Teaching Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Science and Engineering Across Europe within Horizon 2020
As the FCHT industry gradually emerges into the markets, the need for trained staff becomes more pressing. TeacHy2020 specifically addresses the supply of undergraduate and graduate education (BEng/BSc, MEng/MSc, PhD etc.) in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies (FCHT) across Europe. TeacHy 2020 will take a lead in building a repository of university grade educational material, and design and run an MSc course in FCHT, accessible to students from all parts of Europe. To achieve this, the project has assembled a core group of highly experienced institutions working with a network of associate partners (universities, vocational training bodies, industry, and networks). TeacHy2020 offers these partners access to its educational material and the use of the MSc course modules available on the TeacHy2020 site. Any university being able to offer 20% of the course content locally, can draw on the other 80% to be supplied by the project. This will allow any institution to participate in this European initiative with a minimised local investment. TeacHy2020 will be offering solutions to accreditation and quality control of courses, and support student and industry staff mobility by giving access to placements. Schemes of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) will be integrated into the project activities. We expect a considerable leverage effect which will specifically enable countries with a notable lack of expertise, not only in Eastern Europe, to quickly be able to form a national body of experts. TeacHy will offer educational material for the general public (e.g. MOOC’s), build a business model to continue operations post-project, and as such act as a single-stop shop and representative for all matters of European university and vocational training in FCHT. The project partnership covers the prevalent languages and educational systems in Europe. The associated network has over 20 partners, including two IPHE countries, and a strong link to IPHE activities in education.
Pre-normative research for safe use of liquid hydrogen
In the proposed project PRESLHY pre-normative research for the safe use of cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2) will be performed. The consortium consists of European key organizations from the International Association for Hydrogen Safety HySafe with the relevant background related to LH2 safety research and will be coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT. The work program duly refers to the outcomes of Research Priorities Workshops commonly organized by IA HySafe, EC JRC, and US DoE. Via HySafe and IEA HIA it will be aligned with other international activities also dedicated to safety issues of LH2, in particular with current research done at Sandia National Laboratory SNL. The results will help to improve the knowledge base and state-of-the-art, which will be reflected in appropriate recommendations for development or revision of specific international standards. So, the main objectives of PRESLHY are to identify critical knowledge gaps and to close these by developing and validating new appropriate models. Based on these results and with the better understanding of the relevant phenomena, specific engineering correlations will be derived which will help to evaluate mitigation concepts and safety distance rules for LH2 based technologies. The derived models and correlations could be directly implemented in new standards ans/or will fill current gaps in risk assessment tools, like the US supported hydrogen risk assessment toolkit HyRAM, and increase their validated scope of application. In general it will remove over-conservative requirements for innovative solutions, allows for cost-efficient safer design and for internationally harmonised, performance based standards and regulations. These objectives are fully aligned with European scientific-technological interests and strategies and very important to further the safe introduction and scale-up of hydrogen as an energy carrier.
Investigations on degradation mechanisms and definition of protocols for PEM fuel cells accelerated stress testing
ID-FAST aims at supporting and promoting the deployment of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) technologies for automotive applications through the development of Accelerated Stress Tests (AST) together with a methodology allowing durability prediction, thus accelerating the introduction of innovative materials in next generation designs. The project is founded and focused on two main points: degradation mechanisms understanding and durability prediction improvement via the development and validation of specific ASTs and associated transfer functions. Degradation investigations will be based on consolidated data (objects with known history and ageing data) from both real systems tested in cars and ID-FAST test program to ensure relevant analysis of failure modes and performance losses together with a mean to validate the developed methodology. Investigation of stressors impact on components degradation and performance losses will give access to the accelerating factor for each single mechanism AST. Thanks to the expertise of partners, understanding will be ensured by advanced ex-situ and in-situ characterisations to identify and quantify components degradation phenomena, and by modelling and multi-scale simulation tools to investigate the impact of various stressors and to relate causes to performance losses. Combined AST protocols will be developed and validated with regard to their capability to actually reduce testing time and their relevance assessed by correlation to real world ageing. The methodology developed will allow prediction of stack lifetime and thus will be valuable for the whole automotive fuel cell community. To achieve its objectives, ID-FAST will benefit from the strong expertise of 8 partners (4 research centres, 1 university, 1 SME and 2 large companies) all along the value chain, and from an Advisory Group gathering industrial companies from components manufacturers to end-users, as well as recognised laboratories from USA and Japan.
