Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering jointly developed a new process for handling subcooled liquid hydrogen they say allows for a higher storage density, a greater range, faster refueling, lower costs, and superior energy efficiency compared to gaseous hydrogen.
With the new sLH2 process, refueling takes 10-15 minutes for a 40-ton heavy-duty truck, carrying 80 kg (176 lbs.) of liquid hydrogen for a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) and more, the industrial companies reported. The technology also lowers the required investment for a hydrogen refueling station by a factor of “two to three,” and operational costs are “five to six” times lower. Today, liquid hydrogen can be supplied throughout Europe.
Compared to regular liquid hydrogen (LH2) refueling technology, the new process uses an 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 robust fueling process that also keeps energy losses during refueling to a minimum. Further, no data transmission between the refueling station and vehicle is necessary, which reduces the complexity of the solution. At the same time, refueling capacity increases. The pilot station has a capacity of 400 kg (882 lbss) of liquid hydrogen per hour. In comparison to regular liquid or gaseous hydrogen refueling concepts, sLH2 is simpler while delivering increased performance, the companies said.
Aiming to establish a common refueling 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, recently inaugurated the first public sLH2 pilot station in Wörth am Rhein, Germany, refueling a Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck prototype.
“Zero-emission transport needs three factors: the right battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, the required infrastructure network and cost parity for ZEVs compared to diesel trucks,” Gorbach said in a news release. “In terms of vehicles, the transformation is in full swing. In terms of hydrogen infrastructure, we are reaching a major milestone today: With sLH2, hydrogen refueling becomes as convenient as today’s refueling with diesel. It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fuel our Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck for a range of more than 1,000 kilometers.
“We now call on other OEMs and infrastructure companies to follow our approach and jointly make this technology an industry standard.”
Added Nowicki: “Subcooled liquid hydrogen considerably increases the efficiency of hydrogen refueling systems. The required investment is reduced by a factor of two to three, and operational costs are five to six times lower. This and further advantages make sLH2 a practical, CO2-neutral alternative to diesel in the heavy-duty vehicle sector. The technology we have developed with Daimler Truck will help pave the way for the development of a robust refueling network, which is essential to keep vehicles moving and supply chains intact.”