// Fuel cell testing: record year 2020

EU Regulation 2019/1242 from June 2019 has spurred the industrialisation of fuel cells in 2020. According to the legal requirements, CO2 emissions from heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs) must decrease by 15% in 2025 and by 30% in 2030. The main challenges faced by fuel cell systems for HGVs lie in servic e life and overall efficiency. Both points can be perfectly modelled in the test centre at ZSW in Ulm.

This turnaround led to another record year for fuel cell testing in 2020: the number of stack tests reached over 100,000 hours. During this time the hydrogen consumption rose to over 317,000 cubic metres, which equates to just under 27 tonnes. This means that ZSW has one of the largest fuel cell test fields in Europe. The test centre was expanded by seven new test rigs in order to keep up with the market. At the same time, the number of training courses on hydrogen fuel and fuel cells for industrial customers increased.

Research on the quality of the reactants of hydrogen and air for the commercialisation of fuel cells for mobility is highly topical. The challenge lies in providing “green” hydrogen from renewable sources at affordable costs and quality. The ECS department is dealing with the topic of H2 as a fuel as part of the HYDRAITE project funded by the European Union and in the joint H2-Fuel project within the framework of the National Innovation Programme (NIP II). Since the commissioning of the hydrogen quality laboratory “HyLaB” in 2018, there has been an increase in demand for full analyses in accordance with DIN EN 17124. Furthermore, ZSW continually conducts acceptances of national and international H2 refuelling stations in accordance with the international specifications of DIN EN 17127.


Dr. Alexander Kabza
+49 731 9530-832
AutoStack CORE generation 2 fuel cell stack with 95 kW.
Record year at the fuel cell test centre: for 100,000 fuel cell test hours, 317,000 m³ of hydrogen were converted at ZSW in 2020.
Record year at the fuel cell test centre: for 100,000 fuel cell test hours, 317,000 m³
of hydrogen were converted at ZSW in 2020.

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