Hydrogen (H2) as an energy source is renewable, can be produced economically in large quantities and is, among other things, suitable as a fuel for fuel cell vehicles. Due to the high energy content of H2, fuel cell vehicles are characterised by long ranges (400-700 km) and their refuelling method (compressed gas) that only takes a few minutes. In Germany, fuel cell vehicles are on the rise, and first models have been on the market since 2015.
A total of 20 hydrogen filling stations are located around Hamburg, Berlin and Stuttgart, with 30 more to be built by early 2016. One of these will be at ZSW, in Ulm. The ECS department is supporting the implementation of the new refuelling technology in several areas:
Prior to initial commissioning, hydrogen filling stations need to be approved, with periodic follow-up inspections. To this end, ZSW developed an approved device for inspecting hydrogen filling stations pursuant to Directive SAE J2601.
When producing and transporting hydrogen, impurities, such as carbon monoxide, can occur that may damage the fuel cell. The permissible limits are specified by the SAE J2719 standard. An equipment fleet for the analysis of these substances in hydrogen is currently being built at ZSW.
In electrochemical key tests, the suitability of special fuel cells to measure the hydrogen quality had already been proven. This principle could be implemented as an online monitor for the costeffective monitoring of hydrogen quality at petrol stations and filling points.