COMET: Tailored hydrogen storage in cars

April 2023. © Faurecia Automotive GmbH / Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH 2023The development of a new manufacturing concept for space-adapted hydrogen tanks offers new perspectives for the automotive industry.

Fuel cell vehicles represent a promising alternative for long journeys, short refueling times and low seasonal range reductions, if common vehicle architectures are used for battery and fuel cell vehicles. In this case, a flat installation space available in the underbody of the vehicle is used for the hydrogen storage system. Currently, hydrogen in passenger cars is typically stored in gaseous form in cylindrical fiber composite pressure vessels. By contrast, cuboid containers adapted to the installation space offer optimal use of the available volume.

So far, hydrogen storage systems adapted to the installation space are not yet applied in vehicles. While the tank wall in cylindrical and spherical tanks is subjected to significant tensile loads, high bending forces occur in tanks with different geometries under internal pressure. It is therefore expedient for such tanks to incorporate reinforcement structures inside the tank. This results in manufacturing challenges, especially for lightweight fiber composite tanks. In order to address these challenges, new approaches must be developed that include established production processes that are suitable for series production. As part of the COMET module "Polymers4Hydrogen" at the TU Munich, research is being carried out on a new production concept for fiber composite tanks adapted to the installation space.

Source: Polymer Competence Center Leoben GmbH

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