Opel has designed a special test-rig that checks the refueling process with all possible parameters and all possible scenarios.
“All available communication interfaces can also be tested: Not only the actual tank parameters are communicated to the gas station; individual values are manipulated and errors in data transmission are provoked, in order to test the correct reaction of the hydrogen refueling station,” a company statement reads.
The results can be transferred using modern simulation techniques to other manufacturers with different tank systems. This eliminates the need for a multiple, manufacturer-specific testing of refueling stations.
“It is essential that we look at infrastructure issues such as the easy and safe refueling of fuel cell vehicles. There is hardly a new, fully integrated hydrogen filling station in Germany which has opened before being first validated using our experience. With every new station, we get closer to our goal of launching emissions-free fuel cell vehicles in 2015," stated Rita Forst, Vice President of Engineering at Opel.
The research and development team responsible for the project not only worked on testing the hydrogen filling stations, but it has also been involved in developing HydroGen4, Opel’s current fuel cell vehicle.
HydroGen4 is powered by a fuel cell stack with 440 single cells which combine hydrogen and oxygen from the air to produce electricity. The only bi-product is water vapor, while the instant torque characteristics of the HydroGen4 electric motor allows the vehicle to fastly pick-up from low speed.