Hydrogen is increasingly being used as an alternative energy carrier to fossil fuels. The need for international standards regarding transport and transfer technologies of cryogenic hydrogen for mobile applications, especially in inhabited areas, has been identified. Within the ELVHyS project (Enhancing safety of liquid and vaporised hydrogen transfer technologies in public areas for mobile applications), a European consortium has set itself the goal of raising the level of safety by further developing current technologies in order to enable the safe and widespread application of hydrogen as a future energy carrier and to strengthen the role of hydrogen in society. ELVHyS is part of the European Commission's "Horizon Europe" innovation funding program and will receive around 2 million euros in funding over its three-year term.
Knowledge transfer for multi-sectoral research
Eight organizations consisting of universities, research institutions and industrial companies from six European nations constitute the project team. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is responsible for coordination. Furthermore, the University of Ulster (UU), the National Center for Scientific Research "Demokritos" (NCSRD), the University of Bologna (UniBo), the Institute of Space Propulsion of the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) as well as Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and Air Liquide (AL) are collaborating on the project. Extensive experience of the project participants in hydrogen safety science and technology and in handling cryogenic hydrogen for industrial applications ensures interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral research.
Development of innovative safety strategies
Cryogenic hydrogen brings several advantages as an energy carrier: It can be produced by renewable energies in a climate-neutral manner, is readily available, and is more powerful and efficient than fossil fuels. Nevertheless, it is highly flammable and safety issues have to be concerend in its use. For several decades, hydrogen has been used in both liquid and gaseous form at the Institute of Space Propulsion at DLR's Lampoldshausen site for engine testing of space propulsion systems. Due to the high safety standards at the site in handling large quantities of hydrogen, the institute has created a comprehensive database that makes it possible to estimate hazard potentials and develop models from them, which are transferred and further developed within the ELVHyS project. One goal is to use this information to define international standards and safety strategies. Furthermore current research questions will be assessed experimentally, to generate data to enhance the level of knowledge and validate models.
The safe and efficient handling of hydrogen is crucial for industry in the energy and transport sectors, political decision-makers and authorities, as well as for the end user. With the increasing use of hydrogen, the number of transfer and refuelling facilities in public and inhabited areas is also growing. Measures such as uniform loading and unloading procedures for transfer, guidelines for the design of transfer facilities and training in the handling of cryogenic hydrogen will be developed in the project.
ELVHYS project No. 101101381 is supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and its members and the European Union. This work was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) under the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee.