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The new generation of hydrogen storage tanks: lighter and more compact. Innovative design of liquid hydrogen tanks enables better integration into vehicles

BMW Group Forschung und Technik, the company's research and technology arm, has been working with other car manufacturers to achieve an important step forward in hydrogen storage. Teaming up with partners, including some from the European aerospace industry, the engineers have developed a novel type of tank made of composite material for storing liquid hydrogen.

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Chris Overall
BMW Group

Munich. BMW Group Forschung und Technik, the company's research and technology
arm, has been working with other car manufacturers to achieve an important step
forward in hydrogen storage. Teaming up with partners, including some from the
European aerospace industry, the engineers have developed a novel type of tank
made of composite material for storing liquid hydrogen.

Thanks to its innovative concept, the weight of the entire tank system can be
reduced to a third compared with conventional cylindrical steel tanks. Its
adaptable form lends it a high degree of flexibility, allowing for significant
energy savings. The subsidiary systems, moreover, are integrated inside the
tank's casing, which means the tank takes up less room in the car and
maintenance is also made much easier. The inner tank is designed on a modular
basis, simplifying the production process in comparison with existing hydrogen
tanks.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raymond Freymann, Director of BMW Group Forschung und Technik:
"The demonstration model of the new free-form tank being presented marks an
important step forward into the hydrogen future. Filled with ten kilograms of
hydrogen, it could allow a range well in excess of 500 kilometres in a future
vehicle."

BMW Group Forschung und Technik is presenting the prototype of this innovative
liquid hydrogen storage tank at the final event of the "StorHy" EU project in
Poissy near Paris on 3 and 4 June 2008. In the past four and a half years BMW
Group Forschung und Technik, along with 34 partners from the European aerospace
industry, the automotive and supply industry, and leading universities and
research institutes, has been investigating ways of advancing current hydrogen
storage technologies (high-pressure, liquid and solid storage). The cost of the
project was 18.7 million euros, with EU funding to the sum of 10.7 million
euros.

BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of BMW AG and has been
responsible for research within the BMW Group since 2003. Its subject areas
cover VehicleTechnology, CleanEnergy (hydrogen technology), EfficientDynamics
(intelligent energy management/alternative drive systems), ConnectedDrive
(driver assistance/active safety) and ITDrive (IT and communications
technology). Its legal independence as a limited company guarantees creative
freedom and maximum flexibility. Global access to new trends and technologies
is ensured by an internationally established network with branches in the USA
(Palo Alto, CA and Clemson, SC), Japan (Tokyo) as well as liaison offices in
France with Eurécom (Sophia Antipolis) and in Germany (Saarbrücken) with the
German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH).

The StorHy consortium:
ADETE - Advanced Engineering & Technologies GmbH
AIR LIQUIDE Deutschland GmbH
Air Liquide S. A.
Austrian Aerospace GmbH
BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung
CENTRE NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
COMAT COMPOSITE MATERIALS GmbH
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
Daimler AG
Dynetek Europe GmbH
ET- Energie Technologie Gesellschaft für innovative Energie und
Wasserstofftechnologie mbH
European Commission - Directorate General Joint Research Centre
Faber Industrie Spa
FORD FORSCHUNGSZENTRUM AACHEN GMBH
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
Fundación para la Investigación y el Desarrollo en Automoción CIDAUT
GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH
Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
Institute for Energy Technology
Institute for Protection Systems - Prochain e.V. at the University of Applied
Sciences Ingolstadt
INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE TÉCNICA AEROESPACIAL INTA
Linde Aktiengesellschaft
MAGNA STEYR Fahrzeugtechik AG & Co KG
MATERIAL S.A.
MT Aerospace AG, Augsburg
National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos
Oeko-Institut e.V.
Oerlikon Space AG
Peugeot Citroën Automobiles
The University of Nottingham
Volvo Technology Corporation
WEH GmbH
Wroclaw University of Technology

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