Hydrogen Storage Breakthrough

General Motors Corp. has increased the driving range of its compressed hydrogen fuel cell vehicles with the world’s first successful vehicle test of a 10,000 PSI (700 bar) hydrogen storage system.

Sacramento, California – February 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The new 10,000 PSI tank technology extends the range of GM’s HydroGen3 fuel cell vehicle by 60-70 percent compared to an equivalent-sized 5,000 PSI system. GM is the only automaker in the world to successfully test a 10,000 PSI hydrogen storage system in a fuel cell vehicle. This milestone has been achieved more than a year ahead of the stated goals of other auto companies. The GM system, which consists of two carbon composite tanks, was approved last year by Germany’s top safety institute, (Technischer Überwachungsverein – TÜV) in accordance with common industry standards in Europe and North America. “This is a major step forward in developing fuel cell vehicles with a range equal to or better than conventional gasoline vehicles,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president, research and development, and planning. “We’re making great progress toward realizing the 300-350 mile range required for large-scale commercialization.” The hydrogen storage system was developed in collaboration with GM’s fuel cell strategic alliance partner, QUANTUM Fuel System Systems Technology Worldwide, Inc., based in Irvine, California. The TriShield tank design features a one-piece permeation-resistant seamless liner, a high-performance carbon composite over-wrap for strength and a proprietary, impact-resistant outer shell. In addition to TÜV certification, the system has been validated according to the European Integrated Hydrogen Project (EIHP), an organization at the forefront of developing global regulatory standards for hydrogen testing and certification. GM also has moved a step closer to being able to refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles with the same ease of today’s gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles. The refueling process takes less than five minutes. “Compressed hydrogen gives us an attractive option, along with liquid hydrogen,” said Josefin Meusinger, who is responsible for hydrogen storage systems at GM Fuel Cell Activities in Mainz-Kastel, Germany. “This accelerates our progress toward developing safe, cost-effective hydrogen storage systems for fuel cell vehicles that will excite our customers.”
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