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Air Products launches hydrogen high-pressure tube trailers for European hydrogen infrastructure deployment

Air Products has taken the next step in hydrogen infrastructure deployment using its SmartFuel® technology, with the launch of the first of its fleet of hydrogen high-pressure tube trailers in Europe.

Air Products has introduced the first of its SmartFuel® hydrogen high-pressure tube trailers, capable of transporting large volumes of hydrogen at high pressure to its growing network of SmartFuel hydrogen fuelling stations. This trailer is the first of a fleet of new design, higher-pressure hydrogen tube trailers due to be deployed in the coming months.

This state-of-the-art SmartFuel high-pressure tube trailer features specialised composite cylinders for hydrogen storage, that enable cost-effective hydrogen from central production facilities to be delivered directly to the fuelling station at a pressure well above 350 bar (5000 psi).

The deployment of this new and innovative Air Products technology represents a significant milestone in the journey to establish a long-term, viable hydrogen fuelling infrastructure across the UK and Europe.

It is cost-effective, space-efficient and reliable, and re-enforces our commitment to the creation of a thriving hydrogen transport sector.

Diana Raine, European Business Manager – Hydrogen Energy Systems for Air Products

High pressure advantages

This is a significant enhancement on the existing 200 bar (2900 psi) industrial hydrogen delivery models. The increased pressure removes the need for onsite compression for 350 bar vehicle refuelling, and significantly reduces site compression for 700 bar vehicle refuelling.

Station operators will see this benefit translated into lower capital investment in the station hardware, as well as a marked reduction in station operating costs.

Minimising the need for compression onsite naturally leads to higher levels of reliability, as Air Products has demonstrated first-hand at its SmartFuel bus refuelling station in London, where high onstream levels are consistently in line with industry expectations.

The SmartFuel high-pressure tube trailer delivery concept also significantly reduces the space needed to deploy hydrogen refuelling stations, particularly compared with onsite hydrogen production solutions, such as electrolysis.

Clean hydrogen in European cities

The SmartFuel high-pressure tube trailer put into service was supported by the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) project of the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). It has the capability to operate as a mobile fuelling station for buses, and to support the hydrogen fuel cell powered buses programme in London.

The CHIC project involves integrating 26 hydrogen fuel cell buses in daily public transport operations and bus routes in five locations across Europe – Aargau in Switzerland, Bolzano and Milan in Italy, London in the UK, and Oslo in Norway.

The CHIC project is supported by the FCH JU with €26 million in funding, and has 25 partners across Europe, including industrial partners for vehicle supply and refuelling infrastructure.

Fuel cells and hydrogen in Europe

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) is a unique public-private partnership supporting research, technological development, and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. It aims to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system.

The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, the fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by the New Energy World Industry Grouping, and the research community represented by Research Grouping N.ERGHY.

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