THEWA – Thermomanagement von Wasserstoff-Tankstellensystemen

Funding: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur

Duration: From 2021 to 2024

Project description

The project "THEWA" is a joint project funded by the Niedersächsische Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur within the call for proposals "Innovationslabore für Wasserstofftechnologien", which addresses the design of hydrogen filling station systems and thus contributes to the establishment of hydrogen-based sustainable mobility in northern Germany. The main focus of the AIP is the model-based economic evaluation of individual hydrogen filling stations as well as their network planning.


Project partners

  • Technische Universität Braunschweig
    • Institut für Automobilwirtschaft und Industrielle Produktion (AIP)
    • Institut für Thermodynamik (IfT)
    • Institut für Konstruktionstechnik (IK)
    • Institut für Verbrennungskraftmaschinen (IVB)
  • Artelia GmbH
  • MAN Truck & Bus SE
  • Maximator GmbH
  • Shell Deutschland Oil GmbH
  • TLK-Thermo GmbH

Initial situation and problem definition

Hydrogen filling stations will play an increasingly important role in the coming years. The use of hydrogen in different modes of transport, e.g. in buses, trucks, or trains, as well as the increasing demand in general lead to new requirements. Hydrogen filling stations have to meet very different requirements, depending on the vehicle and the hydrogen storage technology used. A wide range of technical solutions exist for this purpose, which influence, among other things, the energy efficiency of the filling station and the refueling speed. In order to meet the expectations, e.g. low costs and high reliability, in the best possible way, thermal management is a central element in the design of a hydrogen filling station. It usually consists of passive and active components combined with operating and control concepts that have to be individually adapted. All in all, numerous different requirements and thus also filling station concepts are conceivable, which are also constantly changing as a result of the currently rapidly advancing technological development. In this respect, the development of optimized thermal management concepts for hydrogen filling stations is currently a challenge to which the present project is intended to contribute.

Objectives and approach

The overall objective of the project is to research optimized thermal management and overall system concepts for hydrogen filling stations and to make them available for various exemplary applications. For this purpose, an approach based on the so-called Integrated Model-Based Systems Engineering will be pursued and further developed. It shall contain both descriptive and analytical models and be able to combine them seamlessly. The novel approach will be implemented in the form of a demonstrator for a software-tool network, which will allow the fast and flexible design of hydrogen filling station systems at advantageous locations that meet the requirements and at the same time are as beneficial as possible with respect to the expectations. Accompanying studies on the network planning of hydrogen filling stations in northern Germany as well as experimental investigations on hydrogen filling stations and their subsystems take place. The results will be incorporated into the overall system design. At the same time, they can fill existing gaps in the state of the art.

Four institutes of the TU Braunschweig are working together on the project, but with different research focuses: The IfT is responsible for the work on thermal management and hydrogen systems, the IK for systems engineering with requirements management, the IVB for the topics of hydrogen compressors and expansion machines as well as vehicle storage systems, and the AIP focuses on network planning and economic evaluation. Five practical partners are involved in the project: Shell (requirements from the operator's point of view, filling station development), Artelia (infrastructure development of hydrogen filling stations), Maximator (filling station technology and development), TLK (software demonstrator, model-based engineering and thermal management demonstrator) and MAN (vehicle-side filling station requirements). Furthermore, the project is supported by the Clean Energy Partnership.