The GigaSphere: Game Changer for Next Generation of Clean Energy

GigaSphere, Gen H2Large spheres have been used to store liquid hydrogen for decades. In fact, two 3,218 cubic meter (850,000 gallon) liquid hydrogen storage spheres have supported space flight pro- grams at the Kennedy Space Center since the mid-1960s. Currently, NASA plans to use the latest and largest liquid hydro- gen tank ever put into production for the Artemis exploration missions to the moon and Mars.

With the rapid growth of the hydro- gen economy worldwide, there remain several key technologies that must be developed at scale to support the hydrogen infrastructure. One such technology is the GigaSphere. President Biden’s $8 billion infrastructure plan includes as many as six hydrogen hubs. GigaSpheres will become the anchors for each hub as the country begins deploying them over the next de- cade. With GigaSpheres in place, these hubs will have the capability to advance the essential role of hydrogen to support all facets of our energy needs by 2030 and beyond.

There are smaller spheres in use today and a few larger spheres in development, but the GigaSphere is a game changer. Building GigaSpheres is not just a concept on the drawing board or outer space technology. GenH2, an industry leader in hydrogen infrastructure solutions, is dedicating a team to design and engineer the next generation of large liquid storage solutions. GenH2 is already taking orders for 1.25 million-gallon-capacity GigaSpheres and expects much larger vessels will be required in the very near future, which the company will be able to provide.

While much of the industry has been focused on developing hydrogen hubs, most conversations have been centered around hydrogen production, pipelines and transportation depots. Comparatively little attention has been paid to advancing liquefaction and storage technologies. Interestingly, however, much of the proposed technology is not significantly different from that used in the early days of the Apollo program. This is why the GigaSphere is such an exciting development, and the capability to manufacture them at scale is pivotal. The larger the liquid storage vessel, the easier it is to achieve high thermal efficiency and “make hydrogen happy.” The boiloff loss rate of the first GigaSphere is less than 0.05% per day, and adding a refrigeration system to make it a fully zero loss system is now practical to do. 

With experience gained over the de- cades from NASA’s operational units, the team at GenH2 has the know-how to de- liver advanced, yet cost-effective, liquid hydrogen storage solutions for large-scale industrial applications. All the R&D years have now culminated in a currently existing, practical and solid solution that is necessary to meet the rapidly growing needs of the hydrogen industry.  

If we can use the GigaSphere to go to Mars, why can’t we use it on our roads, seas, and air travel? Well, the answer is, we most certainly can, and we are mov- ing quickly to a future where we will do exactly that. 

Where do you put a GigaSphere? 

The hydrogen infrastructure must evolve as fast as possible, as it is the catalyst that will feed the growth of the entire development and utilization of hydrogen as an energy source for any type of use. The GigaSphere plays a critical role at each hub for distribution on any scale. Wherever the GigaSphere is placed, it will be the primary dispensing source, or it can feed a network of satellite dispensing units, as well as key infrastructure around it. 

As an example, let’s consider building a GigaSphere at Port Canaveral. Cruise and cargo ships will need large quantities of hydrogen. More so, the entire infra- structure of ports can also run on liquid hydrogen, and the GigaSphere can pro- vide the necessary quantity on demand. There are also additional uses for the hydrogen: forklifts, delivery trucks, cranes, taxis, golf carts and others. 

With Port Canaveral’s Florida coast location, hurricanes are a constant threat and the command-and-control center for the port must remain open regardless of weather. A hydrogen GigaSphere is the ultimate solution. 1.25 million gallons of liquid hydrogen could power buildings and all the equipment in the port for several days, as well as provide power needed for the port’s cranes, forklifts and trucks to quickly offload and transport critical supplies. Another example is the Port of Houston, which is larger than Port Canaveral and could be more than adequately supplied with two GigaSpheres.

GigaSpheres strategically placed through a geographic area, such as states or regions around the United States, will enable feeder distribution to smaller locations for dispensing and will be accomplished faster than developing isolated units.  

Collaboration to build the hydrogen economy

 With the knowledge of how to pro- duce a GigaSphere, the team at GenH2 has formed the right relationships and strategic partnerships that are making the GigaSphere a reality. Based upon the core belief that “together we can make this happen,” the hydrogen economy is moving so fast that companies that can only make one-offs will fall behind. To achieve the 2050 clean energy goals, we must start to concentrate on solutions that can be duplicated at scale.

Cody Bateman, founder and CEO of GenH2, is widely recognized as a leader in the field of hydrogen infrastructure and is an outspoken advocate for the hydrogen economy. James Fesmire, GenH2’s executive vice president and chief architect, was a leader in the technology development for NASA’s liquid hydrogen storage. Learn more at

Image: Liquid hydrogen storage sphere at KSC. Credit: GenH2

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