UK Consortium to Develop Hydrogen Storage Prototyping Hub in Drive for Net Zero

An industrial technology consortium developing innovative hydrogen storage solutions has signed an agreement to work towards setting up a Hydrogen Storage Prototyping Hub (HSPH).

The proposed hub brings together the expertise of the University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Oxford Advanced Surfaces, Xcience and SET Europe – with the aim of developing improved hydrogen storage solutions for the transportation sectors as they journey towards zero emissions.

The research undertaken by the consortium, which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to progress the hub, has been supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre’s Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

The Hydrogen Storage Prototyping Hub will be an independent, open-access resource for innovators and industrial end-users to accelerate the design and manufacture of prototype hydrogen storage vessels. It is actively seeking collaboration opportunities and is exploring the development of an industrial steering board comprising companies involved in the wider hydrogen landscape.

Dr Martin Kemp, technical director of Xcience who is spearheading the initiative, said: “We believe that improved mobile storage is a crucial technology area to enable future hydrogen vehicles, and access to a state-of-the-art prototyping service will help bring the latest storage technology to vehicle design.”

Stuart Dawson, chief engineer for hydrogen at the University of Sheffield AMRC, welcomed the agreement, adding: “Hydrogen propulsion, whether it’s performed via fuel cells or combustion, has an essential role to play in the decarbonisation of transport, particularly for heavier, longer range and higher duty cycle applications.

“The AMRC is delighted to be part of the HSPH consortium where we can contribute our composites manufacturing expertise towards developing safe, lightweight, conformal and affordable hydrogen storage tanks to help accelerate the adoption of zero emission hydrogen propulsion systems.”

Jon-Paul Griffiths, chief technology officer and founder of Oxford Advanced Surfaces (OAS), said the move to zero emissions transportation is a key issue facing society on a global scale. He added: “We believe that the ability to prototype hydrogen storage vessels will accelerate the development and adoption of hydrogen fuelled vehicles.”

Anselmo Gomes, head of engineering and research and development at SET Europe, added: “The drive to net zero has revolutionised the automotive industry. Thus far, the main focus has been on battery powered drive systems. However, we believe that hydrogen also has a role, and that this role is yet to be exploited. This being true, we believe that our technology can help develop the solution for storing hydrogen on any future vehicles.”

The hub is developing an operational model that will provide an independent, confidential service to meet the needs of industry, and welcomes expressions of interest from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the manufacturing supply chain and organisations involved in the wider hydrogen and transportation sectors.