© Chesterfield Special Cylinders
© Chesterfield Special Cylinders

Partners developing Hydrogen Storage as a Service model to address UK market

Chesterfield Special Cylinders is working to develop a Hydrogen Storage as a Service (HySaaS) model to “revolutionise” gaseous hydrogen storage and distribution solutions.

Set to be funded by Innovate UK, Chesterfield Special Cylinders will collaborate with the University of Sheffield, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Element 2, and HIVE Hydrogen.

The project will assess the feasibility of significantly reducing the capital cost of hydrogen storage via the HySaaS model. It will focus on operator cost optimisation, enhanced safety, and business model innovation.

Frank Ashton, Hydrogen Business Development and Partnerships Manager at Chesterfield Special Cylinders, said, “We are delighted to play a central part in bringing together this project collaboration, which won support from Innovate UK.

“Ultimately, we believe it will accelerate decarbonisation through the earlier adoption of hydrogen thanks to lower than anticipated entry costs for hydrogen solutions, and by increasing the operational uptime.”

By focusing on operator cost optimisation, HySaaS is expected to reduce the capex costs required for storage and distribution for hydrogen refuelling and other small-to-medium scale value chain projects from the current levels.

The project will evaluate the operator cost benefits of the service model, including ‘renting’ instead of selling hydrogen storage modules. Potential secondary benefits include increased operational ‘uptime’ and the life of hydrogen storage and distribution solutions, therefore reducing operators’ total cost of ownership (TCO) at the same or better levels of safety.

HySaaS will also explore the feasibility of cylinder-level monitoring, allowing for more precise risk identification and frequent data collection to inform optimised preventive maintenance actions.

Finally, through business model innovation, HySaaS will assess the feasibility of innovative deployment of a rental business model for hydrogen storage and distribution assets by exploring the stakeholder, technical and commercial implications of its long-term use. The work will provide insights on how to deliver stakeholder and commercial solutions, enabling the business model to work alongside traditional sales models.

Stuart Dawson, Chief Engineer for hydrogen at the University of Sheffield AMRC, said, “The AMRC is delighted to be a partner on this project as it is a clear example of how our expertise in the industrial internet of things can be tangibly applied to enable cylinder level condition monitoring to lower Capex barriers, enhance safety and enable new business models.|

HIVE Hydrogen Director, Diana Raine, said, “The HySaaS project provides the perfect opportunity to examine how new offerings can help optimise and accelerate the UK’s hydrogen market whilst improving operational safety for the whole sector.”

James Harris, Chief Operating Officer of Element 2, added, “Effective transport and storage of hydrogen is a cornerstone of the UK’s low carbon economy and is an area ripe for innovation.

“Ultimately, the technical and economic learning that this project provides will help the industry to improve quality, reduce lifetime operational costs, and to accelerate our plans for growth with confidence.”

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