Ballard completes tests with fuel cells powered by liquid hydrogen


Canadian fuel cell specialist Ballard Power Systems has successfully tested a fuel cell powered by liquid hydrogen in collaboration with US-based Chart Industries.

For the test, they paired a Ballard FCmove-HD fuel cell with a liquid onboard hydrogen vehicle fuel system by Chart.

According to the companies, the demonstration confirms that heavy-duty vehicles with Ballard fuel cells will be able to use Chart liquid hydrogen systems in the future.

The companies did not provide more specific data on the systems used for the test at Chart’s hydrogen test facility in Minnesota. Ballard’s FCmove-HD model is used in fuel cell buses, among other applications.

Similar statements had been made in the past by Daimler Truck and the Volvo Group, which are known to jointly develop fuel cells for trucks and buses in the Cellcentric joint venture. Daimler Trucks reportedly wants to rely on LH2 with the GenH2 truck, while Volvo is currently focusing on pressurised storage. For the fuel cell, it is of secondary importance how the hydrogen is stored, so the tenor. Storage will, however, become decisive for the refuelling industry.

In today’s statement, Ballard also emphasised that liquid hydrogen has “a significant space, weight and range advantage compared with gaseous hydrogen, allowing for up to double the range without space claim and payload impacts.” The company also hopes the solution will simplify fueling infrastructure for heavy-duty applications such as class-8 trucks, buses, rail, and marine.

Consequently, the test run included liquid hydrogen tanks from Ballard and Chart, which both claim would suit such applications. The partners added they would identify a potential demonstrator for liquid hydrogen road testing over the coming months.

Including reporting by Sebastian Schaal.


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