Robot-Powered Reliability Testing for Hydrogen Car Fueling Hoses

Auto manufacturers are expected to roll out fuel cell electric vehicles between 2015 and 2017, so the need for a reliable hydrogen fueling infrastructure is greater than ever. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is using a robot in its Energy Systems Integration Facility to evaluate the durability of hydrogen fueling hoses, a largely untested – and currently expensive – part of hydrogen fueling stations. The automated machine mimics the repetitive stress of a human bending and twisting the hose to refuel a vehicle, all under the high pressure and low temperature required to deliver hydrogen to a fuel cell vehicle's onboard storage tank.