Airbus is establishing a ZEROe development center in Stade, Germany, focusing on composite materials for hydrogen systems such as liquid hydrogen tanks.
Typically, under the STOHYC (Stockage d’Hydrogène Cryogénique) demonstration program, the technology readiness level (TRL) for a metallic liquid hydrogen tank was brought to TRL 4. A higher TRL, usually TRL 6, is required before considering the launch of a product development. One of the program’s partners, Aresia, is a specialist in conventional metallic tanks and sees lighter-weight composites as an option for the longer term.
A focus of ZEDC Stade will be the development of cost-effective lightweight hydrogen systems (e.g. cryogenic hydrogen tanks) using carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. The work will include part design and manufacturing, as well as testing assembly methods. Engineers in Stade will cooperate with their colleagues at other Airbus locations, such as the ZEDCs in Bremen, Filton (UK), Madrid, and Nantes.