The hydrogen and
fuel cell center


The ZBT conducts research on components and concepts for hydrogen refueling stations.
Hydrogen filling station at the ZBT hydrogen test field

For the market introduction of fuel cell-based mobility, efficient and cost-effective refueling technologies for passenger cars, commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, trains, etc. must be developed. The Hydrogen Infrastructure department of the ZBT focuses on the targeted development and qualification of components and concepts for hydrogen refueling stations (HRS). One focus is on refueling protocols.

A systemic approach is always taken to these activities, i.e. the effects on the overall system are always considered. Consequently, components and concepts are also developed and qualified in the adjacent areas of distribution and tank systems. For these activities, a hydrogen test station is available at the ZBT as part of the hydrogen test field. This is not a commercial filling station, which enables the development, testing and operation of components and concepts under real conditions.

The R&D work is flanked by modeling and simulations of filling systems, HRS, HRS components and refueling. On the basis of these models, new HRSs can be designed in a load-dependent optimized manner and existing plants can be optimized in their operation.

As part of numerous national and international R&D projects and customer orders, heavy-duty tank systems and filling station components were investigated and the development of HD refueling protocols was supported by tests on fully instrumented individual accumulators at 350, 500 and 700 bar.


  •  Development and qualification of

    • Tanks/tank systems
    • sensors
    • Pre-cooling
    • Compressors
    • Refueling components and assemblies
    • refueling protocols
    • HRS concepts

  • Inspection of

    • refueling protocols and
    • refueling systems

  • Consulting on

    • HRS and H2 plant planning
    • process planning and control
    • safety concepts
    • Approval and certification


Specifications test refueling station

  • Hydrogen capacity:

    • 500 kg H2 (stored at 200, 500 and 900 bar)
    • another 150 kg (at 1000 bar) planned

  • Pre-cooling:

    • - 40 °C to ambient temperature (solid and plate heat exchanger)
    • - 40 °C bis +40 °C planned

  • Refueling:

    • 70 MPa Light Duty
    • 35 MPa Heavy Duty
    • 70 MPA Heavy Duty planned

  • Mass flows:

    • up to 120 g/s
    • up to 300 g/s planned

  • Refueling protocols:

    • SAE J2601 (2020)
    • Table based und MC form
    • PRHYDE
    • "freely" configurable

  • Max. Tank system size: several m3
  • Available FCEV tanks: fully instrumented 35, 50 & 70 MPa tanks
  • PLC: flexible and safety-related control and data acquisition
  • Test room: component development and testing



H2TestOpt (2017-2020, BMWK)

Development, construction and operation of a test filling station with different storage tanks, different pre-cooling methods and two dispensers with 350/500 and 700 bar for refueling at mass flows of up to 120 g/s at the hydrogen test field of the ZBT
learn more about H2TestOpt

MobFuelH2 (2017-2020, NRW EFRE)

Development, design and construction of a mobile refueling system, in-depth understanding and know-how of, among other things, refueling station concepts, interfaces, actuator technology, sensor technology as well as pre-cooling.
learn more about MobFuelH2

MobFuel 2 (2022-2024, NRW EFRE)

Development of a mobile hydrogen filling unit that can be used to supply decentralised hydrogen users such as emergency power generators, engineering, certification and development of operating concepts.

PRHYDE (2020-2022, EU H2020)

Development of the basis for heavy-duty refueling protocols, experimental validation of the 35, 50, and 70 MPa refueling models and the developed protocols.
learn more about PRHYDE

HRS-Modell (2021-2024, BMWK AiF IGF)

Construction of models of individual filling station components as well as a complete hydrogen filling station and their validation at the test filling station together with the Chair of Energy Technology at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
learn more about HRS model

RHeaDHy (2023-2026, EU)

As part of an international consortium, the dispenser components for 700 bar Heavy Duty HRS are being developed and, among other things, assembled and tested as a complete system at ZBT.
learn more about RHeaDHy

InnoKomp (2023-2025, NRW)

Together with Theisen, an electrochemical compressor system based on HyET Hydrogen Stack technology is being developed, built and tested at mehr über InnoKomp.
learn more about InnoKomp



Last update:  28.11.2023