Auto Service World
News   July 30, 2002   by Auto Service World

New Hydrogen Storage Technology Offers 300-mile Fuel Cell Range


General Motors Corp. and QUANTUM Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide, Inc. has received certification from a top German safety institute for a 700 bar (10,000 psi) hydrogen storage system which could ultimately allow fuel cell vehicles to achieve a driving range of 300 miles.
The system is the first high-pressure hydrogen storage tank of 700 bar technology capacity to be certified by Germany’s Technical Inspection Association (TV = Technischer berwachungs-Verein), an organization that approves new technology in vehicles. Until now, hydrogen storage tanks with a maximum capacity of 350 bar (5,000 psi) had met the requirements for TV certification. For certification, TV validates high-pressure tanks in accordance with common industry standards in Europe and North America.
At 700 bar (10,000 psi), significantly more hydrogen can be stored in the same space occupied previously by a 350 bar tank, extending the range of fuel cell vehicles between fill ups. The system has also been validated according to the European Integrated Hydrogen Project (EIHP). EIHP is at the forefront of developing global regulatory standards for hydrogen storage testing and certification. “These collaborative efforts with QUANTUM represent another step towards understanding how fuel cell vehicles will be capable of a range equal to or greater than today’s vehicles powered by internal combustion engines,” said Frank Colvin, GM’s Vice President for Fuel Cell Commercialization.
A key challenge to the introduction of fuel cells is to produce an efficient, lightweight onboard storage system with enough capacity for making lengthy drives possible.
“We are proud to be supporting GM in the development of future technologies that incorporate alternative forms of propulsion,” said Alan Niedzwiecki, president and COO of QUANTUM.
The TriShieldTM hydrogen storage tank’s design features a one-piece permeation-resistant seamless liner, a high-performance carbon composite over-wrap for strength, and a proprietary, impact-resistant outer shell.
The storage tank is a product developed from GM’s partnership with QUANTUM, launched a year ago to collaborate on improving the range of GM’s fuel cell vehicles through the development of hydrogen storage, hydrogen handling and electronic control technologies for fuel cell applications. GM intends to be the first automaker to sell 1 million fuel cell vehicles, and expects to begin seeing them on the road by 2010.


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