Haskel, founded in 1946, has a long and storied history as the world leader in the design and manufacture of highly engineered, high-pressure fluid and gas handling equipment and technology.
In 1954 Haskel was a pioneer in the development of the first dry running hydraulically driven gas booster, which did not require lubrication for the compressor, used with nitrogen (N2) and helium (He) to pressure as high as 10,000 psi. In 1961 Haskel launched a range of metal seals able to withstand the extreme temperatures of aircraft engines. Another major development was the introduction of the air driven gas booster in 1963. This product line was supplemented with the introduction of air-driven liquid pumps, leading to the publication of the first liquid pump catalogue in 1963. Haskel added air pressure amplifiers in the 1970s and acquired the BuTech line of high-pressure valves and fittings in the 1990’s.
Throughout the years, Haskel has grown organically. In 2012, Accudyne Industries acquired Haskel and its sister brands. Accudyne Industries is a leading global provider of precision-engineered, process-critical, and technologically advanced flow control systems and industrial compressors.
In recent months Haskel officially introduced its H-Drive gas booster to the market. The equipment is designed for a variety of gas applications, mainly related to the clean energy market. These applications include charging large volume, high-pressure hydrogen (H2) storage vessels needed for H2 vehicle refuelling and constant energy supply systems.
gasworld spoke to Haskel Product Manager Paul Harrison, about the launch of the H-drive gas booster and the company’s latest endeavours.
Can you tell the readers, in simple terms, how the H-drive gas booster works?
The H-Drive booster is a reciprocating high pressure booster compressor. The booster is driven by hydraulic fluid which drives a hydraulic double ended cylinder which in turn drives two opposing gas pistons. The gas pistons are of differing diameters sealed within high pressure gas barrels. The ends of the barrels are fitted with and sealed via gas end caps each containing both inlet and outlet gas check valves. The hydraulic piston, when driven in the suction stroke, will retract causing a drop in pressure within the barrel. Gas pressure on the inlet connection will force the inlet check valve to open and allow gas to flow into the gas barrel. This gas will act upon the floating gas piston and force it to retract as the hydraulic piston rod retracts. At the bottom of the stroke the hydraulic drive piston reverses direction and drives the gas piston in the return compression stoke. Any gas within the gas barrel will be acted upon by the piston, the inlet check valve will close and pressure within the gas barrel will start to increase as the volume within the gas barrel decreases. When the pressure in the gas barrel reaches the pressure of any gas downstream of the outlet check valve, the gas outlet check valve will open and as the piston continues to move, the gas will be forced into the downstream line. The booster is double acting using opposing gas pistons. As one gas barrel is being compressed the opposite piston is retracting allowing flow of gas into the opposite barrel. This reciprocating action allows the booster to booster various gases to pressures up to 15,000 psi. Double acting single stage and double acting two stage models are available allowing for compression of a wide range of gases from 50 psi g up to 15,000 psi.
How is the H-drive gas booster unique from other, similar technologies?
The booster is dry running and contaminant free, and designed around Haskel’s many years at the forefront of gas sealing expertise. The assemblies are manufactured from materials that are known to be best in class for high pressure hydrogen gas service to provide product longevity and reliability The design is modular with minimum components making it easy to configure to different applications, repair and maintain.
Where will this technology be deployed next?
The technology will be deployed in the renewable fuel market compressing H2 gas for a range of applications including, refuelling of H2 driven cars, forklift trucks, buses etc. It will also have been used for applications using a wide range of gases including Nitrogen Helium, CNG etc. These include refuelling, pressure testing, charging high pressure vessels in industries from Oil and Gas to Aerospace
What else is Haskel working on at the moment?
Haskel is currently working on launching its current range of BuTech high pressure valves and fittings for the H2 refuelling market.
Can we expect any new products in the near future?
Haskel is continuously looking to introduce new high pressure products for the compression and control of gases. We are confident our NPD programmes will introduce a range of novel products in the coming months.
Where do you see the Haskel business in 10 years from now?
In 10 years’ time we expect that our business will have increased dramatically as we seek out new products and markets.