Researchers aim to examine the capabilities of hydrogen fuel infrastructure

July 24, 2014 0 By Stephen Vagus

Hydrogen Fuel Research

Research team develops new system that will accurately test the hydrogen delivery network

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a system that is meant to accurately test the hydrogen dispensed through fueling technologies. The system will act as a gauge for the capabilities of hydrogen fuel systems and determine whether or not modern fuel systems are able to deliver hydrogen in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Understanding this aspect of the hydrogen infrastructure may help develop better fueling technologies and introduce new standards that improve the infrastructure overall.

How hydrogen is delivered is often overlooked

Fuel cell vehicles are coming, despite the controversy that some of these vehicles have managed to attract. As such, an infrastructure that is able to support the commercialization of these vehicles is sorely needed. Automakers, government agencies, and chemical companies are investing heavily in the development of a working hydrogen infrastructure, but understanding how hydrogen is delivered to vehicles in an aspect of the infrastructure that is often overlooked.

New system could shed light on standards and technology that are making hydrogen delivery inefficient

The new system developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology will measure the gaseous hydrogen that is delivered by fuel stations. Researchers hope that the system will be able to highlight errors that exist in current fueling technologies and standards. Discovering these errors could allow for better standards to be introduced, making the overall hydrogen infrastructure more capable of meeting the needs of clean transportation.

Building an infrastructure proves to be extremely difficult

Establishing a hydrogen fuel infrastructure has been a difficult and time consuming process. While the conventional fuel infrastructure is able to support the deployment of hydrogen, there are many regulations in place that police hydrogen gas because of its volatility. These regulations have made the development of a new infrastructure somewhat more expensive than necessary, as new fuel stations that cater specifically to hydrogen are needed. The auto industry has been working to ensure that an effective fuel infrastructure takes form in its favored markets, but it could be years before fuel cell vehicles have the infrastructure support they need to see widespread adoption.

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