factor in compressor selection. This ratio dictates how the gas will behave with respect to the heat of compression, and ultimately determines the number of stages required and whether air- or water-cooled equipment should be used.

Duty Cycle

How often will the compressor be required to operate?

Installed Location

Ambient temperatures and elevation can also affect the compressor's operation. Energy Link can develop a model that is just right for colder climates or hotter operating conditions.


  • What type of base/skid is needed?
  • What about drivers and controls?
  • What type of lubrication system is required?
  • What are any associated filtration needs?