We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The High Pressure Gas Testing Facility (GASTEF), located at the JRC's Petten site (the Netherlands) is one of the few facilities in Europe conducting research on on-board compressed gas storage systems.
The GASTEF facility is designed to perform tests on high pressure tanks for hydrogen (H2) or natural gas (CH4) storage according to the procedures prescribed by current type approval regulations.
Storage of gases under pressure, including hydrogen, is a rather well-known technique. However, there are several challenges related to the use of hydrogen in vehicles, as it is stored at pressures as high as 70 MPa.
Since 2011, commercial hydrogen vehicle tanks have been subjected in the GASTEF to hydrogen filling-emptying cycles to investigate their long-term mechanical and thermal behaviour and their safety performance with emphasis in:
These tests simulate the service conditions that a tank of a typical hydrogen vehicle experiences during its operative life: a quick filling at the hydrogen refuelling station, an idle or parking period and a slow emptying due to hydrogen consumption during driving; all these repeated thousands of times for the vehicle lifetime.
GASTEF is designed to perform these tests according to the European Regulation EU 406/2010 on type-approval of hydrogen vehicles and by other international regulations and standards such as UN Regulation No. 134 or ISO and SAE standards.