UK factory opens Europe’s biggest test centre for next generation fuel systems

Haskel Europe has made a ‘significant’ investment in response to a growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional hydrocarbon fuels and the growing importance of hydrogen as a zero-emission energy source in the future.

The facility will let the firm offer suppliers and customers the benefit of real-life simulation at extremely high pressures to develop products for sale. The new centre can be used to test anything from a single part through to fully integrated refuelling system. Previously, European testing was only possible on a small scale, in laboratory conditions.

Increasing the use of hydrogen could deliver a fifth of the Green House Gas emission cuts needed by 2050 to limit the impacts of climate change, according to the Hydrogen Council – a collective of automotive and energy firms.In the UK, it is predicted hydrogen fuel cell vehicles could account for half of all cars on British roads by 2050.

Stewart Anderson, Haskel Europe’s Hydrogen Engineering Manager, believes the facility will have worldwide appeal as the push to adopt hydrogen increases: “Our new facility represents a major step forward, giving companies everything they need to test their technology and components to the absolute limit,” he said.Sunderland City Council leader Coun Graeme Miller said: “This is an important hydrogen facility for the sector worldwide, and I’m delighted Haskel’s Sunderland HQ has taken the initiative to build it.

Darran Heath, Global Hydrogen General Manager at Haskel Europe, added: “Being able to test hydrogen products and systems in a working environment is essential if this emerging, clean fuel source is to live up to its huge potential.“We are already talking to a number of car manufacturers and other stakeholders and plan to play an important role in further advancing this exciting field.”