Governments and society have recognized the need to reduce climate change by requiring more energy efficiency and reducing the dependency on non-sustainable energy sources. To fulfil these challenging commitments, hydrogen is expected to play an important role to efficiently store and distribute large amounts of energy in a space-efficient way, especially in the field of mobility.
For transportation applications, the overarching technical challenge relates to the safe storage of the hydrogen amount required for a conventional driving range, while complying with vehicular constraints of weight, volume and cost.
Current high-pressure storage systems are made of a plastic liner, which ensures gas tightness, around which a carbon-epoxy composite is wound. Such tanks, called “type 4” pressure vessels, are able to safely store hydrogen at a pressure of 700 bars. Still, these state-of-the-art tanks suffer from some limitations that makes it difficult to achieve a broader market introduction such as safety, performance, cost targets, refueling/emptying time, weight and volume, durability, life-cycle cost and recyclability.
To face these challenges, the THOR project aims to develop a cost-effective high-pressure thermoplastic composite hydrogen storage vessel for transportation applications. The project will result in a demonstrator vessel, complying with requirements for integration in vehicles.
The THOR consortium represents the entire supply chain for hydrogen storage, from technology developer to industrial manufacturer and end-user, which will strengthen the European supply chain and enhance the market uptake.