Power modules for the utility vehicles with integrated MH hydrogen storage systems

Main activities within this subtask will include proper sizing and integration of the hydrogen storage systems in fuel cell power modules. These units built around closed cathode liquid cooled fuel cell stacks will be further modified towards integration (gas supply and thermal management subsystems) of the hydrogen storage tanks into the whole system BoP. Other modifications will be focused on matching the power modules with specific vehicles (e.g. STILL forklifts) as to proper unit size and weight, bus voltage, power return in the course of the regenerative braking, etc. Special attention will be paid to operation reliability at typical conditions of industrial customers (contaminated air, vibrations, ability to be serviced by a staff without special skills, etc.). Additional system features will include: (i) increase of the nominal power of the FC stack to ~1.5x of the expected average system power (increase of efficiency resulting in the decrease of H2 fuel consumption), (ii) use of deep-cycle lead-acid batteries instead of Li-ion (matching system weight with the safe limits; increase of allowed degree of regenerative braking), availability – cost – performance optimisation of the BoP components (including aligning their communication protocols in the control system)

Hydrogen refuelling stations

The MH compressors developed within this project will be integrated in the low-pressure (≤200 bar) refuelling systems for the utility vehicles. Typical prototype solutions with varied H2 feeding and dispensing pressures, dispensing capacity, etc. will be drawn, and industrial-scale prototypes ready for commercialisation will be developed. Special attention will be paid to compliance of the refuelling systems to the national safety regulations, as well as special safety requirements at sites of the industrial customers. The cost issues will be optimised as well. It is expected that the developed refuelling stations will be characterised by significantly lower capital and operating costs than existing high-pressure (350-700 bar) hydrogen refuelling stations available on the market, due to:

  • Lower hydrogen dispensing pressure which enables the use of standard gas service components (fittings, valves, etc.);
  • Relatively slow pressure ramping (5-10 min) which prevents overheating of the supplied H2 and, thus, eliminates the requirement for deep cooling;
  • The replacement of a mechanical hydrogen compressor with the metal hydride compressor which utilises waste industrial heat, instead of electricity, for the hydrogen compression.