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Optimisation of Transport Solutions for Compressed Hydrogen

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Roadmap for efficient hydrogen transport

Current capacities of compressed hydrogen trailers will soon require multiple daily truck deliveries to refuelling stations. A detailed analysis of high-capacity trailers has led to a roadmap for technological and regulatory implementation.

Energy

Lighter materials and higher pressures have the potential to increase the payload of a single trailer from about 350 kg to over 1 000 kg. However, implementation will require changes in strict Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS). In order to adopt these changes, authorities need proof that the new containers and processes achieve safety levels as least as high as those possible today. Thanks to the EU-funded project 'Optimisation of transport solutions for compressed hydrogen' (DELIVERHY), a detailed assessment of the safety, environmental and techno-economic impacts of the use of higher-capacity trailers was carried out. This enabled development of the foundations for a preliminary action plan and roadmap for required RCS changes. The methodology focused on comparing the cost increase associated with use of advanced materials with the distribution cost savings from increased truck capacity. Careful consideration of associated environmental and safety issues was included. Project partners conducted a systematic evaluation of the impact of the new materials on payload, economy, energy efficiency and related emissions. The scientists included transfer of hydrogen into and out of the transport unit. The increased payload of the high-capacity composite trailers reduced the delivery frequency by a factor of three and transport emissions by more than a factor of four. The team studied relevant safety issues, delineating failure modes and mechanisms related to various loading conditions for full composite pressure vessels for hydrogen storage. Identification of existing barriers in RCS to implementation led to important recommendations regarding changes to specific standards of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and to regulations such as ADR and UN Model Regulations. By project-end, partners delivered a roadmap of necessary RCS changes. The documentation includes suggested test methods, acceptance criteria and who must make the changes to European RCS. A dialogue was initiated with relevant authorities to get all players on board. DELIVERHY has paved the way to development of an optimised supply chain for compressed hydrogen that accounts for energy use, emissions, product losses, supply cost and certification. With industry and regulators working together, the EU will be able to fully exploit the potential of hydrogen gas as a transport fuel of the future.

Keywords

Hydrogen transport, compressed hydrogen, high-capacity trailers, RCS, transport solutions

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