COSMHYC: Innovative hydrogen compressor being tested

In October 2020, the partners of the COSMHYC consortium commissioned a metal hydride compressor prototype and officially launched an outdoor test phase that will last until February 2021. The prototype will be tested under conditions that simulate its integration into a hydrogen filling station. The aim is to demonstrate the reliability and energy efficiency of the solution. This is an important step in preparation for the market launch of this innovative compression technology and to promote hydrogen mobility.

Innovative hydrogen compressor being tested

As part of the EU project COSMHYC, the project partners have developed an innovative metal hydride compressor prototype and started operation in October 2020. In this long-term test phase, the performance of the new compression technology is being investigated. The test setup simulates the usage profile of the filling station and the interaction with the mechanical compressor. The tests aim to validate technical KPI’s, such as capacity, compression ratios, energy efficiency and noise levels. The generated data will also enable further optimization requirements to be discussed for future commercialization.

Innovation through cooperation

This important achievement is the result of intensive cooperation between NEL Hydrogen, MAHYTEC, the European Institute For Energy Research (EIFER), and the two consulting companies LBST and Steinbeis 2i GmbH. The Fraunhofer ICT supports the consortium with the test site and in the area of hydrogen safety. The participation of stakeholders from three different countries, Germany, Denmark and France, helps strengthen Europe-wide technical exchange and expertise.

How does the COSMHYC hybrid compression solution work?

While most conventional hydrogen compressors use a mechanical effect, metal hydride compressors instead use a thermal effect: the hydrides absorb hydrogen at low pressure at low temperature and release hydrogen at high pressure at high temperature. This reduces maintenance costs and noise pollution, and the use of electricity can be replaced by waste heat. Coupling a metal hydride compressor with a mechanical compressor allows the high flow rates and flexibility of mechanical compressors to be combined with the reliability and energy efficiency of metal hydrides, providing a cost-effective overall solution.

About the project

COSMHYC is funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) under Horizon 2020 and coordinated by the European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER). The aim is to promote hydrogen mobility by developing innovative compression solutions for competitive refueling of fuel cell electric vehicles. With a budget of €2.5 million, the five consortium partners are working to improve the performance of hydrogen compression, an essential step in the refueling process. Cost reductions and efficiency improvements in the refueling of FCEVs are crucial for the success of hydrogen mobility. The project started in 2017 and will continue until early 2021.

More details on COSMHYC can be found on the project website zu finden. Regular updates and news can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.