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Daimler Truck and Linde set standard for liquid hydrogen refuelling technology

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,

Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering have reached an important infrastructure breakthrough on the path towards decarbonising transportation with hydrogen. Over the past few years, engineers from both companies have jointly developed sLH2, a new process for handling subcooled liquid hydrogen.

When compared to gaseous hydrogen, this innovative approach allows for a higher storage density, a greater range, faster refuelling, lower costs and superior energy efficiency. Refuelling takes around 10 - 15 minutes for a 40-ton heavy-duty truck, carrying 80 kg of liquid hydrogen for a range of 1000 km and more. At the same time, the new sLH2 technology lowers the required investment for a hydrogen refuelling station by a factor of two to three, and operational costs are five to six times lower. Today, liquid hydrogen can be supplied reliably throughout Europe.

Compared to regular liquid hydrogen (LH2) refueling technology, the new process uses a new innovative sLH2 pump to slightly increase the pressure of the liquid hydrogen. With this method, the hydrogen becomes subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2). Hydrogen in this state, facilitates a very robust fuelling process that also keeps energy losses during refuelling to a minimum. Furthermore, no data transmission between the refuelling station and vehicle is necessary, which further reduces the complexity of the solution. At the same time, refuelling capacity is increased to new levels. The pilot refuelling station has a capacity of 400 kg/h of liquid hydrogen. In comparison to regular liquid or gaseous hydrogen refuelling concepts, sLH2 is considerably simpler while delivering increased performance.

Aiming to establish a common refuelling standard for hydrogen-powered trucks, the technology is made openly available to all interested parties via an ISO standard. In the presence of Rhineland-Palatinate's Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Petra Dick-Walther, and international media, Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck, and Juergen Nowicki, CEO of Linde Engineering, inaugurated the first public sLH2 pilot station in Wörth am Rhein, Germany, refuelling a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck prototype.

The new public sLH2 refuelling station in Wörth am Rhein sets a benchmark in terms of energy efficiency and performance. With energy consumption of only 0.05 KWh/kg, it requires approximately 30 times less energy compared with conventional gaseous hydrogen refuelling. The refuelling station has a small footprint of just 50 m2 (not including the dispenser) and allows for configurations where several dispensers for parallel refuelling of trucks are possible, as well as back-to-back refuelling. The liquid hydrogen storage tank has a capacity of four tons, sufficient for approximately 10 hours of non-stop refuelling. Meanwhile, the capacity of the sLH2 fuel station can be increased to over 8 tpd with refilling. A lower initial investment and operational costs for the sLH2 technology is expected to ultimately result in lower total cost of ownership.

Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering aim to make sLH2 the leading hydrogen refuelling technology for heavy-duty trucks. As a result, both companies offer a high level of transparency and openness around the relevant interfaces of the jointly developed sLH2 technology. The technology has been standardised in an open ISO process and is available to all interested parties. Now Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering call upon other OEMs, infrastructure companies and associations to apply the new liquid hydrogen standard and thereby establish a global mass market for the process.

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