Innovative Hybrid Compression Solution for Hydrogen Refueling Stations

On the second of February 2021, COSMHYC DEMO project held its official Kick-Off meeting. COSMHYC DEMO (COmbined Solution of Metal HYdride and mechanical Compressors: DEmonstration in the Hysoparc green H2 MObility) project is the third project of the FCH JU funded COSMHYC project series and is coordinated by EIFER. The 3-year project with a budget of 3.7 M€ will demonstrate an innovative hybrid compression solution for hydrogen refueling stations (HRS).

The COSMHYC Compression Solution – ready for real-life validation

The COSMHYC compressor combines the advantages of mechanical and metal hydride compression technologies, increasing the energy efficiency, whilst lowering maintenance costs and noise levels. COSMHYC DEMO is the third project of the COSMHYC series. In the projects COSMHYC (start 2017) and COSMHYC XL (start 2019), the consortium first developed and tested the compression concept, then scaled it up for heavy duty applications, enabling higher flow rates and daily capacities. Now, in the third project, the system is brought to action in an HRS servicing a fleet of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) and compressing up to 200kg of hydrogen per day. Being a dual-pressure HRS, servicing 350 bar (e.g. utility vehicles, busses) as well as 700 bar (e.g. passenger cars) vehicles, the compression solution’s flexibility will be showcased.

Picture: COSMHYC DEMO hybrid compression concept

Importance of effective HRS compression

Hydrogen mobility is gaining unprecedented momentum. Although the number of HRS is increasing, the development of an effective and comprehensive refuelling infrastructure remains a major challenge for the deployment of FCEVs. The compressor is the most challenging component in an HRS in terms of costs and reliability. The COSMHYC series is addressing this need with its innovative solution. COSMHYC DEMO will make the last step by demonstrating the compressor’s maturity for commercial application.

EIFER’s role in the project

EIFER is the coordinator of the COSMHYC DEMO project and is also leader of work package 6, in which a detailed techno-economic analysis will be performed. For this, a monitoring system will be installed at the HRS to collect the necessary data from the different components. This data will be transferred to EIFER for evaluation, as well as for real-time supervision of the conditions on site.
Furthermore, EIFER will contribute its technical expertise by investigating the hybridization of the two compressors and dimensioning the mid-pressure intermediary storage. A filling center, able to fill bottles/trailers with hydrogen from the compressor, will also be designed, manufactured and tested by EIFER for installation in the HRS. This will support the development of hydrogen infrastructure in the region, and increase the utilization rate of the metal-hydride compressor thanks to higher hydrogen demand.

From concept to reality with joined efforts

COSMHYC DEMO is run by a European consortium of leading research institutions, industry players and the local authority district of the future HRS site. The European Institute for Energy Research (EIFER) coordinates the project and assesses the techno economic performance of the hybrid compressor. The components will be manufactured and integrated into the HRS by the industrial partners: The French SMEs MAHYTEC and EIFHYTEC develop and manufacture the thermochemical compressor. Paired with the Danish company Nel’s adapted mechanical compressor, the COSMHYC DEMO hybrid solution combines the advantages of both technologies. The Communauté de Communes Touraine Vallée de l’Indre (CCTVI) in the direct vicinity of the city of Tours, an association of 22 French municipalities with 52’000 inhabitants, provides the HRS site in the ISOPARC area and will operate the HRS to refuel their fleet of vehicles, including a 700 bar garbage truck. Long term goals of the project are to foster the uptake of H2 mobility and prepare the market entry of the COSMHYC compressor. To that end, the German technology transfer centre Steinbeis Europa Zentrum (SEZ) completes the project consortium with their expertise.

For more details on the COSMHYC series:


This project has received funding under the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (JU) under grant agreement No 101007173.