EC - Horizon 2020 logo

Improvement of compressed storage systems in the perspective of high volume automotive application - FCH-01-3-2017
Deadline: Apr 20, 2017  

 Enterprise and Industry
 Raw Materials
 Industrial Manufacturing
 Automotive Industries

Specific Challenge:

Hydrogen tanks for automotive applications are already available but they do not yet fulfil all carmakers’ and customers’ expectations in the view of hydrogen powered vehicles as an alternative to conventional modern ICE-powered vehicles. Also, the current hydrogen business is small hence production is low, cost competitiveness and build-up of a European supply chain are challenging.

Four key challenges have been identified:

1. Achievement of the automotive performance and cost targets for a broader market introduction. This is mainly due to intensive carbon fiber use (quantity, quality and hence cost), conventional manufacturing processes and architectural concepts that are not compatible with mass production. To tackle this challenge, significant advances with respect to mechanical reinforcement, composite architecture optimization and improved designs of compressed overwrapped pressure vessels (COPV) with respect to cost, performance and manufacturing productivity are required.

2. Vessel and ancillary component (tank valve, pressure regulator,…) integration in the vehicle in order to ease assembling and integration procedures, thereby reducing cost and maximizing volume available to the customer.

3. Hydrogen refuelling times truly comparable to those of conventional fuels require an extended temperature range of the COPV. This would also greatly improve the safety margins with respect to temperature overshoot caused by possible malfunctions of the fuelling station. Likewise, being able to extract the maximum hydrogen mass flow regardless of the state of charge (SOC) calls for the ability of the COPV and the complete fuelling system to withstand and/or operate at lower temperatures.

4. Increase the acceptance of COPVs for hydrogen storage in automobile applications by means of offering a higher safety level. It is especially necessary to ensure that COPVs can be transferred into safe mode during thermal incidents.


  • Development of new and/or optimized tank geometries having the same storage performance and providing an enhanced integration in the car space at a comparable price. The storage density shall be 0.023Kg/L or higher. The cost target for a production of 30,000 parts per year basis shall be 500€/kg H2 or less.
  • Improve filling and venting tolerance of COPV (e.g. enhanced liner materials and multi-material assembling materials and techniques to increase mechanical and temperature tolerance (e.g. real -40°C H2 filling, - 60°C cold filling, +100⁰C).
  • Development of an optimized production strategy (increased materials efficiency, weight and volume reduction, manufacturing optimization, optimum storage geometries/designs)
  • Miniaturization and integration of tank components, e.g. on-tank valve, pressure regulator
  • Define standardized interfaces and (sub)components in order to benefit from the economy of scales.
  • Development and validation of numerical tools (probabilistic models) to perform automatic or semi-automatic optimization of COPV performance and durability and reduce cost and manufacturing discrepancies.
  • Provide input to revised regulation codes and standards for compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) tanks.
  • For protection against the worst-case scenario of the failure of the TPRD, a leak-before-burst vessel design should be developed. The failure mechanism of the vessel has to be studied and the reliability demonstrated. Furthermore, systems for detecting localized fires, enhanced fire protection systems/strategies as well as additional security measures are to be evaluated.

The consortium should include at least one vessel supplier, one pressure component developer and an OEM. The consortium should build on experience from past projects in the field (at national or European level) in order to push the most promising materials and technologies to a higher TRL/MRL.

TRL at start: 4

TRL at end: 6

Any safety-related event that may occur during execution of the project shall be reported to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), which manages the European hydrogen safety reference database, HIAD (dedicated mailbox

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 4 million would allow the specific challenges to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected duration: 3-4 years

Expected Impact:


  • Coherent strategy defining the ultimate weight/cost savings achievable with conventional COPV and/or novel geometries and/or novel architecture strategies providing the best trade-off.
  • Define production strategy in coherence with standard automotive throughput with a significant impact on:
    • COPV manufacturing yield (target: Increase productivity by a factor of 3)
    • Reduced performance scattering (Standard deviation of burst pressure reduced by 30%)
  • Improved filling/venting tolerance of storage systems (temperature range: -60°C to +100°C) to sustain fast-filling and unrestricted extraction.
  • Provide technical and performance validation of prototypes with respect to EU standards (e.g. EC79)
  • Produce whitepapers for RCS and/or maintenance guidance
  • Demonstrate leak-before-burst vessel designs and fire detection and protection concepts.
  • Strengthen the European industry, by creating knowledge in support of the EU growth and jobs policy agenda.

The following KPIs are expected to be reached at the tank system level in compliance with the MAWP:

  • Volumetric capacity: 0.023Kg/L (2020)
  • Gravimetric capacity: 5%
  • Cost target for a production of 30,000 parts per year basis: 500€/kg H2

Public link:   Only for registered users

Looking for a partnership?
Have a look at
Ma Région Sud!