Carbon ThreeSixty has announced it is leading a project to develop a novel high pressure hydrogen storage system for use with fuel cell systems for land transport and short haul aerospace.
Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) are a key tool in the decarbonisation of both land and air transport vehicles and require high pressure hydrogen storage systems. Carbon ThreeSixty’s Hi-DEN (high density energy network) system, based on volumetrically efficient arrays of ‘micro’ hydrogen vessels enables huge increases in storage capacity, efficiency and vehicle range. The Hi-DEN system is said to greatly improve volumetric efficiency, filling wasted space around conventional cylindrical pressure vessels. Storage volume increases by up to 50% for irregularly shaped spaces, such as those typically used for vehicle petrol or diesel tanks.
The system also offers improved gravimetric efficiency (kg H2/kg structure), hence additional capacity and vehicle range do not come with a corresponding weight penalty. For volume manufacture the cost of hydrogen storage vessels is dominated by carbon fibre cost and ‘balance of plant’ components. Improved material usage efficiency therefore enables cost savings in material as well as space utilisation.
Carbon ThreeSixty leads the project and completes the design and development of the vessel, Antich & Sons is responsible for developing 3D woven preforms which enable the design concept and Viritech will develop the tank and fill control system as well as integrating/demonstrating the system in Viritech’s FCEV powertrains and providing a route to market.
The Hi-DEN project will build and test a fully functional prototype hydrogen storage vessel to demonstrate these benefits for Viritech’s range of FCEV vehicles.
Andy Smith, R&D director at Carbon ThreeSixty said: "We're excited to be leveraging our composite expertise to bring innovation to the gaseous Hydrogen storage space and to be able to improve the capability, range and ultimately commercial viability of FCEV vehicles."
The project collaborative research and development activities have been supported through grant funding provided by Innovate UK, delivered by the Niche Vehicle Network (NVN). NVN is a free to join networking and support organisation focused on enabling UK low volume vehicle manufacturers and design and engineering companies to research and develop innovative zero emission vehicle technologies.