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S. Wastiaux; F. Willot; E. Coffre; J.P. Schaaff

Hydrogen as a new and ecologic energy source is tempting, though it creates the challenge of ensuring the safe use of hydrogen for all future consumers. Making sure that a hydrogen vehicle can be simply and safely used by anyone while performing as expected requires that the car be light with built-in safety features. This is achieved by combining high pressure, composite cylinders with strict test procedures. Composite cylinders of up to 150 L operated to a maximum of 700 bar are required for vehicle applications. Air Liquide has developed test benches to hydraulically cycle such cylinders at 1400 bar and up to 3500 bar for burst tests. These tests are performed under controlled temperature conditions, at ambient and extreme temperatures, in order to simulate cylinder aging. Components in gas service such as valves, hoses and other pressure devices are tested up to 1400 bars with hydrogen to simulate actual usage conditions. Hydrogen is used as a testing gas instead of nitrogen, which is commonly used for such tests, because hydrogen interacts with materials (e.g. hydrogen embrittlement) and because hydrogen has a special thermodynamic behavior ( pressure drop, velocity, heat exchange,...). The testing facility characteristics, principle safety measures taken and initial findings are presented

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