Hoerbiger expands hydrogen research center

By Keefe Borden12 May 2022

Hoerbiger executive board opened the high-pressure hydrogen test stand at its Hydrogen Research Center in Vienna. From left to right: CEO Thorsten Kahlert; CEO of the compression division, Wolfgang Sautter; CEO of the automotive division, Thomas Englmann and CFO Olaf Werwitzke.

Hoerbiger recently expanded its hydrogen research center in Vienna in an effort to accelerate the decarbonization of the energy industry.

“Hoerbiger is already intensively researching innovative solutions and new products for the use of high-pressure reciprocating compressors in various applications,” said Markus Digruber, head of innovation and business development compression division. “To facilitate this work, we have expanded our Hydrogen Research Center in Vienna with our own high-pressure hydrogen test stand and put it into operation within just a few months. This addition allows us to evaluate and optimize our products under real conditions.”

With hydrogen, industry can significantly reduce its CO2 emissions and make an important contribution to reducing its ecological footprint,” said Wolfgang Sautter, member of the company’s executive board and CEO of the compression division at Hoerbiger. “At the same time, hydrogen provides an attractive growth market for innovative companies with a high level of solution expertise.”

Sautter sees a “rapid development in the entire industry in the direction of renewable energies”. More and more chemical companies are planning to make greater use of green hydrogen to manufacture their products with lower CO2 emissions. In the transportation sector, a large proportion of commercial vehicles will increasingly require compressed hydrogen, Sautter said.

Compressing hydrogen for these applications is complex and costly. Compression systems must meet clear requirements from customers such as hydrogen filling station operators, who require high reliability and flexibility, but also cost efficiency at initial investment and operation, the company said.

Most hydrogen applications outside refineries, which are currently the dominant field of hydrogen use, require oil-free compression at high pressures of up to about 1,000 bar.

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