Hydrogen Tank for Vehicles

Hydrogen Tank for Vehicles

Author: ChemistryViews.org

Inga Bürger, German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), Stuttgart, and partners have developed under the EU research project SSH2S a tank suitable for holding hydrogen in a compact space under moderate pressure and at ambient temperature.

The modular hydrogen tank consists of parallel tubes which are filled with two different solid metal alloys. The strong bonds – formed between the gaseous hydrogen and the storage materials – make storage of the gas in a small volume under a pressure of 70 bar and normal outside temperature possible. A conventional tank requires the hydrogen to be kept under a pressure of 700 bar. The strong bonds also ensure that hydrogen escapes slowly in the case of a leak, making an explosion impossible.

The researchers connected the tank to a high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell. It delivers electricity and the heat required to release the hydrogen from the storage materials. The entire system was fitted to an Iveco Daily van as an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) providing energy for air conditioning, auxiliary heating, lighting. Equipped with an additional fuelling port, the vehicle can be refueled at a hydrogen filling station. The tank has a volume of 10 L and offers a storage capacity of 1400 L of hydrogen. This is sufficient to provide the van’s APU with 1 kW of electrical energy for two hours.

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