Idro Meccanica has been awarded the phase 1 of the SME Istrument: SMEInst-10-2016-2017 – Small business innovation research for Transport and Smart Cities Mobility
The following is a short description of our activities:
Hydrogen mobility is today the only reliable alternative to electric vehicles since it does not suffer the limits in autonomy and charging time affecting electric vehicles, opening promising perspective to decarbonise the transport mass-market.
A widespread geographic coverage of the refuelling infrastructure is an unavoidable step to boost the hydrogen mobility, but the main bottleneck in the realization of this target is currently the high cost of refuelling stations. New cost-effective technologies for development of small-medium refuelling stations are eagerly demanded to give the initiative the proper initial sustainability.
HYDRUS aims towards this direction, providing a breakthrough high-performance compressor and a flexible and modular architecture for the refuelling station enabling
– to limit the initial costs of investments;
– to scale the size of the infrastructure by later addition of new modules;
– to increase the resilience, reliability and security of the refuelling infrastructure, by significantly reducing the size (or potentially avoid) of the high-pressure storage.
The core of HYDRUS proposal is a “Hydraulic driven intensifier” booster, allowing
– Compression capacity above 90 MPa for 70 MPa vehicle refuelling;
– High flow rate (200-600 Nm3/h) during refilling of vehicles to fulfil the customers’ expectations of fuelling time in 3-5 minutes.
Our vision is to introduce a disruptive refuelling technology to make infrastructures more sustainable, safe and adaptable to evolving needs of H2 mobility.
The present feasibility study addressed the following objective:
1) To define the specification for the industrialization of the innovative HYDRUS hydraulic booster.
2) To plan the demonstration activities to validate the new HYDRUS refuelling infrastructure.
3) To assess the potential target market, to achieve a sound and successful market exploitation.
The Feasibility Study pointed out that the industrialization of the HYDRUS Booster, which was further improved during the study, and of the HYDRUS H2 refuelling station architecture is compliant with the technical and economic targets.
For each risk come to light during the risk analysis, a contingency measure was identified.
The layout of the HYDRUS Booster and of the HYDRUS demonstration H2 refuelling station was defined, as well as the key partners and technology suppliers involved in the project implementation. Based on the defined layout and the scouting activity of the technology providers, the plan of investments necessary to realize a the industrialization and demonstration activities was outlined, together with direct costs associated with HYDRUS Booster manufacturing.
The market analysis of the European Hydrogen mobility plans/forecast allowed identifying the most attractive EU regions for the construction of the demonstrative H2 refuelling stations.
According to the envisaged evolution of the market and of the collaboration perspectives identified with potential partners, different business strategies were foreseen for the commercial exploitation of the HYDRUS technology. Sales and revenues forecasts were performed, determining the break-even point of the initiative.
Finally, the IPR and knowledge protection strategy of the project’s results was defined, leading to the perspective to filing a patent for the HYDRUS technology.
The feasibility study outcomes demonstrate high potential of the HYDRUS project both in terms of company competitiveness and growth, justifying the project prosecution.
The HYDRUS technology will acquire a significant market share by offering a disruptive enabling technology for hydrogen mobility, because it will ensure:
– An innovative high-pressure, cost-effective hydrogen hydraulic booster for light-duty FCEV refuelling to meet the need to develop small-medium highly distributed H2 refuelling stations.
– A new H2 refuelling station architecture paradigm, characterized by: i) high modularity and scalability; ii) good sustainability in terms of infrastructure investments, operating and maintenance costs.
HYDRUS represents to opportunity for Idro Meccanica to acquire a leading position in the market of compression technologies for hydrogen refuelling of light-duty vehicles. The expected impact for the SME will be a significant increase of the annual turnover, coupled with a very important expansion of volumes and economic activities towards international (European and North American) area.
In this landscape, the envisaged two pilot H2 Refuellling Station installations represent:
– a strategic tool to overcome the project “seed stage” and implement the “project-to-project stage”, in which the technical performances and the advantages in the relation to state-of-the-art might be demonstrated and measured.
– A commercial leverage to attract partners/investors interested in the exploitation of the HYDRUS technology through specific partnerships, and to make potential customers and reference stakeholders aware of the benefits associated with HYDRUS technology.
“This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 761676”.