Hydrogen (H2) is seen as a promising option to substitute conventional fuels in the transport sector to reduce greenhouse gases and save resources. To test the handling of H2 as fuel in daily use, the Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) builds 50 H2 refueling stations (HRS) in Germany until the end of 2015. The operation of these HRS is scientifically accompanied in the framework of the project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
The project covers technical, economic, environmental, social, and legal issues of hydrogen mobility. To address this wide range of topics, an interdisciplinary consortium of research institutes was founded, consisting of Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH, Fraunhofer ISI, Spilett, TÜV Süd and KIT-ITAS.
Within this consortium, ITAS is responsible for system analyses for the sustainability assessment of hydrogen mobility (focus climate efficiency). Different HRS concepts – with and without on-site H2 production – are examined and assessed regarding their energy in- and outputs. The results are integrated into assessments on complex fuel supply chains to derive primary energy demands and climate gas emissions. ITAS is also looking at the specific costs for mobility, based on data from HRS already in operation. Combining these investigations allows drawing statements on GHG reduction costs as an indicator for eco-efficiency.
The assignment lasts over the whole project period and is primarily based on material flow and life cycle methods (environmental Life Cycle Assessment – LCA and Life Cycle Costing – LCC). Environmental and cost assessment are divided into five working packages:
- Basic system and method-related definitions
- Data generation
- LCA and LCC calculations and weak point analyses
- Technology comparison and eco-efficiency assessment
An important feature of the project is the close cooperation within the consortium. Model development and data generation are carried out in cooperation with the project partners and basic processes are mostly described by data collected within the project. Where possible, results from preliminary projects are used for the construction of HRS. The work packages are updated during the project according to the current status of the engineering work.