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Hydrogen is an interesting alternative fuel for transportation due to its high energy density and environmental sustainability, and it plays a critical part in the global transition to sustainable energies.

The global market for hydrogen as a fuel is expanding rapidly, necessitating new solutions to meet the high volume requirements and make hydrogen a competitive fuel compared to alternatives.

Burckhardt Compression was one of the finalists chosen by Shell New Energies to collaborate on the development of a non-lubricated high-pressure hydrogen compressor. Burckhardt Compression is constructing a new test facility in Winterthur, Switzerland, as part of this project. The facility will be dedicated to the enhancement of sealing technologies and solutions for hydrogen filling stations for heavy-duty vehicles. These technologies from Burckhardt Compression will enable the compression of hydrogen gas up to 900 bar (as booster) using non-lubricated compressor designs for both export and refueling applications. The piston compressors were chosen due to their great reliability, low total cost of ownership, and capability of compressing large volumes of hydrogen in a single compressor. These huge volumes are necessary for the construction of heavy-duty fuel stations and the servicing of the growing fleet of hydrogen-fueled trucks.

The test facility is scheduled to open in late 2022 or early 2023 and will conduct testing through the end of that year. The solutions developed in collaboration with Shell New Energies will benefit not just the hydrogen refueling business, but also the broader hydrogen energy and mobility industry.

Burckhardt Compression’s extensive H2 compressor portfolio includes low-flow diaphragm compressors and high-flow oil-free high-pressure piston compressors. These compression solutions were developed expressly to fulfill the needs of various H2 applications, including trailer filling and fuel stations. Furthermore, Burckhardt Compression’s aftermarket and service capabilities are backed up by a global network of service hubs.

Nedim Husomanovic

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