100% renewable targets will require power storage to manage flows on the net
Electrolysers utilise these intermittent power flows to produce H2 gas from water
H2 gas can be stored in large quantities underground and transported via existing gas pipelines
H2 vehicles recharge faster and are more durable than battery powered transport
Growing H2 demand in industrial processes will reduce costs and increase supply

On 2 March 2012, Fraunhofer ISE opened a solar hydrogen refuelling station in Freiburg. A special feature of this refuelling station is that hydrogen is produced directly on site using photovoltaic electricity. TÜV SÜD looks after the safety of the refuelling station – from the review of the safety solutions to final approval before the refuelling station goes into service.

The new solar hydrogen refuelling station is a research and infrastructure project at the same time. It is firstly a reference project for future developments in the area of zero-emission mobility by Fraunhofer ISE and secondly a milestone in the establishment of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Essentially, the solar refuelling station consists of a 30-bar pressure electrolyser, compressors to compress the hydrogen to 700 bar, intermediate storage tanks at two pressure levels and hydrogen pumps with dispensers. Part of the energy needed to produce and store the hydrogen is supplied by the photovoltaic systems installed on the roofs of the refuelling station and adjacent buildings.

“We are very happy that we were given the opportunity of supporting the planning and placing into service of this hydrogen refuelling station”, says Otto Stertz, Head of the Freiburg branch office of TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH. “This is a sign of confidence in our expertise and our experience from a host of innovative hydrogen projects.” The contract in Freiburg included review of the entire safety concept for the hydrogen refuelling station, final approval before the refuelling station was taken into service in accordance with Art. 14 of the German Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health (Betriebssicherheitsverordnung), testing of the hydrogen tanks and the filling system, and explosion protection testing (ATEX) required by law.

The new hydrogen refuelling station marks another milestone in the establishment of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany. TÜV SÜD and Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH recently published the current statistics on the global development of hydrogen refuelling stations.

The relevant information and interactive maps of Germany, Europe and the world can be found at http://www.netinform.de/H2/H2Stations