Composites Today

Magazine For Composites Professionals

First certified tank with 700 bar and 350 litre hydrogen capacity gets approval for on-road use

For hydrogen tanks to be released on the road, the law defines that they must be certified beforehand. In Europe, type approval on H2 tank systems is governed by the regulation UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) R 134. Now, for the first time, a Type IV 700 bar and 350 litre hydrogen capacity tank has been approved for road use under the guidelines of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. The H2 storage vessel Carbon4Tank with unprecedented dimensions from Voith Composites, Germany is ready to be applied in heavy-duty trucks and other commercial vehicles. This is a big milestone for scaling up the zero-emission heavy goods transportation market. The Voith Group is a global technology company.

Emission-free Transportation

Hydrogen fuel is a key part of enabling sustainable transportation in the future. Trucks powered by hydrogen have the potential to achieve a long-range, enabling rapid recharging while avoiding emissions. Regulations such as the UNECE No. 134 ensure the safe use of hydrogen power on the road. Thus, obtaining type approval, under uniform guidelines and tests, is an important step towards the introduction of a hydrogen economy and the decarbonization of the transport sector.

Deep innovation and digitalized production are ready

During the development of the Voith hydrogen storage vessel Carbon4Tank. innovative materials and processes were used and set up from the beginning to enable automotive qualities and high volumes in production. Within the approval tests the tank had to meet stringent performance requirements to receive certification for on-road service, including testing for burst pressure, pressure cycle life, expected on-road performance, fire safety, component isolation and a combination of these tests.

According to Voith Composites CEO Anna Pointner, “This certification is an important milestone following an intensive development period. It recognizes the hard work and expertise of our team in producing composites at scale for the automotive industry. Our emphasis on high-quality data is critical when ensuring absolute safety and consistency in manufacturing, which this certification demands.”

With UNECE R 134 certification, the innovative towpreg-wound H2 tanks from Voith Composites have underlined the maturity of the product and production and are now ready for serial production. The first well-known truck OEMs are already integrating the tanks into their trucks.