European-wide research programme to make hydrogen vehicles a widespread reality

As part of the European Metrology Programme for Innovation and Research (EMPIR), TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory is developing standards for accurate flow metering and pricing at hydrogen refuelling stations. The Metrology for Hydrogen Vehicles 2 project is part of the world’s first large-scale research project to tackle hydrogen fuel measurement inaccuracy challenges.

To expand the use of hydrogen vehicles as a low carbon transport option across Europe, it is essential that the gap between legislation and technology is closed. An extensive new infrastructure is required, where end-users are assured of accurate flow metering and fair charging at refuelling stations. However, there are no European-wide measurement methods and standards.

During the three-year programme, TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory’s research will help manufacturers and operators to improve the accuracy of hydrogen refuelling stations. It will develop new hydrogen measurement standards for both light (cars and vans) and heavy duty (buses and trucks) vehicles.

Marc MacDonald, Technical Lead for Clean Fuels at TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory, said: “Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles offer a significant increase in range and a reduction in refuelling time over battery electric vehicles. Hydrogen is therefore one of the most promising alternative transport fuels, once we can increase confidence amongst vehicle manufacturers and end-users. Accurate validation of the metrology in hydrogen vehicle refuelling is therefore vital to meet both regulatory requirements and enhance end-user perception. This project will give hydrogen vehicle owners the confidence that they are not being overcharged when they refuel and help the industry to expand.”

The Metrology for Hydrogen Vehicles 2 follow-on project will investigate more cost-effective methods of providing accurate reference measurements and prove that these concepts can be applied to refuelling of buses and trucks, and extended to train and tram refuelling in the future.

The new hydrogen measurement standards developed by TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory will be validated in intercomparison testing at a hydrogen refuelling station and harmonised with standards developed by other European National Measurement Institutes (NMIs). TÜV SÜD National Engineering Laboratory will also model the sources of flow measurement uncertainty in hydrogen refuelling stations, which will enable the targeted reduction in measurement errors at dispensers.

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