After several years of development, Daimler Truck and Linde Engineering are aiming to make sLH2 an ISO standard for refuelling hydrogen-powered trucks. In comparison with gaseous hydrogen, subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2) allows for higher storage density, greater range, faster refuelling, lower costs and superior energy efficiency.
The first public sLH2 refuelling station was inaugurated in Wörth am Rhein, Germany. It will be used by selected logistics customers for initial trials with the Mercedes-Benz GenH2 truck starting from mid-2024. However, the two partners aim to go further than that. Their goal is to make sLH2 the leading hydrogen refuelling technology for heavy goods vehicles. The technology has been standardised as part of an open ISO process and is available to all interested parties.
sLH2: as practical as Diesel
“In terms of hydrogen infrastructure, we are reaching a major milestone today: with sLH2, hydrogen refuelling becomes as convenient as today’s refuelling with diesel.” States Andreas Gorbach, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler Truck AG, and responsible for Truck Technology. He then adds: “It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to fuel our Mercedes-Benz GenH2 Truck for a range of more than 1,000 kilometers.”
Compared to liquid hydrogen refuelling technology (LH2), the new process uses an innovative pump that allows the pressure to be slightly increased. With this method, liquid hydrogen becomes subcooled liquid hydrogen (sLH2). And in this state, energy losses during refuelling are reduced to a minimum. Furthermore, no data transmission is required between the refuelling station and the vehicle, further reducing the complexity of the solution.
A model pilot station
The pilot refuelling station has a capacity of 400 kg of liquid hydrogen per hour. A model of efficiency, according to Daimler and Linde. With only 0.05 kWh/kg of energy consumption, this station requires around 30 times less energy than gaseous hydrogen. It also takes up very little space (around 50 square metres). In fact, it can be set up in a way that enables several pumps to be used for parallel refuelling of trucks, as well as back to back refuelling.
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Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili