There are plans to build a new laboratory to test hydrogen tanks at RISE in Borås. The feasibility study of the laboratory is underway, with analysis of market needs, planning of design and equipment.
Right now, the conditions and required investment for the lab are being investigated. The most important part is input from future users. RISE supports Swedish business and its development and if the need is large enough, the lab will be built.
Input from customers is welcomed
There is an opportunity for companies to become involved in designing the laboratory and its equipment. RISE encourages companies that want to test hydrogen tanks to get in touch.
“We encourage customers to contact us so that we can develop the new hydrogen tank lab together! Now is the opportunity to be involved and influence if and how the lab should be built. We want to be able to meet the market's future wishes and requirements for testing and development," says Andreas Anderson, Research and Development Engineer at RISE.
Tests of fuel tanks
One question is whether the lab should include testing of cryogenic (liquid) hydrogen. If so, special type of tanks and diverse test methods would be required. So far, the plan is that the lab will test fuel tanks used in passenger cars and trucks. The testing will focus on the research and development phase, but also final tests will be performed.
Possibilty to test under high pressure
“What is distinctive about this lab is that we can perform testing under high pressure. We plan for handling tanks with 700 bar working pressure. In practice, this means a capacity to perform explosive tests with liquid to over 2000 bar and pressure cycling with gas up to 1000 bar”, says Andreas Anderson.
The first high pressure lab in the Northern countries
Being able to test the tanks for higher pressure than the usual working pressure is necessary. Guidelines define that hydrogen tanks must pass a test of 2.25 times the working pressure. At present, there is no lab that can test for such high pressures anywhere in the Northern countries. The closest equivalent labs are to be found in Holland and Germany.
It will be an advantage to be able to offer this sort of testing in Sweden. Customers should not need to leave the country for testing hydrogen tanks.
Enables testing of hydrogen tanks in Sweden
“It will be an advantage to be able to offer this sort of testing in Sweden. Customers should not need to leave the country for testing hydrogen tanks. RISE wants to support the Swedish hydrogen industry and the establishment of hydrogen in Sweden. This type of testing resource is compulsory”, says Christer Karlsson, Research and Business Developer at RISE.
The laboratory offers a series of tests
Christer Karlsson explains that the hydrogen testing consists of a series of tests. The tests cover everything from blast testing and pressure cycling to leaks in hydrogen tanks. It involves investigating how much pressure the tanks will tolerate and to ensure ten years of normal usage, as well as other safety aspects. In addition, low-temperature tests will be carried out to secure that the tank does not leak or crack. This is because carbon fiber and epoxy plastics can change behavior at lower temperatures.
“The entire purpose of testing is to make the user feel confident that the tank is safe and that it is safe throughout its lifetime under normal use. During its lifetime, a tank may be exposed to the influence of chemicals, mechanical damage and a little of each”, says Christer Karlsson.
The feasibility study is ongoing
Soon, the goal is to run the first samples in the lab. Before that, the ongoing feasibility study will pass through the usual phases: decision, design, delivery and construction – to finally and hopefully result in establishment.
Do you want to contribute to the development of the hydrogen tank lab at RISE in Borås? Please contact Andreas or Christer!