Automated status monitoring for high-pressure storage systems

Safe tanks for hydrogen vehicles

Research News /

Hydrogen is a beacon of hope for the successful transition of the energy and mobility sectors. However, the gas is also highly explosive, and strict safety precautions are needed if hydrogen is to be used safely. The latest fuel cell vehicles carry hydrogen in gaseous form in pressurized tanks. These core elements of the H2 drive system must remain safe even under maximum operational loads. To prevent hazardous situations from occurring, regular maintenance of the high-pressure storage systems is mandatory. However, the tank inspection that is currently required every two years consists merely of an external visual inspection. Damage inside the tank cannot be detected using this conventional inspection method. In the joint research project HyMon, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF are working with partners to develop a sensor-based on-board structural monitoring system that will enable continuous surveillance of the H2 pressure tanks, thereby ensuring a high level of safety for hydrogen vehicles.