Understand hydrogen applications and learn how to make hydrogen applications safe and efficient
Understand hydrogen applications and learn how to make hydrogen applications safe and efficient
Ambitious decarbonisation goals and increasing CO2 prices force companies to find new ways to produce and power logistics fleets, trains, and vehicles. The switch to renewable and low-emission energy requires innovative ideas that go beyond electric power. Especially energy-intensive applications, heavy vehicles, and the process industry need power-to-X solutions to master the transition to clean energy.
Today, oil refining, ammonia production, methanol production, and steel production are the primary consumers of hydrogen. Most of the hydrogen is still supplied using fossil fuels. Therefore, there is enormous potential to reduce emissions with low-carbon hydrogen. A significant share of fossil fuel-based hydrogen is produced using natural gas via steam methane reforming (SMR). Retrofitting these existing production facilities with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology (moving from grey to blue hydrogen) is one way to decarbonise hydrogen applications in the near- to mid-term.
The demand for ammonia and methanol is expected to increase over the next few years, allowing low-carbon and green hydrogen suppliers to satisfy growing demand.
In the long-term, steel production and other high-temperature industries will profit from the vast potential of low-carbon hydrogen. However, due to the technological complexity and high amounts of clean energy needed, the industry will require political support and low renewable electricity prices to access this opportunity for decarbonisation.
High-pressure hydrogen tank in a chemical plant
The development of new hydrogen technology requires extensive expertise in material selection, safety concept development, testing, and certification requirements. Therefore, low-carbon hydrogen is a rewarding but complex investment for many businesses.
At TÜV SÜD, we are uniquely positioned to help our customers take the complexity out of hydrogen projects with a customer-specific product scope and service portfolio covering a broad spectrum of industrial and energy applications.
We offer support from identifying relevant certifications and standards over the material selection, testing throughout the development process up to the certification of the final product.
Our services are available from individual component level up to plant commissioning and operation and cover industrial equipment, machinery, Industry 4.0 applications, laboratory services, software, IT security, smart and renewable energy, as well as electromobility and refuelling infrastructure. Thus, we are the perfect partner for you to enter the hydrogen market with peace of mind.
Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen-based low-carbon fuels will contribute to the decarbonisation of the mobility sector. However, the competitiveness of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) depends on the price of the fuel cells, the infrastructure of refuelling stations and the availability of low-carbon hydrogen. While these factors will likely slow down the adaption of FCEVs in the personal transportation sector, the potential for hydrogen is enormous in the commercial and agricultural sectors.
For the market of hydrogen-powered road vehicles to take off, it will be essential to bring down the costs of components like fuel cells and onboard storage systems. Therefore, heavy and long-distance vehicles like trucks, busses, and agricultural vehicles will see the fastest adoption of hydrogen technology.
For road logistics, it will be important to reduce the price of hydrogen at the point of use. Therefore, building hydrogen stations that serve captive fleets on hub-and-spoke missions could help secure high refuelling station utilisation and thus could be a way to get infrastructure construction off the ground.
Smaller commercial vehicles like hydrogen-powered forklifts will be a good option in areas where hydrogen is available onsite, for example, in logistics and steel production plants.
Shipping and aviation have limited options for decarbonisation besides hydrogen-based fuels. Hydrogen and ammonia can help to cut emissions in shipping to achieve environmental targets. The aviation sector could use hydrogen-based liquid fuels for decarbonisation.
In both cases, the costs of hydrogen-based fuels are currently a lot higher than comparable fossil fuels. Therefore, we will need policy support to speed up the switch to low-carbon fuels.
Hydrogen fuel cell buses
The mobility industry is currently confronted with a complex landscape of multiple technologies poised to replace the gas and diesel technologies we relied on for decades. All these new technologies have different advantages.
Low-carbon hydrogen is well-suited to power heavy, long-distance, and commercial vehicles. However, limited testing capacities, missing expertise for safe handling of hydrogen, and insecurity regarding type approval of new vehicles are slowing down the adoption of hydrogen vehicles and FCEVs. At the same time, governmental policies and climate goals are pushing companies to invest and develop emission-free drive concepts.
