The R&D partnership in the field of cryo-tank systems for liquid hydrogen-powered trucks between Daimler Truck and the Salzburg-based Aluminium Group is entering the next phase. The first LH2 storage system for fuel cell trucks developed by Austrian engineers is undergoing intensive testing on the Daimler Truck test track. Advantages of the SAG system: compact design, large filling volume, technical reliability and long range.
There is no longer any doubt that green hydrogen will be a key to CO2-neutral mobility in the future. Especially in liquid form, hydrogen (LH2) is a very efficient energy carrier with a high energy density. This makes it possible to fill up more tanks and thus increase the range of vehicles. Johannes Winklhofer, Head of R&D at SAG about the advantages of the inhouse developed cryo tank system for LH2: "Only with liquid hydrogen can we achieve a similar performance as with conventional diesel trucks, namely 1,000 kilometres and more.
This is the only way to ensure practical suitability, especially in heavy long-distance transport. Our cooperation with Daimler is running very successfully and we are already very excited about the results of the operations on the Daimler Truck test track." The space-optimised LH2 tank system developed by SAG enables a high transport volume. The double-walled, vacuum-insulated stainless steel tank ensures that the temperature of the hydrogen remains constantly low at minus 253 degrees Celsius. A special valve system designed for this extremely low temperature ensures a reliable supply of hydrogen to the fuel cell.
Karin Exner-Wöhrer, CEO of the Salzburg Aluminium Group, on the development partnership with Daimler Truck: "We have been developing cryogenic tanks for LNG for more than ten years and thus we have been able to design and prototype a complete tank system for LH2 in a comparatively short time as a development partner for Daimler Truck. We are convinced that liquid hydrogen is a game changer in climate-neutral mobility and we are very pleased that the practical tests are going very well. We are taking a big step forward in CO2 reduction in transport with this development."
More range with liquid hydrogen
Hydrogen - when produced via electrolysis using green electricity - is a CO2-neutral alternative to diesel fuel. When hydrogen and oxygen are converted into electrical energy by means of a fuel cell, only water and heat are produced as "by-products". Since only a relatively short range can be achieved in HGV traffic with compressed gaseous hydrogen, more and more OEMs are relying on liquid hydrogen, so that the cryo-tank system developed by SAG represents a real innovation "made in Austria" for the world market.
SAG: Global player with a local footprint in nine countries and at 11 locations
The Salzburger Aluminium Group is an Austrian family owned business with 1100 employees worldwide at 11 locations in Europe, Mexico, the USA and Canada. The headquarters of the company, which goes back to Salzburger Aluminium founded in 1898, is in Lend/Salzburg. Other SAG locations in Austria are Schwarzach/Pongau and Vienna. SAG has subsidiaries in France, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Spain, Mexico, the USA and Canada. As the market leader for aluminium tanks for trucks, SAG is a global supplier to many well-known OEMs. Other products include lightweight components, air reservoirs, compressed air tanks and special components for the commercial vehicle, railway and special vehicle industries.
The company is the technology leader in the field of cryo tank systems for LNG & LH2 (liquid natural gas & liquid hydrogen) and is a pioneer in the field of rheocasting (special casting process for aluminium components). The export ratio is over 90 per cent. The turnover of the entire group of companies was around EUR 220 million in 2021.
As part of the GreenTech Awards 2020/21, SAG was awarded a special prize as "Leading Innovator". This was prompted by the company's numerous patents for innovations that make a significant contribution to climate protection.