Daimler Truck, Linde To Develop Liquid Hydrogen Fueling

By Mike Brezonick10 December 2020

Daimler Truck AG and Linde have signed an agreement to jointly develop the next generation of liquid-hydrogen refueling technology for fuel-cell-powered trucks. With their collaboration, the partners aim to make the refueling process with hydrogen as easy and practical as possible.

The companies said they will focus on a new process for handling liquid hydrogen (subcooled liquid hydrogen, or sLH2 technology), an approach that allows for higher storage density, greater range, faster refueling and improved energy efficiency. The new process will use higher than ambient pressure levels and special temperature control which avoids so-called boil-off effects and return gas (gas from the vehicle’s tank returning to the filling station) during refueling and will not require complex data communication between the filling station and the truck during refueling. Overall, the technology thus allows simpler filling-station concepts, the companies said. The improved energy storage density is due to the higher than ambient pressure level which increases the hydrogen mass in the tank.

The first refueling of a prototype vehicle is planned for a pilot station in Germany in 2023. Linde and Daimler Truck AG are planning for a high level of transparency and openness around the relevant interfaces of the jointly developed technologies. By enabling as many other companies as possible to develop their own refueling and vehicle technologies that apply the new liquid-hydrogen standard, a global mass market is to be established for the new process.

“We at Daimler Truck AG are pursuing the vision of the CO2-neutral transportation of the future,” said Sven Ennerst, member of the board of management of Daimler Truck AG for Development, Procurement and the China Region. “The hydrogen-based fuel cell is a key technology of strategic importance in this context. With our collaboration with Linde as an expert in hydrogen refueling technology, we want to increase the viability and acceptance in the industry of fuel-cell trucks on the basis of hydrogen. The new process can further enhance the numerous advantages that liquid hydrogen offers.”

Daimler Truck, which earlier this year unveiled its Mercedes-Benz GenH2 fuel cell concept truck, said it prefers to use liquid hydrogen because in this state, the energy carrier has a far higher energy density in relation to volume than gaseous hydrogen. As a result, the tanks of a fuel-cell truck using liquid hydrogen are much smaller and, due to the lower pressure, significantly lighter. This gives the trucks more cargo space and a higher payload, the company said. At the same time, more hydrogen can be carried, which significantly increases vehicle range.

The GenH2 Truck is targeted for a range of up to 1000 km on a single tank of hydrogen. Daimler Truck plans to begin customer trials of the GenH2 Truck in 2023, with series production is to start in the second half of the decade.

“As a pioneer in hydrogen refueling technologies, and one of the largest players in the hydrogen market, we are pleased to contribute to the advancement of the hydrogen economy with this important milestone,” said David Burns, head of Clean Hydrogen, Linde. “Together with Daimler Truck AG, the industry-leader in commercial vehicles, we expect the use of hydrogen-powered, heavy-duty trucks to be a reality in the very near future.”

 

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