At TÜV SÜD, we can support companies to overcome the challenges related to hydrogen with a unique and broad service portfolio that ensures efficiency, compliance, global market access and safety.
We provide testing for components, systems, and entire vehicles, ensuring the safety and performance of your hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles.
In addition, our proven expertise regarding international regulations, codes, and standards (RCS) and our global presence enable us to support the homologation of your vehicles and global market access for your products.
"To decarbonise the mobility sector, we will need more than one solution. The market will consolidate, but there won't be the one-fits-all-drive train. We believe that hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles will play a central role in the emission-free transportation mix of the future." – Patrick Fruth, CEO at TÜV SÜD Division Mobility
The railway sector is already starting to test and adopt hydrogen. Ambitious projects like the Alstom Coradia iLint, the world's first hydrogen-powered regional fuel cell train, demonstrate the considerable potential of low-carbon hydrogen. At TÜV SÜD, we supported the development of Alstom's hydrogen-powered trains with the definition of the safety requirements, the safety-related testing of the design, inspection, and certification during the approval process.
Serial production of hydrogen fuel cell trains with compressed hydrogen (CH2) stored in a 350-bar hydrogen storage system (HSS) has already started. The first serial trains will achieve authorisation within the near future. Further fuel cell train projects are under development by several European vehicle manufacturers, some of them with bi-modal concepts (pantograph plus fuel cell).
The application of hydrogen combustion engines fed from CNH2 tanks is still in the conceptual discussion, especially for shunting locomotives.
Hydrogen fuel cell tram
TÜV SÜD is currently involved in many hydrogen and fuel cell train projects across Europe. A critical challenge that we observe is that there are currently no specific regulations in this sector. Hence, the approval of hydrogen pressure equipment on rolling stock is still complex in Europe. Our leading competence and experience in assessing hydrogen applications on railway vehicles enable us to master these challenges and ensure success and safety for our customers.
Our product and service portfolio is not limited to the fuel cell and the tanks. We also assess the filling process, the interface to infrastructure (emergency concepts of the operator), and maintenance and workshop sites.
Blending hydrogen into existing natural gas networks is a tangible opportunity in the building sector which would likely offer the most considerable advantage in multifamily homes, commercial buildings, and especially in dense cities.
The direct use of hydrogen in fuel cells or boilers is another possible scenario. However, due to the long investment cycles in the building sector, this will be a long-term prospect.
The hydrogen market is growing quickly, and all market data indicate that it will expand into a broad set of industry sectors. However, to position your business for this new market and capitalise on opportunities, you need to overcome challenges related to missing RCS, global market access, employee qualification, and testing.
At TÜV SÜD, we can help you manage these challenges and develop safe and efficient hydrogen applications. Our services expand beyond the industry standard, covering testing, inspection, and certification along with training and ecosystem. As a result, customers get everything out of one hand at TÜV SÜD. In addition, our subsidiaries, evety and LBST, can support companies with their hydrogen strategy, investment decisions, market data, and project management.
Our unique testing approach, covering development, materials, design validation, and certification, helps our customers to mitigate risks and invest in hydrogen with peace of mind.
In addition, we are part of committees that shape new RCS and can therefore inform our clients about changes and new requirements at an early stage. Finally, due to our involvement in hydrogen projects with more than 500 experts and for several decades, we have access to data that enables us to provide guidance in complex questions like how to bring your hydrogen technology to market.
"Hydrogen offers incredible opportunities and benefits in industrial and mobility applications. However, many businesses hesitate to invest as hydrogen technology is complex and requires unique expertise to make it safe. At TÜV SÜD, we can bridge this gap and offer global partnerships with our extensive network of testing laboratories and facilities." – Holger Lindner, CEO at TÜV SÜD Division Product Services
Explore the hydrogen value chain from production over transmission to applications. Find the right solutions and ensure safety for your projects with TÜV SÜD.
Learn how TÜV SÜD supports renewable energies, hydrogen production - electrolyser, pyrolysis and (SMR) projects - and how we ensure safety and efficiency.]
At TÜV SÜD we can support you in every step of your hydrogen project lifecycle and across the whole value chain. Rely on our decades of experience, our network of over 500 hydrogen experts, and our commitment to a safe and green future.
Get in touch with our team today to start your hydrogen journey.