Daimler Truck AG has signed an agreement with Linde 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.
In a joint statement, both companies say focus will be on a new process for handling liquid hydrogen. This innovative approach allows for higher storage density, greater range, faster refueling and superior 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 improved energy storage density is due to the higher than ambient pressure level which increases the hydrogen mass in the tank.
The companies plan for the first refueling of a prototype vehicle at a pilot station in Germany in 2023. Linde and Daimler say they 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.
This September, Daimler premiered the fuel-cell concept truck Mercedes-Benz GenH2. With the GenH2 Truck, the manufacturer demonstrates which specific technologies the company is driving forward at full speed so that heavy-duty fuel-cell trucks can perform flexible and demanding long-distance haulage operations with ranges of up to 1,000 kilometers and more on a single tank of hydrogen.
Daimler says it plans to begin customer trials of the GenH2 Truck in 2023; series production is to start in the second half of the decade. Thanks to the use of liquid instead of gaseous hydrogen with its higher energy density, the vehicle’s series version performance is planned to equal that of a comparable conventional diesel truck. The new fueling process is to be implemented in the series version of the GenH2 Truck and first to be validated in upcoming prototypes.