Modeling of hydrogen refueling stations

Sustainability including climate change are the challenges of our generation. Our contribution is to offer leading transport and infrastructure solutions enabling societies to prosper in a sustainable way.
Powertrain Strategic Development at Volvo has the responsibility to explore and develop new sustainable propulsion solutions, including hydrogen-based propulsion technologies. While developing the latest technologies and products, we also focus on understanding the infrastructure needs of these futuristic technologies.

Thesis Background

At Volvo, we are committed to the ambitions and climate change goals of the Paris Agreement. From a lifecycle perspective, most of the emissions occur during the use phase of our products. Therefore, our priority is to develop solutions that reduce the carbon emissions from transportation. One such transport solution that we are working on today is Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) for demanding long-haul applications, that is to complement the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), which have a limited range.
These new technologies have many challenges on the operations and infrastructure side. One of the challenges for example is the high cost and complexity of a hydrogen refilling station. The fuel stations can add significantly to the cost of hydrogen. So we want to explore ways in which this can be managed.

Suitable background
  • Master students in relevant field.
  • Interest in modelling and simulations using GT-Suite, Matlab/Simulink, Python, etc..
  • Please submit your CV and motivation letter.
Description of thesis work

The hydrogen refilling station consists of hydrogen storage at different pressure levels, compressors to pump up the pressure, heat exchangers to cool down hydrogen before refilling as well as other equipment such as electrical connections, nozzles, payment terminals, etc. The major driver of cost for these stations is the high pressure storage and compressors. So this study will focus on those components.
Based on how trucks are arriving at the fuel station, the size and complexity of the compressor and hydrogen storage will vary. In this thesis, we will have an assumed pattern of trucks arriving at the fuel station. We will develop models for compressors, storage and other components of the fuel station as necessary. It is preferred to develop these models in GT-Suite.
In our analysis we will check how the components of the fuel station must be sized in order to achieve the lowest cost of refuelling.
As an extended objective of this thesis work, we will try to explore if it is possible to build a parametric model of the fuel station. This simplified model could be build in Python or Matlab and would be such that it can work with other models while simulating a large scale hydrogen infrastructure including different trucks, fuel stations and other hydrogen users.

Objective or Research Question
  • Sizing of components for a hydrogen refuelling station.
  • Optimal cost of hydrogen refuelling.
Deliverables (flexible)
  • Development of hydrogen fuel station model.
  • Analysis of methods to optimize the cost of hydrogen fuel stations.
  • Stretch objective: A simplified parametric model of hydrogen refilling station.
Thesis Level: Master
Language: English
Starting date: Spring 2024
Number of students: 2


Parthav Desai,, +46 739025902

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