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Systems for Alternative Fuels - SYSAF


Specific Objectives:
1. To start construction of infrastructure which will house the new high pressure hydrogen storage in order to set up new laboratory installations at the JRC. These facilities are intended to compare and assess safety, performance and storage capacity of various compressed hydrogen storage technologies to support the development of harmonised codes and standards.(Objectives and deliverables related to the operation of the new laboratory installations heavily depend on authorization by the Local Community to construct a bunker designed to house the facilities);
2. To develop competence in the field of solid-state hydrogen storage by setting-up a new facilty to measure adsorption/desorption capacity of hydride and carbon structures. f(PCT Unit) for benchmarking/developing accurate and reliable databases on the hydrogen storage densities of the various technologies;
3. To develop the required competence in this emerging policy area (measures to promote the use of alternative fuels). To build and strengthen partnership through networking in order to articulate needs in key areas and to identify the most promising opportunities for collaboration;
4. To train researchers and provide access to specific installations for safety & performance assessment of hydrogen storage technologies with emphasis on collaboration with Candidate Countries;
5. To collect information on ongoing activities in the development of codes and standards for the safety and performance of emerging hydrogen energy systems. To establish links to relevant committees in the field of safety and storage;
6. In close collaboration with SETRIS (ISA 2.2.1) to support new legislation, provide technical/scientific support to the development of appropriate policy instruments to promote the introduction of alternative fuels (natural gas, hydrogen). Anticipated milestones and schedule 1.1 Finalised second request to Local Community June 2003 1.2 Started construction of infrastructure November 2003. 1.3 Completing set-up calibration of gas analysis equipment permeation equipment June 2003 2.1 Set-up assembly PCT Unit June-July 2003 2.2 First test with newly developed hydrides November 2003 3.1 Database R&D, legislations, standardization, organizations/Institutions December 2003 3.2 Agencies/associations participation & proposal for IP/NoE continuously 3.3 Questionnaire analysis February 2003 4.1 Training of young researchers. CCs Worshop.October 2003 5.1 Mapping safety requirements report June 6.1 Provision of technical information December 2003 6.2 Technical report on R&D storage technologies June 2003.
Planned Deliverables:
1.1 Finalised second request to the Local Community for the authorization to construct a bunker, which will house the 2 new facilities (high-pressure cycling & permeation) dedicated to high-pressure test (350 bars) in hydrogen or natural gas of full-scale vehicle tanks;
1.2 Started construction of the infrastructure (bunker sub-contracted) immediately after approval by the Local Community;
1.3 Finalised set-up and calibration of instrumentations for gas analysis (gas chromatograph & quadrupole mass-spectroscopy) which will be used for assessing. The permeation levels which meet the safety standards requirements;
2.1 New fully automated gas titration apparatus installed (hydrogen absorption and desorption for performance measurements in solid-state storage technologies). Set-up/calibration and first test with newly developed metal hydrides;
3.1 Finalisation of a Scientific & Technological mapping on hydrogen storage (EUR report) and of associated database;
3.2 Maintained contact with associations/agencies (ENVGA, European Natural Gas Vehicle Association, EHA European Hydrogen Association, IEA International Energy Agency), to be exploited in proposals for one Network of Excellence and two Integrated Project on hydrogen and natural gas storage;
3.3 Analysis of the executed European survey to identify industrial R&D needs for alternative fuels in vehicles. Analysis to be delivered to participants of the survey and to be used for orienting future SYSAF activities;
4.1 Training of researchers: in particular from Candidate Countries through the organization of one workshop on best practices of Hydrogen storage technologies. Invitation of PhD and Post-Docs currently executing their project to participate in technical sessions as well as experimental testing on IE installations;
5.1 One report to (EUR Report) on mapping of safety and performance evaluation connected to the storage of hydrogen and natural gas, needs for further legislation and standards;
6.1 Continuous technical support and exchange of relevant data with SETRIS on safety and reliability of hydrogen storage and distribution systems. These assessments are to be delivered to DG TREN in the frame of the "Alternative Fuel Contact Group" which is currently advising the Commission on measures to promote the penetration of natural gas and hydrogen in the transport sector. One technical report on hydrogen storage technologies to be delivered to DG TREN under the umbrella of SETRIS.
Summary of the Action:
This action will contribute to increase the penetration of natural gas and hydrogen as alternative fuels in the energy sector, particularly in road transportation. Special attention will be given to hydrogen as a long-term alternative fuel option in vehicles (powered either by fuel cells or modified combustion engines) in the specific areas of safety, efficiency and performance of innovative storage and distribution systems. This action will provide independent technical expertise and validation of storage performance, efficiency and safety of all competing technologies (compressed, liquid, solid- state metal hydrides, solid-state carbon structures). It aims at harmonising, validating and standardising test procedures for safety and benchmarking operational performance of hydrogen storage and distribution systems. Rationale Under the Kyoto protocol, the EU is committed to achieving an 8% reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases by 2008-2012 compared to the 1990 level. The transport sector accounts for close to 30% of total CO2 emissions in the EU and up to 40% growth is forecast for 2010. The Commission, in its Green Paper on the security of energy supply and in the White Paper on a common transport policy, has set the target of 20% use of alternative fuels in road transport by 2020. Three main potential areas of alternative fuels have been identified by the Commission: biofuels (short-term), natural gas (mid-term) and hydrogen (long-term).

For the particular case of hydrogen, a new High Level Group (HLG) advising on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells was launched recently by European Commission President R. Prodi, L. de Palacio and P. Busquin. The objective of this Group will be to advise the Commission on determining the prospects for, and economical impact of, moving towards a sustainable energy economy based on hydrogen and electricity and introducing fuel cells as energy convertors. In general the development of alternative fuels calls for a major effort in terms of research and technological development. This includes the study of fuel storage and distribution technologies providing the automotive and transport industry with reliable information on the design of on-board energy storage, upstream of the fuel cell. Safety being a crucial issue, there is now an urgent need to develop effective best practices and harmonised safety standards.

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Institute for Energy
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P.O. Box 2
1755 ZG Petten

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