Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Major car manufacturers aim for a gradual market deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) with 700 bar on-board storage in the coming years. Such deployment requires availability of a cost effective and reliable hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. State-of-the-art hydrogen refuelling station (HRS) technologies show part-wise unsatisfactory reliability reducing the availability of hydrogen as fuel for FCEV drivers related to failures in compressors, pumps and other vital parts. End user satisfaction is a key success factor for FCEV deployment especially in the early phase when the number of HRSs is low. Moreover, the relatively high CAPEX of HRSs is related to costly components and to high HRS complexity. Simplifications in system design, development of modular solutions and novel concepts for reducing the number of required components constitute viable pathways towards lower cost hydrogen supply. At low dispensed volumes the CAPEX and HRS maintenance contributes significantly to the hydrogen fuel cost. As the number of FCEVs increases, next generation HRS should be expandable to capacities following the demand for hydrogen. Last, but not least, there is a significant potential for improving the overall refuelling energy efficiency, thereby reducing the OPEX, which is required to reach the targeted fuel supply cost.

Scope:  Project(s) should conduct R&D, engineering, prototype manufacturing and/or laboratory testing of key components or complete HRS systems with the aim to further reduce cost, increase efficiency and improve and verify availability and refuelling performance. The focus of these activities needs to ensure that remaining hurdles for commercialisation and specific market requirements are appropriately addressed with the best possible technological solution.  For components the project efforts should focus on technologies with a current TRL of at least 3 and ensure an increase during the project of at least up to TRL 5. For HRS systems project efforts should focus on technologies or systems with a current TRL of at least 4 and ensure an increase during the project of up to at least TRL 6.

The scope of potential topic(s) to be addressed includes among others (addressing of several is possible):

Key components

•             R&D and optimization should primarily focus on cost, efficiency, capacity, reliability, maintenance, operation and performance for components such as:

o             Compression components

o             Storage components

o             Cooling and refuelling components

o             Regulation and control systems

o             Other supporting components

•             and may include additional aspects such as

o             Monitoring and communication systems, such as real time availability of the service station and other web services  

o             Other components relevant for parameters such as hydrogen quality and metering accuracy may also be addressed

The scope must include multiple key components (at least 3) in order to maximise the impact of the project.

Complete HRS systems

•             R&D and design of larger scale systems designed for high utilization and reliable operation with a focus on additional cost reduction, system efficiency, reliability, performance and market requirements

•             Construction and testing of full scale laboratory or pilot systems to validate cost reduction, efficiency and in particular reliability and performance at high utilisation rates in daily operation

Project(s) should take into consideration results of previously supported FCH JU projects that may be relevant for the topic, e.g. failure experiences, and performance indicators.

Expected impact: Newly developed and laboratory or pilot validated HRS key components and/or complete HRS systems fulfilling the following MAWP 2017 targets:

•             CAPEX and OPEX costs that enable a feasible roll-out of infrastructure taking into account relevant national/regional market support mechanisms. CAPEX target to be reached within the project in is EUR 0.6-1.8 million per HRS depending on capacity if full HRS systems are addressed. OPEX targets for the dispensing cost should validate that economically feasible operation of the HRS at sufficient utilisation can be achieved at a targeted cost of hydrogen delivered to the HRS of 5.5€/kg. Proposals must document current TRL of at least 4, outlining clearly the anticipated capacity and progress to be achieved within the project. Construction and test of laboratory or pilot HRS systems could be used to verify CAPEX and OPEX achievements.

Availability & performance that meets market requirements when used at full scale at high utilization rates on a daily basis. The developed components should demonstrate  >98% availability and close to 100% performance always offering end-users a fast and high state-of-charge refuelling in accordance with SAE J2601. Other performance parameters such as hydrogen quality and metering accuracy may also be addressed. For HRS systems, construction of laboratory validation systems could be used to verify availability and performance targets, at full scale and under high utilization conditions.

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