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COmbined hybrid Solution of Metal HYdride and mechanical Compressors for eXtra Large scale hydrogen refuelling stations

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - COSMHYC XL (COmbined hybrid Solution of Metal HYdride and mechanical Compressors for eXtra Large scale hydrogen refuelling stations)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-06-30

Hydrogen mobility is one of the most promising solutions for a sustainable energy transition in large-scale transport modes, including trucks, busses, trains and professional vehicle fleets. For these applications, a dedicated hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is necessary, including hydrogen compressors able to meet challenging constraints in terms of flow rate and availability. The COSMHYC XL project aims at developing an innovative compression solution for extra large hydrogen refuelling stations, based on the combination of a metal hydride compressor and a diaphragm compressor. The solution will be scalable and modular and will therefore be adapted to the diversity of large-scale mobility applications. The combination of both technologies will provide a cost efficient solution, by reducing both the investment and the maintenance costs. Thanks to significant research and innovation activities, from core materials and components to system integration, the new compression solution will contain no critical raw materials. The hydrogen flow rates will be drastically increased, as well as the overall compression ratio. In addition, the reliability and availability of hydrogen refuelling stations will be significantly improved. An innovative system integration concept will enable to optimise the thermal synergies between both compressors and lead to an improved electrical efficiency by more than 30%, thereby contributing to reduce the production costs of hydrogen and making it a competitive fuel for large-scale mobility. COSMHYC XL will include the development of a 1/10 scale prototype, and a long-term test phase of 6 months under real conditions. Techno-economic analysis will be performed and an advisory committee will support the partners to better understand the needs of the market. Extensive communication, dissemination and exploitation activities will take place and maximise the economic, environmental and societal impacts of the project.
COSMHYC XL started in 2019 with a comprehensive analysis of envisaged different large-scale FC transport applications (e.g. rigid trucks, semi-trailer tractors, city bus, regional trains) and related technical requirements for the compression solution. Also, economic parameters were considered from the beginning of the project to conceive a compression solution which will be competitive. Later in the project, additional techno-economic assessment will be conducted by the consortium partners to ensure this objective.

Significant achievements were reached during the first phase of the project:
- Economic analysis confirms that the flexible hybrid system proposed by the consortium is well adapted for large applications and allows for a whole range of configurations (e.g. different input pressures depending on the hydrogen supply).
- Metal hydrides with required performance were successfully developed. The impact of different possible pollutants on the metal hydride compressor is being analysed.
- New thermal integration concepts were developed and tested in order to increase the performance of the new metal hydride compressor. Development activities are also on-going on the mechanical compressor to allow its use for both Light Duty Vehicles and Heavy Duty Vehicles applications.
- Modelling and draft designs were performed for the large-scale oriented system integration. The work currently focus is on the effiency optimization thanks to innovative thermodynamic concepts.
The consortium partners are currently focussing on the integration of both technologies, which will be tested in a comprehensive way in the second phase of the project, based on joint test protocols.
In COSMHYC XL, knowledge generated within the sister project COSMHYC are used and developed further for heavy-duty vehicle applications. For the innovative metal hydride technology, the consortium managed to develop metal hydride with appropriate characteristics and free from critical raw materials and designs optimised thermal and mechanical concepts. When combined, those developments will allow unprecedented performances in terms of heat transfer capacity, flow rate and energy consumption. Already the COSMHYC prototype goes well beyond other existing metal hydride compressor prototypes, enabling a change of scale by a factor 10. The COSMHYC XL metal hydride compressor will be a further significant step beyond state-of the art allowing for a capacity of 80 kg/h H2 in future. Through its design integration, the partners will double the flow rate, while ensuring the footprint of the compressor will not change.
Also the performances and flow rates of the mechanical compressor will be significantly improved. COSMHYC has already enabled significant improvements of life-time, efficiency and flow rate, aiming at capacities of 120kg/h thanks to innovative system integration concepts. The ambition is to scale up-capacity while maintaining the same time the lifetime and efficiency levels achieved in previous projects, incl. COSMHYC. The new concept will also enable significant noise reductions..
The joint efforts on two compression technologies and on integrating them in a modular and flexible compression solution will allow flow rates will have a significant positive impact on the future costs of refuelling stations. Thanks to the hydride solution, the electricity consumption of the COSMHYC XL hybrid compressor will lower electricity consumption and to strongly reduce CAPEX: a reduction of 50% is expected compared to the current CAPEX of non-mechanical compressors.