A new hydrogen filling station was commissioned in Karlsruhe using hydrogen produced on-site using solar energy
The station will be operated by H2 MOBILITY, a new joint venture formed by the industry partners Daimler, Air Liquide, Linde, Shell, OMV and TOTAL in order to expand the German nationwide hydrogen network to as many as 400 stations by 2023. Daimler is the investor behind the facility; the refuelling technology comes from Linde.
Norbert Barthle, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said: “Our support for the ramp-up of alternative drives is technology-agnostic. We want to be at the forefront of shaping the development. In this process, fuel cells are a key technology in turning the tide towards electromobility. Fewer emissions, quick refuelling, and a long range are the future of electric mobility. Each new hydrogen filling station takes us one step further in building a nationwide charging infrastructure. This helps us bring more clean vehicles onto our roads and ensure more mobility with fewer emissions.”
H2 MOBILITY is planning to commission further hydrogen filling stations in the months ahead and recently issued a call for proposals for additional filling-station locations: several stations are to be built in regions with the largest potential hydrogen sales for fuel-cell cars (700 bar).
Nikolas Iwan, Managing Director of H2 MOBILITY GmbH & Co. KG, said: “H2 MOBILITY has been tasked with building and operating a hydrogen infrastructure across Germany. This is unique: nowhere in the world is there a comparable business initiative that solves the chicken-and-egg problem so sustainably. By the end of 2018, 100 hydrogen stations will ensure a basic supply. If the introduction of hydrogen as a fuel is successful and the number of fuel-cell cars continues to grow, we will expand the network to as many as 400 hydrogen stations by 2023.”
The hydrogen filling station marks the first time that a steam electrolysis plant in flexible operation is used for the production of hydrogen. It is funded by the state of Baden-Württemberg’s BWPLUS program and administered by the European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER). Steam electrolysers are excellent for converting electrical energy into chemical energy. Due to their high operating temperatures of up to 850°C and the possibility of supplying the required energy in the form of heat, significantly higher electrical efficiencies can be achieved than with low-temperature electrolysers.
The scientific monitoring of the hydrogen filling station will involve testing the electrolyser’s load-sequence operating capability of over 5000 hours. Using a monitoring system, all of the facility’s system parameters will be recorded, and then evaluated and analysed by EIFER. As the supplier of the electrolysis facility, the Dresden company Sunfire is working to bring renewable energies into the mobility sector in an efficient way. “This can happen directly as hydrogen at the filling station, or by supplying green hydrogen, synthesis gas or synthetic crude oil substitute (e-Crude) to refineries for the production of traditional fuels for combustion engines based on water, green electricity and CO2,” said Nils Aldag, Chief Commercial Officer at Sunfire. “The hydrogen filling station in Karlsruhe provides outstanding proof that Sunfire’s electrolysis technology is very versatile.”