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Real environment demonstration of Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM)


This topic is addressing types of NRMM currently running with an ICE utilising conventional fuels in the construction & mining (excavators, loaders, haulers, bulldozers, etc.) and agricultural & farming (harvesters, cultivators, etc.) sectors.

The scope is to develop and demonstrate mature prototypes of hydrogen FC propelled machinery, operating in a defined end-user ecosystem. Hydrogen should be available on / very close to the work site, for refuelling purposes.

The technology gaps to be addressed are the following:

  • NRMM performance should be at the same level as current diesel engine NRMM, through the optimisation of the complete NRMM power supply system: transient mode, high torque availability at low rpm are examples of specific demanding working conditions to be fulfilled to guarantee NRMM performance and efficiency.
  • Components and system reliability under the specific working conditions of the various NRMMs :
    • Vibrations and shocks occurring during regular NRMM operation.
    • Filtering system efficiency against dust or any other external pollutant in order to guarantee the fuel cell stack lifetime and avoid early wear and malfunctioning.
  • Management of water deposits for stationary type NRMMs.

Proposals should:

  • Develop at least two different types of NRMMs relevant for a certain end-user ecosystem, and representative of as many applications as possible in terms of machine power and duty cycles. Applications / work sites considered should belong to the Construction & Mining and/or Agricultural & Farming sectors.
  • Develop newly designed vehicles in order to provide an optimal integration of the complete FC system in the NRMM architecture (as such, retrofitting existing ICE vehicles is not in the scope of the topic);
  • Run the NRMMs simultaneously at a real operations site, and operate each of them for at least 1,000 NRMM working hours;
  • Bring suitable technical solutions and verify the effectiveness and safety of the complete system developed for the specific working conditions and applications of the various types of NRMMs;
  • Demonstrate:
    • The performance and reliability of the complete fuel cell system on the different NRMMs;
    • The up-time of machinery and thus work sites with a rapid, secured and safe refuelling process on site based on existing standard protocols, whenever available;
    • As a global outcome, the viability and relevancy of future commercial vehicles;
  • Identify suitable solutions to meet relevant legal or standards requirement likely to prevent the successful introduction of hydrogen FC technology in the various NRMM’s fields of application. As an example: ATEX classification compliance for mining environment.
  • Assess the TCO of the solution developed, both at prototype development stage (small number of vehicles) and projected in 2030 with different market uptake and technologies maturity development.

Proposed projects should prove the scalability and/or the modularity of the solutions demonstrated to either bigger or smaller models of a given type of NRMM.

Internal combustion engines with hydrogen injection are not in scope of this topic

Applicants are encouraged to address sustainability and circularity aspects in the activities proposed.

This topic is expected to contribute to EU competitiveness and industrial leadership by supporting a European value chain for hydrogen and fuel cell systems and components.

Proposals should provide a preliminary draft on ‘hydrogen safety planning and management’ at the project level, which will be further updated during project implementation.

Activities developing test protocols and procedures for the performance and durability assessment of electrolysers and fuel cell components proposals should foresee a collaboration mechanism with JRC (see section ""Collaboration with JRC""), in order to support EU-wide harmonisation. Test activities should adopt the already published EU harmonised testing protocols[[]] to benchmark performance and quantify progress at programme level.

Activities are expected to start at TRL 4-5 and achieve TRL 7 by the end of the project - see General Annex B.

At least one partner in the consortium must be a member of either Hydrogen Europe or Hydrogen Europe Research.

The maximum Clean Hydrogen JU contribution that may be requested is EUR 5.00 million – proposals requesting Clean Hydrogen JU contributions above this amount will not be evaluated.

Purchases of equipment, infrastructure or other assets used for the action must be declared as depreciation costs. However, for the following equipment, infrastructure or other assets purchased specifically for the action (or developed as part of the action tasks): fuel cell system, onboard hydrogen storage and other components needed in a hydrogen powered non-road mobile machinery, costs may exceptionally be declared as full capitalised costs.

The conditions related to this topic are provided in the chapter of the Clean Hydrogen JU 2023 Annual Work Plan and in the General Annexes to the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2023–2024 which apply mutatis mutandis.