Hydrogen delivery risk assessment and impurity tolerance evaluation
HYDRAITE project aims to solve the issue of hydrogen quality for transportation applications with the effort of partners from leading European research institutes and independent European automotive stack manufacturer, together with close contact and cooperation with the European FCH industry. In this project, the effects of contaminants, originating from the hydrogen supply chain, on the fuel cell systems in automotive applications are studied. As an outcome, recommendations for the current ISO 14687 standards will be formulated based on the technical data of the impurity concentrations at the HRS, FC contaminant studies under relevant automotive operation conditions, and inter-compared gas analysis. The methodology for determining the effect of contaminants in automotive PEMFC system operation will be developed by six leading European research institutes in co-operation with JRC and international partners. In addition, a methodology for in-line monitoring of hydrogen quality at the HRS, as well as sampling strategy and methodology for new impurities, gas, particles and liquids, will be evolved. Three European laboratories will be established, capable of measuring all of the contaminants according to ISO 14687 standards, and provide a strong evidence on the quality and reliability on their result. Beyond the project, the three laboratories will offer their services to the European FCH community. In addition, a network of expert laboratories will be set, able to provide qualitative analysis and the first analytical evidence on the presence or absence of these new compounds with potential negative effect to the FCEV. The efficient dissemination and communication improves the resulting data and input for the recommendations for ISO standards of hydrogen fuel. The project and its results will be public, to boost the impact of the project outcomes and to enhance the competitiveness of the European FC industry.
Novel Education and Training Tools based on digital applications related to Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology
Education and training for the fuel cell and hydrogen (FCH) technology sector is critical for the current and future workforce as well as for the further implementation of a promising technology within Europa. The project NET-Tools will develop an e-infrastructure and provide digital tools and information service for educational issues and training within FCH technologies based on most recent IT tools. NET-Tools will constitute a technology platform, leveraging robust and effective open source/free learning management systems while offering a unique blend of novel digital tools encompassing the spheres of information, education and research. With its two main pillars e-Education, eLaboratory, the project addresses various target groups and levels of education - from higher schools and universities (undergraduate and graduate students) to professionals and engineers from industry, offering both e-learning modules and on-line experimental techniques. The main goal is to develop new e-education methods and concepts, ICTbased services and tools for data- and computer-intensive research to enhance the knowledge, productivity and competitiveness of those interested or already directly involved in the massive implementation of H2 and FCH technologies in Europe. NET-Tools will be delivered combining the expertise of major experts and practitioners on FCH sector under the guidance of leading companies gathered in a board, while interacting with similar activities in US, Asia and South Africa. It has the capacity to pave the road to more efficient digital science combining latest technical achievements and an internet culture of openness and creativity, while pursuing the ambition to become the hydrogen counterpart of Coursera. The development of business concepts will guide NET-Tools as an e-infrastructure useable for FCH-Community into the future.
Identification of legal rules and administrative processes applicable to Fuel Cell and Hydrogen technologies’ deployment, identification of legal barriers and advocacy towards their removal.
The fuel cells and hydrogen (FCH) industry has made considerable progress toward market deployment. However existing legal framework and administrative processes (LAPs) – covering areas such as planning, safety, installation and operation – only reflect use of incumbent technologies. The limited awareness of FCH technologies in LAPs, the lack of informed national and local administrations and the uncertainty on the legislation applicable to FCH technologies elicit delays and extra-costs, when they do not deter investors or clients. This project aims at tackling this major barrier to deployment as follows: Systematically identifying and describing the LAPs applicable to FCH technologies in 18 national legal systems as well as in the EU proper legal system. Assessing and quantifying LAP impacts in time and/or resource terms and identify those LAP constituting a legal barrier to deployment. Comparing the 18 countries to identify best and bad practices. Raising awareness in the countries where a LAP creates a barrier to deployment. Advocating targeted improvements in each of 18 countries + EU level. It will make all this work widely available through: A unique online database allowing easy identification, description and assessment of LAPs by country and FCH application. Policy papers by applications and by country with identification of best practice and recommendations for adapting LAP. A series of national (18) and European (1) workshops with public authorities and investors. HyLAW sets up a National Association Alliance not just for the duration of the project, but for the long term consolidation of the sector under a single unified umbrella. By bringing together these national associations and all of Hydrogen Europe’s members, it’s the first time ever that the entire European FCH sector is brought together with a clear and common ambition.
