AVL offers a look inside its hydrogen technology toolkit

Austrian mobility technology company AVL has exclusively shared a look inside its hydrogen toolkit with H2 View.

Headquartered in Graz, AVL is the world’s largest independent company for development, simulation and testing in the automotive sector and beyond, made up of over 11,000 employees.

From electrolyser, fuel cells and internal combustion engines (ICEs) and e-fuels the company has been building up its hydrogen technology toolbox in recent years in a bid to “transform” the way validation and testing is carried out.

For fuel cells, AVL’s testbed solutions offer a flexible R&D infrastructure to adapt and grow with evolving demands. Utilising a suite of digital and physical tools, the company can streamline the development process.

Working with partner company Greenlight – which has been manufacturing electrolyser test equipment since the 1990s – AVL can utilise test stations for research on both PEM and alkaline electrolysers.

Using control and automation software in combination with the hardware testing, the companies can provide validation and verification services.

Aside from a focus on individual products, AVL is hoping to deliver answers and systems for wider energy projects.

With access to physical and technical data, AVL maps the V-process down to subsystems and components to validate overall processes, using high-performance simulation tools.

The same simulation tools can be used on individual fuel cells and electrolysers to forecast real-world performance from first concept to industrialisation, with a focus on efficiency and reliability.

Speaking on a H2 View Showcase Webinar last October (2023), Dr. Daniel Ritzberger, said, “The AVL fuel cell portfolio is serving our customers throughout the whole development cycle, from the initial cell, plate, MEA design to stack and system development up to the full application integration.

“This development process is accompanied by our simulation and testing products, offering testing solutions from single cell to full stack and complete fuel cell system test beds and also virtualised hardware in the loop and model in the loop test stations.”

Read more: How AVL bridges gap between virtual lab and reality in fuel cell system testing

More broadly, AVL has been collaborating with the likes of Ceres and TECO 2030 on solid oxide electrolysis and PEM fuel cells respectively.

Safety for hydrogen ICE and fuel cell testbeds in focus on H2 View Showcase Webinar

A H2 View Showcase Webinar has heard that new standards and regulations hydrogen internal combustion engines (ICEs) and fuel cell system testbeds for must be developed.

Ulla Krusch, System Line Manager at AVL, told viewers, that hydrogen will become the “common denominator” across various industries. “New needs must be considered in testing infrastructure,” she said.

Kursch continued, “Hydrogen, due to its properties has to be handled with care. New standards need to be developed. A lot of experience is needed to build up safe testing infrastructure.”

The webinar, presented by AVL, had earlier heard from Harald Pongratz, Department Manager Facility Engineering at AVL, who said, “Hydrogen, with 33kWh/kg has more than two times the energy content compared to propane.”

“With the low relative density, the low ignition energy needed for a fire or explosion, together with the high limits of flammability gives an understanding as to why safety on hydrogen is so important,” he added…

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