Hydrogen is essential for the future energy system based on the production of renewable power. It serves as both a means of storing energy and as a fuel for mobility. In order to research the development of a suitable hydrogen infrastructure for mobility, a unique hydrogen test field with laboratories and a filling station is being established on the campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen, funded by the federal and state governments. The Centre for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT – Zentrum für BrennstoffzellenTechnik) unveiled the test field in the presence of NRW Minister President Armin Laschet.

The hydrogen test field comprises various electrolysis processes, a test platform for hydrogen filling stations, a mobile hydrogen filling unit and a hydrogen quality laboratory. The entire chain in the process – from the production of hydrogen via filling station technology (including compression, storage, cooling and nozzles) to delivery to vehicles – is represented. This allows both the further development and testing of individual components for hydrogen infrastructure and the development and testing of optimised filling station concepts from a systemic perspective. The hydrogen quality laboratory is available for the development of a quality management system for filling stations and for the monitoring of hydrogen quality at German and European filling stations. In addition, the laboratory supports the further development of hydrogen infrastructure and the optimisation of fuel cell technology.

The questions that the ZBT researchers are addressing with this unique hydrogen test field include the efficiency, safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of a suitable hydrogen infrastructure as well as its availability and the underlying regulatory framework.

The presentation of the hydrogen test field took place as part of the “Week of Hydrogen in NRW” following the opening of the hydrogen filling station in Duisburg-Kaßlerfeld and as a prelude to the AiF Fuel Cell Alliance 2019 (AiF Brennstoffzellen-Allianz 2019) at the ZBT.