Contamination-free and leak-tight fuel cell compressors for hydrogen fueling stations, solar panel manufacturing, hydrogen production via wind power and other applications.

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hydrogen diaphragm fuel cell compressor re-fueling station
PDC Machines supplied hydrogen diaphragm fuel cell compressor inside an ISO container as part of Air Liquide’s re-fueling station for material handling equipment in Alberta, Canada.

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refueling station for vehicles
Air Liquide, refueling station in Singapore for vehicles. PDC Machines’ diaphragm hydrogen fuel cell compressor provides a flow 5 Nm^3/hr at a discharge Pressure of 6100 psi. This compressor is CE compliant.

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hydrogen re-fueling station
Nel Hydrogen supplied the first 700 bar hydrogen re-fueling station for the city of Holstebro, Denmark.

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hydrogen refueling high pressure diaphragm hydrogen compressor
Air Products and Chemicals supplied BP SMUD station using solar energy to generate hydrogen used to refuel vehicles. A PDC Machines high pressure diaphragm hydrogen compressor was part of the scope of supply.


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PDC Machines’ triple diaphragm fuel cell compressor offers the following benefits:

High Product Purity

Contamination-free compression – Triple diaphragm construction and elastomeric seals isolate process gas from hydraulic oil. The quality of gas entering and discharging the compressor are the same.

Filters and oil removal systems are not necessary – Hydraulic oil cannot migrate into the process gas.

Corrosion Resistant Materials

All process-wetted components are constructed from corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel to prevent any contamination to the process gas. The use of carbon steel in the process system results in corrosion, contamination and ultimately leads to premature failure of diaphragms, increases cost of spare parts, maintenance frequency and causes more down-time.

High Reliability and Uptime

  • Superior diaphragm life – All aspects of hydrogen gas compressor (diaphragm) design are intended to enhance component life, improve operability and reduce and simplify maintenance. Diaphragm cavity contours, which control stress in the diaphragms, are carefully controlled to provide uniform stress distribution. These cavity contours are computer engineered utilizing Finite Element Analysis techniques, which results in our state-of the-art design. Special manufacturing processing is used on the diaphragm surfaces to enhance fatigue life.
  • Extended diaphragm life – Many of our customers have experienced continuous running times of 10,000 to 40,000 hours between routine maintenance minimizing the need for spare parts replacement.
  • Low maintenance – Typically, only routine oil changes are necessary.
  • Unique oil distribution system – The hydraulic system is designed in such a way as to assure uniform diaphragm deflection, prevent knocks, vibration, cavitation and yield smooth, quiet compressor operation. Unique, oil distribution techniques are employed to eliminate pressure differentials and gradients. The system utilizes an automatic priming pump, positive displacement high-pressure injection pump and oil relief valve with bypass valve for easy and smooth starting.

Safe Operation

  • Safe – For compression of highly reactive gases, PDC Machines uses non-flammable hydraulic fluid and wetted materials of construction are compatible to the reactive gas.
  • Environmentally safe – Our crank-cases do not need to be purged or vented.
  • Therefore, there is no leakage of gas into the atmosphere.
  • Fast acting leak detection system – To detect and indicate diaphragm and seal failure.
  • Safety interlocks – Features include alarms and shutdowns for low suction, high discharge, low oil, low water coolant, diaphragm and or o-ring failure. The compressor will be completely instrumented for automatic operation.

High Compression Ratio

An application that would require two stages on a reciprocating compressor can be handled with one stage diaphragm compressor for hydrogen. This reduces costs and maintenance.

Quiet Operation

  • Soft, high-strength plastics for check valves – Reduce leakage, improve efficiency, extend equipment life, and reduce noise levels.
  • Below 85 dBA @ 1 meter – Extremely low noise level without the need for sound proofing enclosure.
  • Horizontally-opposed designs for high-efficiency operation
  • Duplex and multi-stage designs are available to accommodate a wide range of pressures and flows.
  • Duplex units are capable of compressing different gases simultaneously.
  • Simplex units are field-convertible to increase flow.
  • Duplex units provide twice the flow with 1/3 Hp consumption.

Automatic Unloading System

To avoid cavitating and damaging the fuel cell compressor due to incorrect priming, PDC Machines provides an automatic unloading system which automatically re-primes the compressor at start-up

Alternative Energy Hydrogen Stations    |    Applications    |     Specifications


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