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Hexagon Composites takes the lead in the development of hydrogen in the U.S

News International-French

22 Dec 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on the 12th of December that they will fund more than $7 million to advance hydrogen storage technologies to be used in fuel cell electric vehicles. The 3-year project will fund four projects in California, Washington and Oregon. Hexagon Composites' business unit Lincoln Composites is nominated to participate in one of the four projects to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems.

Hexagon Composites is an international leader in technology development of storage systems for hydrogen and has gained extensive experience in the field. The Group has developed the first generation composite containers, and the company is actively working to set guidelines for the further development of composite containers for the storage of hydrogen under high pressure.

Hexagon Composites sees a great potential for hydrogen as an energy carrier in the future, and has for many years played a key role in the development of storage technology for hydrogen fuel. Hydrogen under high pressure stands out today as the best and most cost effective solution for the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier for vehicles. Hexagon Composites is a partner in several projects involving the development of customised containers for buses, cars, filling stations and the transport of hydrogen. The participation in the U.S. state hydrogen project will be of great importance to Hexagon in the further development of effective and secure solutions.

In this project, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Lincoln Composites, Ford Motor Company, Toray Carbon Fibers America, Inc. and AOC Inc., will use a coordinated approach to reduce the costs associated with compressed hydrogen storage systems. The project will focus on improving carbon fiber composite materials and the design and manufacture of hydrogen storage tanks. Through these advances, the team expects to lower the cost of manufacturing high-pressure hydrogen storage vessels by more than a third relative to current projections.

According to DOE the project will help lower the costs and increase the performance of hydrogen storage systems by developing innovative materials and advanced tanks for efficient and safe transportation. These investments are a part of DOE's commitment to o help domestic automakers bring more fuel cell electric vehicles into the mainstream market.

Hydrogen cars are emission-free electric vehicles powered by fuel cells fed by hydrogen. The range of a hydrogen car is about 400 km, 3-4 times more than an electric car. Hexagon Composites' technology enables high storage pressure with correspondingly large storage capacity in a limited volume for vehicles and filling stations. Hydrogen requires higher storage pressure than other gases at the same time as it is demanding in terms of materials. Pressure, weight and the need for large storage capacity has presented challenges that require composite materials, and Hexagon Composites is currently at the forefront of developing innovative products which the market has been asking for years.

About Hexagon Composites
Hexagon Composites ASA is a publicly listed company with its headquarters in Ålesund, Norway. The Group employs 371 people and had a turnover of NOK 846 million in 2010. The Group develops and manufactures composite containers for the storage and transport of various gases under pressure and multiaxial composite reinforcements.
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