Optimisation of Transport Solutions for Compressed Hydrogen

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Hydrogen production & Distribution
DeliverHy - Logo

Key Objectives of the project

Compressed hydrogen trailers are cost efficient for near term distribution. However, with the currently used 20 MPa trailers the supply of larger refuelling stations would result in multiple truck deliveries per day, which is often not acceptable. In order to increase the transported quantities, lighter materials and higher pressure must be adopted. The cost increase of the hydrogen trailers resulting from advanced technology can be off-set by the distribution cost savings from increased truck capacity.

DeliverHy will assess the effects that can be achieved by the introduction of high capacity trailers composed of composite tanks with respect to weight, safety, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. New materials and product capacities available today have the potential to increase the payload of a single trailer from about 350 kg hydrogen today to more than 1000 kg.

Materialising this potential is therefore of great importance for the efficient distribution of hydrogen to refuelling stations.


Challenges/issues addressed

The use of these trailers on public roads will require changes to existing Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS) in particular for proof pressures higher than 65 MPa (fill pressure greater than 43.3 MPa) and tubes larger than 3000 litres. Having these changes adopted is a time consuming process, and will only eventually happen if authorities are convinced that the necessary safety precautions are taken care of to achieve a level of safety which is at least as high as the one observed with today’s distribution technologies for hydrogen.

DeliverHy will address these challenges by means of a detailed assessment of safety, environmental and techno-economic impacts of the use of higher capacity trailers and subsequently by the development of a preliminary action plan leading to a Roadmap for the required RCS amendments, which will be communicated to the authorities in charge. 


Technical approach/objectives

The methodology of the project will be based on a thorough comparison of the impact of higher capacity compressed hydrogen distribution solutions benchmarked against what is common practice on European roads today (based on existing RCS). A systematic evaluation of the potential achievements by the use of alternative materials and higher capacities (pressure and volume) equipment will be performed and the impact on payload, economy, energy efficiency and related emissions will be analysed, also taking into consideration the transfer of hydrogen into and from the transport unit. Existing barriers in RCS will be identified using information from the previous stage and a preliminary action plan will be developed to overcome these barriers. A study of the safety issues related to the introduction of higher capacity composite material equipment will be performed. The optimum transport capacity of compressed hydrogen will be elaborated, including a Roadmap addressing the necessary RCS changes and by whom and how these changes can be achieved. The change of the RCS framework will be initiated early with a representative group of authorities in some of the most committed countries.


Expected socio and economic impact

Based on the definitions, techno-economic analyses will be carried out.

It is in the intention of the partners to compare:

(a) process efficiencies (specific energy use in kWh/kgH2),

(b) delivery economics (specific hydrogen delivery costs to the refuelling station in €/kgH2)

(c) environmental effects (specific greenhouse gas emissions in gCO2-eq./kgH2) of the defined high pressure/volume concepts and the benchmark technologies.

While taking into account the impact of hydrogen production on the results, the analysis will focus on hydrogen conditioning, loading, transport, supply to site including onsite storage, conditioning for dispensing and dispensing to vehicle tank. The results will be displayed in a pragmatic format which will be agreed by the partners.

Intended result will be an optimized high-pressure storage trailer solution assisting in the optimisation of the entire supply chain regarding energy use, related emissions, product losses and supply cost while ensuring EU-wide certification. This will simplify, harmonize and speed up the safe deployment of hydrogen supply to H2 refuelling stations and onsite customers.

Project reference: 
SP1‐JTI‐FCH.2010.2.6: Feasibility of 400b+CGH2 distribution
Project type: 
Basic and long-term research
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Sunday, January 1, 2012
End date: 
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
24 months
Project cost: 
€ 1,249,565.60
Project funding: 
€ 719,502

Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH

Reinhold Wurster (Dipl.-Ing.)
Contact email: 
Other participating organisations: 
Beneficiary name Country
Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH DE
Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy FR
CCS Global Group GB
H2 Logic A/S DK
Raufoss Fuel Systems NO
Norwegian University of Science and Technology                NO
Kaspar Lasn. Andreas Echtermeyer, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 01/09/2014, xx-yy, "Safety approach for composite pressure vessels for road transport of hydrogen. Part 1: Acceptable probability of failure and hydrogen mass"
Kaspar Lasn. Andreas Echtermeyer, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 01/09/2014, yy-zz, "Safety approach for composite pressure vessels for road transport of hydrogen. Part 2: Safety factors and Test Requirements"