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Novel hybrid fuel cell system reliably sealed

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With the help of VOSS Lok 40: AE Driven Solutions drives hydrogen innovation forward

Startup AE Driven Solutions has developed an ambient fuel cell system based on the range extender principle. It facilitates emission-free operation over a distance of up to 400 km. Inside, high-density tube connection systems ensure the transport or supply of the gaseous hydrogen. To reliably ensure zero leakage, the Aachen-based company uses the VOSS Lok 40 tube forming system from VOSS Fluid.

AE Driven Solutions GmbH is based in Aachen and designs fuel cell systems for commercial vehicle and freight transport companies. Decades of experience with fuel cells, H2 infrastructures, and compressor technology, as well as proven expertise in the field of electromobility, aid the team led by founder and CEO Tobias Reil. Under the project name H2Range, the startup is developing fuel cell systems according to automotive standards. The system overcomes the conventional weaknesses of battery and combustion engines and is particularly suitable for medium-heavy commercial vehicles or mobile as well as stationary emergency power units. In addition, the concept allows CO2-neutral operation of refrigerated vehicles, which is virtually impossible with battery power.

Nevertheless, this fuel cell system poses some challenges, primarily the leakage-free transport of the volatile and easily combustible H2 molecules and the prevention of hydrogen embrittlement. Compared to the leakage of oil, for example, gas leaks may not be detected until a hazardous situation has already occurred. That is why avoiding even small leakage quantities is essential. This is where the VOSS Lok 40 tube forming system comes into play.

Tightness is the top priority

When looking for a highly leak-proof connection system for the H2Range, AE Driven Solutions GmbH chose VOSS Lok 40 from VOSS Fluid because it could meet even the most sensitive requirements. The crux in the application of hydrogen: H2 is the smallest molecule and especially in the field of high-pressure applications challenging in terms of leakage protection. VOSS Fluid has designed its high-density VOSS Lok 40 tube forming system for precisely for such applications - universally applicable for any pressure level. The high tightness is based on a total of three components: a cone-shaped sealing and retaining contour that is formed onto the tube end, a silver-plated union nut as standard in the stainless steel version, and a screw fitting body. The parts are matched to each other precisely so that the firm tightening of the nut presses the sealing surfaces together without gaps for optimum leakage protection. So it scores as a closed system with maximum process reliability, torque assembly with a shortened assembly distance and the elimination of components to reduce possible leakage paths and costs. The corresponding proof of quality was provided by manufacturer VOSS Fluid through certification tests by EC79, TÜV Rheinland, DVGW (Deutscher Verein des Gas- und Wasserfaches e.V.) and the international shipbuilding classification society DNV-GL.

In combination with VOSS Lok 40, the fuel cell system from AE Driven Solutions skillfully overcomes the problems of the established propulsion types and offers an ambient system with the advantages of two worlds. In numerous field tests, H2Range has demonstrated its capabilities, so that the first vehicle prototype based on an IVECO Daily with the innovative fuel cell system from AE Driven Solutions is expected to be available as early as 2022.