New technologies and strategies for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in the phase of recycling and dismantling
High deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies is expected in the near term in the EU to decarbonize energy and transport sectors. The idea is to generate vast amounts of green hydrogen from the expected surplus of renewable energy sources (implemented policies are going towards 65% of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2050) to be used in transport (moving fuel cell electric vehicles), energy (feeding stationary fuel cells for cogeneration, injecting hydrogen into the gas grid) and industries (hydrogen generation for chemical industries).
However, the expected commercial FCH technologies (mainly PEM and alkaline electrolysers as well as PEM and Solid Oxide fuel cells) are not prepared for full deployment in what regards to recycling and dismantling stage.
The main goal of proposal is to deliver reference documentation and studies about existing and new recycling and dismantling technologies and strategies applied to Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH) technologies, paving the way for future demonstration actions and advances in legislation.
To achieve this goal, the following key steps will be followed considering the involvement and validation of relevant FCH value chain actors and the HYTECHCYCLING Advisory Board of manufacturers:
- Pre-study and techno-economic, environmental, RCS assessment related to dismantling & recycling of FCH technologies to detect future needs and challenges
- Development of new technologies and strategies applied to FCH technologies in the phase of recycling & dismantling and LCA analysis considering critical, expensive and scarce materials inventory
- Proposal of new business model, implementation roadmap and development of reference recommendations and guidelines to focus the sector and pave the way for future demonstrations and introduction of the concept among FCH stakeholders.
Improving Hydrogen Safety for Energy Applications (HySEA) through pre-normative research on vented deflagrations
The aim of the HySEA project is to conduct pre-normative research on vented deflagrations in enclosures and containers for hydrogen energy applications. The ambition is to facilitate the safe and successful introduction of hydrogen energy systems by introducing harmonized standard vent sizing requirements. The partners in the HySEA consortium have extensive experience from experimental and numerical investigations of hydrogen explosions. The experimental program features full-scale vented deflagration experiments in standard ISO containers, and includes the effect of obstacles simulating levels of congestion representative of industrial systems. The project also entails the development of a hierarchy of predictive models, ranging from empirical engineering models to sophisticated computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element (FE) tools. The specific objectives of HySEA are:
- To generate experimental data of high quality for vented deflagrations in real-life enclosures and containers with congestion levels representative of industrial practice;
- To characterize different strategies for explosion venting, including hinged doors, natural vent openings, and commercial vent panels;
- To invite the larger scientific and industrial safety community to submit blind-predictions for the reduced explosion pressure in selected well-defined explosion scenarios;
- To develop, verify and validate engineering models and CFD-based tools for reliable predictions of pressure loads in vented explosions;
- To develop and validate predictive tools for overpressure (P) and impulse (I), and produce P-I diagrams for typical structures with relevance for hydrogen energy applications;
- To use validated CFD codes to explore explosion hazards and mitigating measures in larger enclosures, such as warehouses; and
- To formulate recommendations for improvements to European (EN-14994), American (NFPA 68), and other relevant standards for vented explosions.
Hydrogen For All of Europe
Despite major technological development and the start of commercial deployments of the fuel cells and hydrogen technology, the public awareness of FCH technologies has lagged behind this technical progress so far, restricting the appetite of potential customers and risking a lack of support from policymakers. To address this challenge, a consortium of leading experts has come together, combining communication experts, PR of established manufacturers and technology suppliers and world-class experts on the societal benefits of low carbon technologies. Together, they will deliver HY4ALL, an ambitious programme to drive a step-change in awareness and excitement around fuel cells and hydrogen and deliver clear and consistent messages that resonate with all audiences, from policymakers to the general public. The project will be active in minimum 11 member states, and will be closely linked to the large numbers of existing hydrogen initiatives and demonstrations, maximising its impact and allowing the communication strategy to influence dissemination work beyond the project for lasting effects. The project aims will be delivered through the following activities:
- Development of an overarching communication strategy, that will form the basis for all subsequent project activities and will allow the FCH community to speak with ‘one voice’
- Creation of an interactive web portal for FCH technologies, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for visitors seeking information and acting as a single brand and hub for all other dissemination activities
- A cross-European "hydrogen for society" roadshow with fuel cell vehicles travelling between cities across the EU. The roadshow will form the focal point for a variety of innovative dissemination activities, public debates, co-hosting of national vehicle and infrastructure launches
- A robust assessment of the macro-economic and societal benefits of FCH technologies, providing fact-based analysis used to convey clear messages.
