Berlin - Fuel cells in vehicles convert gaseous hydrogen into electricity that drives an electric motor. The necessary hydrogen storage are still relatively heavy and expensive. That should change.
Hydrogen storage in fuel cell vehicles can be filled just as fast as the tanks of petrol or diesel vehicles. In a research project of the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM), particularly lightweight, low-cost and safe hydrogen tanks made of carbon fibers and a plastic liner are to be developed.
Impact load of hydrogen storage in focus
The Federal Institute as an expert in the safety of pressurized gas containers works together with car manufacturers, experts for carbon fiber processing and plastics development. The focus is on the impact load of hydrogen storage. The bursting safety of the vehicle tanks after accidents is examined. On a new specially developed test bench, the loads of the tanks with and without gas filling can be adjusted. "Because internal damage, such as broken carbon fibers, is not always visible externally, the tanks are also examined with the help of acoustic emission analysis, computed tomography and hydraulic residual strength tests," explains project manager Dr. Ing. Georg Mair from the Hazardous Goods Packaging Department. For this purpose, scientists from three faculties work together at BAM. If the new pressure vessels survive the impact loads, they are still being tested for their residual bursting strength. Then it becomes clear whether the storage tanks can be operated safely and their resilience has not deteriorated or even improved as a result of the desired material savings.
Funded by the Ministry of Education and Research
The BAM research project is part of the BMBF's research focus DELFIN (Services for Electromobility - Promoting Innovation and User Orientation) and is part of the second stage of the "National Innovation Program Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology" (NIP II). The partners of BAM include BMW AG, Elkamet Kunststofftechnik GmbH, ETC Ltd. Germany, Ford-Werke GmbH, the Institute of Plastics Processing, ISATEC GmbH, NuCellSys GmbH and Teijin Carbon Europe GmbH. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with about 1.45 million euros over 3 years.
Source: IWR Online