Graphic about the projects of the Future cluster Copyright: © Clusters4Future

The Vision

The Hydrogen Clusters4Future, pursues the vision of an international, hydrogen-based energy economy in which predominantly renewable energies are used to meet the energy needs of different sectors, using hydrogen-based materials for chemical energy storage and as fuel. Carbon-free and -neutral cycles are to avoid CO2 emissions and thus progressive global warming. Germany is to assume the role of pioneer and technology/market leader in this international hydrogen economy: "Hydrogen technologies made in Germany" is to stand for outstanding, innovative cutting-edge technologies of German engineering worldwide.

To achieve this vision, the Hydrogen Clusters4Future plans to consider the entire value chain or life cycle of hydrogen as an energy carrier: from production to storage and distribution to utilization. This should make it possible to further develop hydrogen technologies in a targeted manner, taking into account the interfaces to the upstream and downstream steps in the hydrogen life cycle. Regional and supra-regional players from industry, science and society are to be networked in joint projects and use their combined expertise to transfer hydrogen technologies from research and development to application. In the long term, the region of the Hydrogen Clusters4Future is to develop into the "Innovation Valley of hydrogen technologies", which is characterized by a strong network of actors, technological progress, rapid development and production processes, a high degree of innovation, diversification, a high number of new and spin-off companies (start-ups and SMEs), an outstanding infrastructure, excellent training and further education opportunities and secure jobs.


The Basis

The basis for the vision of the Hydrogen Clusters4Future is excellent fundamental research results from the fields of electrolysis, additive manufacturing, materials and carriers as well as hydrogen combustion engines and fuel cells, among others. The aim is to consider hydrogen technologies from all areas of the value chain and to use the research results as a basis for sustainable innovation thrusts.

In the field of electrolysis, various research and development projects have been successfully completed to date. These range from fundamental work on reaction and degradation mechanisms to stack and system development approaches. At the "stack level", the influence of power scaling from laboratory scale up to 0.4 MW is investigated. Ongoing research into electrode manufacture and analysis of operating behavior has enabled concepts to be developed for reducing degradation.

Solutions are being developed for efficient storage and distribution of the hydrogen produced, from the gaseous, pure state to auxiliary carriers and admixtures. Expertise in additive manufacturing, research into suitable materials and carriers, and concepts for effective purification offer new solutions in the field of large-volume and mobile storage technologies.

In the field of hydrogen utilization, research and development activities in the areas of hydrogen combustion engines and fuel cells in particular form a significant basis for the Hydrogen Clusters4Future: extensive knowledge of both conventional and hybrid powertrains is complemented by innovative work on hydrogen combustion engines. In the field of fuel cells, significant results have been achieved in the areas of modeling and simulation as well as testing and vehicle integration. Of particular note is the development of a fuel cell stack in which the relevant system components are integrated in the end plates. The extensive findings on the interactions of the system components with each other and with the stack also form a relevant basis - especially for optimizations of the operating strategy.

For more information, visit the Clusters4Future website.