Haskel Europe officially opened Europe’s first facility dedicated to the testing of components and systems for the emerging hydrogen (H2) economy this morning.

The facility, at Haskel Europe’s European headquarters in Sunderland, UK, will, for the first time, enable the company to offer suppliers and customers the benefit of real life simulation at extremely high pressures to develop products before releasing them for sale.

The facility opens in response to a growing awareness of the environmental impact of traditional hydrocarbon fuels and the importance of H2 as a zero-emission energy source in any future energy mix.

Increasing the use of H2 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’s – a collective of automotive and energy firms – study Hydrogen, Scaling Up, published in November 2017.

In the UK, meanwhile, it is predicted that H2 fuel cell vehicles could account for half of all cars on British roads by 2050.

Haskel Europe has made a significant investment in its new H2 testing facility, and it has been supported by Sunderland City Council’s business investment team. The new centre can be used to test a single part through to fully integrated refuelling system. Previously, testing of H2 components in Europe was only possible on a small scale, in laboratory conditions. Haskel will shortly commission an SAE J2601 fuelling facility at its Sunderland plant complementing its testing capabilities.

Stewart Anderson, Haskel Europe’s H2 Engineering Manager, believes the facility will have worldwide appeal as the push to adopt H2 increases.

He said, “Our new facility represents a major step forward, giving companies everything they need to test their technology and components to the absolute limit.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added, “This is an important H2 facility for the sector worldwide, and I’m delighted that Haskel’s Sunderland HQ has taken the initiative to build it. We worked closely with Haskel to help to put in place the resources it needed, and it’s rewarding to hear that these are leading to further contracts as a result and strengthening Haskel’s position as a global leader in its field.”

Darran Heath, Global H2 General Manager at Haskel Europe, added, “Being able to test H2 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.”

About Haskel Europe

Haskel Europe has been supplying gas boosters designed specifically to work with pressurised H2 gas for almost 70 years. It also develops systems which safely handle other gases and liquids for clients in the oil, gas, energy and defence sectors.

Established in Sunderland in 1950 Haskel is a world leader in high pressure products, exporting 55 per cent of its systems. It employs 62 staff in Sunderland and has offices across the world. The company is part of Accudyne Industries, a global provider of flow control systems and industrial compressors headquartered in Dallas, Texas.