The fundamental challenge for the introduction of hydrogen as a fuel is to achieve a sufficiently high energy density, especially in the vehicles. While 700 bar refuelling and storage technology is chiefly used today by car manufacturers in their test vehicles, research is continuing in developing complementary storage technologies.
A promising development is in so-called cryogenic pressure tanks, which store cryogenic liquid hydrogen under pressure. These enable similarly high storage densities to be attained as with the atmospheric storage of liquid hydrogen, while simultaneously significantly suppressing and delaying the boil-off effect. The resulting increase in vehicle range is estimated to be comparable to that of using today’s conventional technology.
As with the direct refuelling with hydrogen at 350 and 700 bar, the filling station system must be adjusted to meet specific conditions und critical components for refuelling. Key aspect of this undertaking is the interface between the vehicle and the filling station — the pump coupling. Aim of the development project is a functional prototype of a cryogenic pressure coupling with the associated controller and a safety analysis as well as the theoretical conception of the entire filling station system.
In the future, cryogenic pressure technology can supplement today’s advanced 700 bar technology and provide the end consumer with alternative storage concepts according to their usage patterns.