The Standard-Sized Heavy-duty hydrogen (StaSHH) initiative will develop an open standard for heavy-duty fuel cells for industries including off-road, rail and maritime.
The EU is providing around 50% of the funding for the €15 million project, which will be coordinated by Norway’s SINTEF.
The open standard will focus on fuel cell size, interfaces, control and test protocols, with a view to kickstarting the use of fuel cells and hydrogen in the heavy-duty mobility sector, where electrification with batteries is impractical.
Multiple modules may be integrated in a system, similar to AA batteries, and this will allow using the same modules for multiple sizes.
The EU notes that the size of the market, and the availability of multiple module suppliers – 11 are taking parting in this project – will create a fair competition environment ‘where OEMs may choose and change vendors, driving down prices and activating a virtuous cycle through economies of scale’.
The project, which will run until December 2023, will also produce prototypes from the participating fuel cell suppliers, which will then be tested by two independent institutes for compliance with the open standards produced by the initiative itself.
In addition to SINTEF, 24 companies are taking part in the StaSHH programme.