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Switzerland: H2 Energy and AVIA Osterwalder to Test New Mobile Hydrogen-Powered Fast Charger

By September 16, 2021 6   min read  (1115 words)

September 16, 2021 |

Fuel Cells Works, Switzerland: H2 Energy and AVIA Osterwalder to Test New Mobile Hydrogen-Powered Fast Charger
  • kvyreen – rapid electric charging with green hydrogen, anywhere and anytime

A globally unique H2 ecosystem is currently being created in Switzerland that uses green hydrogen in electromobility. While this environmentally friendly cycle is being developed and expanded further, H2 Energy and AVIA Osterwalder St. Gallen AG will start test operations of the next application starting in October 2021: a mobile, hydrogen-powered fast charger for battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with the potential for further applications.

The great advantage: kvyreen – that is what it is called – is mobile and solves the problem of local and temporary network loads. It does this without CO2, using green hydrogen from renewable sources of energy. ABB, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) and the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) are involved as project partners.

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St. Gallen-– The name says it all: kvyreen ((pronounced: quirin)) refers to the Roman god of technical arts. In the case of kvyreen, it involves environmentally friendly, renewable sources of energy that can be used for a wide range of mobile electric applications. Technically speaking, it is a powerful generator that runs on green hydrogen. The first cutting-edge application allows for the fast charging of battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The fact that kvyreen, developed by Swiss hydrogen pioneer H2 Energy, is being tested in St. Gallen is no coincidence.

A globally unique hydrogen ecosystem was rolled out at the AVIA Osterwalder AG filling station in July 2020 – an H2 cycle that enables mobility with renewable energy and without CO2 emissions. While this clean energy cycle is being consistently expanded in Switzerland and already saves around 10 metric tons of CO2 emissions per day, H2 Energy and AVIA Osterwalder St. Gallen AG are launching the next application with kvyreen.

The kvyreen prototype will be available at Oberstrasse 141 in St. Gallen from October 2021. It is the first application to enable the rapid charging of battery electric cars, initially with a charging power of up to 60 kW. The test phase is backed by the project partner Empa with a study that examines the potential for combining green hydrogen and cyclical solar energy for clean electromobility. In subsequent commercial applications, rapid charging with kvyreen will allow for a charging power of up to 150 kW per vehicle, which will provide battery electric cars with a 100 km range in eight to ten minutes. Developments for further applications of the system are under way in parallel to the test phase.

Thomas Walter, Project Manager and Member of the Executive Board of H2 Energy: “Beginning in October, customers will find the filling station of the future at Oberstrasse 141 in St. Gallen. While hydrogen refuelling is already commonplace, battery electric vehicles can now also be charged here from guaranteed renewable energy. We are responding to the rapidly increasing and highly volatile demand for fast-charging stations, as well as to the temporary and local additional loads they create for the power grid.”

Testing the first kvyreen

kvyreen is a closed cube in which all the technology is integrated. A fuel cell (automotive grade, from Toyota), an inverter and a charging station (both from project partner ABB) will provide the green hydrogen for the rapid charging of battery electric vehicles.

The key advantages of kvyreen:

  • Network stability: despite high charging power, the local power grid is not strained and power bottlenecks are avoided – regardless of the time of day or season.
  • 100% renewable energy: drivers of battery electric vehicles can rely 100% on the fact that they are travelling on renewable energy.
  • Mobile solution: The location-independent solution means that kvyreen can always be used in places where the construction of a grid-powered fast-charging infrastructure is not or not yet feasible, whether for logistical or economic reasons. As a result, charging capacity can always be supplied in line with demand.
  • Rapidly available technology to support climate targets as defined by the Energy Strategy 2050.

In this respect, the use of kvyreen is not only focused on battery electric road vehicles, but also on other applications such as battery-electric construction machinery.

Martin Osterwalder, Co-CEO of AVIA Osterwalder AG: “Depending on the location, kvyreen is supplied with green hydrogen on a mobile basis or via the storage infrastructure of the hydrogen filling station. Since it is a mobile cube, it can be set up at other filling stations with little effort. This allows us to offer off-grid rapid charging exactly where it is needed, for example at mountain stations in winter, at the portals of the Gotthard tunnel in summer, at major festivals, at trade fairs, etc. AVIA is thus taking the next step into the future as a supplier of energy services in the fuel and electricity sector.”

Clean energy system across sectors

The key advantage of this solution is the storage capacity of green hydrogen. It can be produced with renewable sources of energy (wind, hydro, solar power plants) whenever there is a surplus of them and they are not needed in the power grid. kvyreen thus enables the use of cyclically occurring energies – primarily in the mobility sector.

Developments for other possible areas of application are under way alongside the test phase, which will last for around one year, of the first kvyreen. The system is also suitable for additional, independent energy supply in the building sector, for the replacement of diesel generators, for operation on or of ships, for the use of construction-site and supply vehicles, etc.

“Made in Switzerland” expertise and know-how

kvyreen is a prime example of cross-sector integration by combining the needs and resources of the energy industry with the requirements of clean, emission-free mobility.

The driving force behind kvyreen is the innovative Swiss company H2 Energy, which is currently also establishing and expanding the hydrogen ecosystem in Switzerland and in various countries. H2 Energy is responsible for the concept, design, control, construction and project management of kvyreen.

AVIA Osterwalder St. Gallen AG is further expanding its expertise as a supplier of clean energy with the first kvyreen.

AVIA is involved in this project as an association of independent Swiss importers and suppliers of energy products, structured as a cooperative. The AVIA partners are actively driving the transformation from a petroleum company to a global service provider for renewable forms of energy, with regard to filling stations as well as energy supply for industry and households.

ABB Switzerland supplies the charging technology and, with this commitment, expands the know-how at the interface of hydrogen and battery electromobility.

Empa Dübendorf backs up the kvyreen test phase with a scientific study.

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) supports the research and development phase of kvyreen with a focus on the cross-sectoral generation, distribution and use of renewable sources of energy and their use in mobility.

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