"HArnessing Degradation mechanisms to prescribe Accelerated Stress Tests for the Realization of SOC lifetime prediction Algorithms"
AD ASTRA aims to define Accelerated Stress Testing (AST) protocols deduced from a systematic understanding of degradation mechanisms of aged components in solid oxide cell (SOC) stacks, operating in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes. In particular, fuel and oxygen electrode issues and interconnect contact loss will be tackled. The project will build upon relevant information harvested in FCH JU projects, as well as make use of many samples taken from stacks operated in the field for thousands of hours, supplied by leading European SOC manufacturers across the two application areas CHP and P2X (combined heat&power generators and power-to-commodity energy storage). The approach to harnessing the intricate phenomena causing critical performance degradation will be based upon a methodical analysis of in-service performance data correlated with post-operation states, augmented by a dual-focus campaign targeting macroscopic stack testing procedures as well as specific component ageing tests. The probabilistic nature of degradation will be captured by slimming down deterministic simulation models through conception and integration of stochastic correlations between (nominal/accelerated) operating conditions and degradation effects, based on statistically significant data obtained from field-tests and purposely generated experiments. Stochastic interpretation will thus serve the physical description of dominant SOFC degradation mechanisms in CHP and P2X operation, but allowing rapid estimation of remaining useful stack life. The combined results will be translated to validated test protocols that allow quantifying and predicting degradation in SOCs as a function of test aggravation, defining appropriate transfer functions between stress-accelerating and real-world conditions. The overall project approach will be formalized for adoption by the relevant standards-developing organisations.
Fuel Cells HydroGen educatiOnal model for schools
FCH have a central role to play in the development of renewable energy sources and, consequently, in the reduction of environmental damage caused by conventional energy sources such coal or oil. A dedicated model of education is needed, especially one directed at the coming generations, in order to make the ecological thinking a fundamental part of our culture and habits, in the context of the industrial priorities in this field. Working out such forms of education is the purpose of FCHgo. Along the project, a wide activity of dissemination of a toolkit for teachers and pupils at the primary and secondary school level will be realized, ensuring technical and pedagogical excellence. Our methodological approach:
- takes into account the cognitive tools of pupils at various stages of development
- uses different forms of expression by employing narrative forms of communication and
- includes the presence of stakeholders and industries active in the field, to tell the stories of successful applications and fostering careers in this field.
FCHgo will result in a set of tools, namely: an educational toolkit with narrative explanations of the technology, its functioning and applications, translated in 10 European languages; a website as connecting point for all the users and containing a wikispace; a set of workshops in the classrooms of 6 countries, involving pupils from 8 to 18 to test and improve upon the materials and set the indicators for the activities’ evaluation; the first edition of an annual award to the best idea/solution to employ FCH, including an award ceremony; a final guideline describing an educational program delivery model, linked to priorities defined by industry.
PNR for safety of hydrogen driven vehicles and transport through tunnels and similar confined spaces
The aim of the HyTunnel-CS project is to perform pre-normative research for safety of hydrogen driven vehicles and transport through tunnels and similar confined spaces (FCH-04-1-2018). The main ambition is to facilitate hydrogen vehicles entering underground traffic systems at risk below or the same as for fossil fuel transport. The specific objectives are: critical analysis of effectiveness of conventional safety measures for hydrogen incidents; generation of unique experimental data using the best European hydrogen safety research facilities and three real tunnels; understanding of relevant physics to underpin the advancement of hydrogen safety engineering; innovative explosion and fire prevention and mitigation strategies; new validated CFD and FE models for consequences analysis; new engineering correlations for novel quantitative risk assessment methodology tailored for tunnels and underground parking; harmonised recommendations for intervention strategies and tactics for first responders; recommendations for inherently safer use of hydrogen vehicles in underground transportation systems; recommendations for RCS. The objectives will be achieved by conducting interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral research by a carefully built consortium of academia, emergency services, research and standard development organisations, who have extensive experience from work on hydrogen safety and safety in tunnels and other confined spaces. The complementarities and synergies of theoretical, numerical and experimental research will be used to close knowledge gaps and resolve technological bottlenecks in safe use of hydrogen in confined spaces. The project outcomes will be reflected in appropriate recommendations, models and correlations could be directly implemented in relevant RCS (UN GTR#13, ISO/TC 197, CEN/CLC/TC 6, etc.). HyTunnel-CS will reduce over-conservatism, increase efficiency of installed safety equipment and systems to save costs of underground traffic systems.