Fields of application – infrastructure

The field of infrastructure relates to how power is delivered to vehicles and machines. This covers both electric charging infrastructure (for high power charging) for battery-powered electric vehicles and hydrogen filling stations for fuel cell vehicles.
Our products are already in use in many of these applications. This includes cooling solutions for charging cables and connectors, power electronics, hydrogen pressure sensors, hydrogen filtration, technical cleanliness and hydraulic drive units for high-pressure compressors.

Components and systems for quick charging stations

The long charging time of electric vehicles is often cited as a problem that discourages people from buying this type of vehicle.

In the long term, the charging time of battery-powered electric vehicles should be comparable to the filling time of a combustion vehicle, above all to ensure the vehicle’s capacity for long-distance driving. The aim is to realise a range of 100 km in three minutes of charging. To achieve this, direct current (DC) charging stations with charging powers of 350 kW and more are being developed. The charging cable used to charge the vehicle should be easy to handle in terms of its weight and size.

The charging power (kW) of these DC charging stations is the product of the voltage (V) and current (A). If the charging power is to be drastically increased, it is necessary to raise both the voltage and the charging current. Raising the current, however, significantly increases the amount of heat generated inside the cable. To dissipate the heat generated in the cable and connector head in the best possible way, cooling lines need to be integrated into the charging cables.

As a partner with expertise in cooling systems, HYDAC has been involved in developments in the area of charging cable cooling systems since 2016.

To supply high power charging parks with the power they need, high-performance frequency converters are required that can convert the alternating current provided by the power grid into direct current for the individual charging points. Furthermore, stationary battery storage is set up in some charging parks to stabilise and ease the strain on the power grid. Heat is also generated here, from losses in the power modules/battery cells, and this heat can be dissipated by means of fluid cold plates used in conjunction with a cooling system. For information on the products, see the section Components and systems for battery storage.

Cooling systems for cooling charging cables, connectors and stations

Depending on the ambient and operating conditions, both air-cooling systems (passive cooling systems) and compression chilling machines (active cooling systems) – commonly referred to as chillers – are used. In addition to the conventional cooling media, such as water glycol, we offer systems for non-conductive fluids which can be used in these applications.

Components and systems for hydrogen filling stations

Hydrogen is set to play a major role in future in an energy system that is increasingly reliant on renewable energy. And this includes the mobility sector. While battery-powered electric vehicles can be used for an increasingly large percentage of day-to-day urban and commuter transport, it makes sense to use fuel cell vehicles, with their larger ranges and short filling times, in long-distance and cross-border transport, especially in larger vehicles (lorries, trains and ships). Over the past 20 years, globally applicable standards have been developed in this regard that make it possible to fill vehicles with 350 or 700 bar.

HYDAC equipped the first hydrogen filling station with hydraulic components back in 2006. We have since become a leading manufacturer of hydraulic drive units for a wide range of compressors that are responsible for generating the system pressure in hydrogen filling stations.

In hydrogen-powered vehicles, the cleanliness and quality of the hydrogen is of great importance. When the vehicles are filled, the hydrogen supplied by the filling stations must be as clean as possible, with no contamination. As an expert in technical cleanliness, we have developed the world’s first analysis equipment that can be used to verify and analyse the particulate impurities under standard SAE conditions – the HYDAC PSA H70.

Experience with the PSA H70 has shown that effective and robust gas filtration that is able to handle the strict requirements of hydrogen filling is essential. With their combination of optimum housing design and innovative filter element technology, the HYDAC filter and separator solutions meet the strictest standards for all fields of application up to 1,000 bar and thus significantly contribute to the technical cleanliness of hydrogen filling stations.

HYDAC now supplies a wide range of components for the hydrogen filling station industry. This includes specially developed pressure sensors with ATEX and IECEX certification as a single or redundant version (SIL2-compliant) up to 1,050 bar. Furthermore, we supply cooling systems for recooling the heat generated by the compression of the hydrogen and compressor cooling units for setting the gas precooling temperature.

Product highlights

Technical cleanliness in hydrogen

PSA H70: measuring adapter for determining the particulate contamination in 700 bar and 350 bar hydrogen filling stations. Quantitative and qualitative measurement of contaminant particles >5 µm. Sampling compliant with ASTM D7650. Subsequent particle analysis according to ASTM D7651.

Particle filters and fluid separators for hydrogen

With the GF/GCF high-pressure filters, HYDAC is offering the leading technology for filtering gases in hydrogen applications up to 1,050 bar. The design of the filters provides maximum filter area in the most compact dimensions and is noted for excellent process stability, top quality permeate and minimal pressure loss. The Chemicron® filter material developed by HYDAC exclusively for gas applications provides defined separation rates with maximum filter integrity. The stainless steel filter elements are manufactured entirely without the use of resins which means they can be used at extreme temperatures and with particularly aggressive media. On account of the extremely robust and resistant technology, the differential pressure stability and resistance to pressure surges are excellent.

Pressure sensors for hydrogen

With over 30 years of experience in developing and producing pressure sensors, HYDAC Electronics has established a new series of hydrogen pressure sensors on the market. Thanks to HYDAC’s in-house manufacture of the pressure measurement cell, it was possible to develop a hydrogen cell based on stainless steel. The sensors are based on a robust, long-life sensor cell with a thin-film strain gauge on a stainless steel membrane. The sensor cell is welded to the process connection; there are no internal seals. The compatibility with hydrogen is ensured by using a particular material: all hydrogen-wetted parts are made of stainless steel. The pressure sensors are now used worldwide in fuel cell vehicles (with EC79/2009 certification) and stationary applications (ATEX, IECEX, CSAUS).

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