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Air Products takes next step in hydrogen deployment

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Air Products has launched the first of its SmartFuel hydrogen high pressure tube trailers, capable of transporting large volumes of hydrogen at high pressure to its growing network of SmartFuel hydrogen fuelling stations.

The trailer is the first of a fleet of new design, higher pressure hydrogen tube trailers due to be deployed in the coming months.

The trailer features specialised composite cylinders for hydrogen storage that enable cost-effective hydrogen from central production facilities to be delivered directly to the fuelling station at a pressure well above 350 bar; a significant enhancement on the existing 200 bar industrial hydrogen delivery models.

This increased pressure removes the need for onsite compression for 350 bar vehicle refuelling and significantly reduces site compression for 700 bar vehicle refuelling.

Station operators see this benefit translated into lower capital investment in the station hardware, as well as a marked reduction in station operating costs.

Minimising the need for compression on site naturally leads to higher levels of reliability, as Air Products has demonstrated first hand at its SmartFuel bus refuelling station in London, where high on-stream levels are consistently in line with industry expectations.

The SmartFuel high pressure tube trailer delivery concept also significantly reduces the space needed to deploy hydrogen refuelling stations, particularly compared with onsite hydrogen production solutions, such as electrolysis.

The SmartFuel high pressure tube trailer has been supported by the FCH JU Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) project.

It has the capability to operate as a mobile fuelling station for buses and to be used to support the hydrogen fuel cell buses programme operating hydrogen-powered buses in London.

Diana Raine, European business manager - hydrogen energy systems at Air Products, said: “The deployment of this new and innovative Air Products’ technology represents a significant milestone in the journey to establish a long term, viable hydrogen fuelling infrastructure across the UK and Europe. It is cost effective, space efficient and reliable, and re-enforces our commitment to the creation of a thriving hydrogen transport sector.”


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