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Hexagon Composites Received Funding for Hydrogen Storage Systems

20 December 2011

Hexagon Composites' business unit Lincoln Composites is nominated to participate in one of the four projects to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems.

According to Hexagon Composites, the US Department of Energy (DOE) yesterday announced that they will fund more than $7 million to advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles. The 3-year project will fund four projects in California, Washington and Oregon.

Hexagon Composites explain they have gained extensive experience in the field of technology development of storage systems for hydrogen and have developed the first generation composite containers. They say they are actively working to set guidelines for the further development of composite containers for the storage of hydrogen under high pressure.

Hexagon Composites sees a great potential for hydrogen as an energy carrier in the future, and has for many years played a key role in the development of storage technology for hydrogen fuel. They explain that hydrogen under high pressure stands out as the best and most cost effective solution for the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier for vehicles. Hexagon Composites is a partner in several projects involving the development of customised containers for buses, cars, filling stations and the transport of hydrogen. They say the participation in the US state hydrogen project will be of great importance to them in the further development of effective and secure solutions.

According to Hexagon, in this project, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Lincoln Composites, Ford Motor Company, Toray Carbon Fibers America and AOC, will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project is expected to focus on improving carbon fibre composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. Through these advances, the team expects to lower the cost of manufacturing high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels by more than a third relative to current projections.

According to DOE the project will help lower the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks for efficient and safe transportation. These investments are part of DOE's commitment to o help domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream market.

Hexagon explain that hydrogen cars are emission-free electric vehicles powered by fuel cells fed by hydrogen and they say the range of a hydrogen car is about 400 km, 3-4 times more than an electric car. Hexagon say their technology enables high storage pressure with correspondingly large storage capacity in a limited volume for vehicles and filling stations. Hydrogen requires higher storage pressure than other gases at the same time as it is demanding in terms of materials.






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