The need for renewable energy sources is greater today than ever before. And it will continue to grow in the future. Hydrogen is becoming the crucial key element on the way to gradually replacing fossil fuels and their CO2 emissions completely. The large-scale use of green hydrogen as a climate-neutral energy source, its production using renewable energy, its storage and its transport are essential prerequisites for achieving the vital national and global climate goals. This also creates enormous growth potential for the hydrogen economy.

The possible applications of hydrogen are broad and comprehensive: hydrogen is suitable as a raw material for industry, as a synthetic energy source or as a sustainable fuel for fuel cells (here you can find a graphic of how green hydrogen is produced as a sustainable fuel for fuel cells). It will play a crucial role in the decarbonisation of industry, in zero-emission mobility and in the generation of heat. For example, experts such as the global business initiative Hydrogen Council estimate that the share of climate-neutral hydrogen in final energy demand will grow from around 2 percent today to almost 20 percent within the next five years. The global market potential for the hydrogen economy is expected to exceed EUR 100 billion annually by the end of this decade. EUR 30 billion of this will be accounted for by pure value creation alone.

Rheinmetall is part of this value chain and a driver of this value creation. Hydrogen is an important element of our strategy. We deal with mobile as well as stationary applications of hydrogen technology. In addition to the safe production and distribution of hydrogen and data security for hydrogen infrastructure, the focus of our commitment will also be on the fuel cell system itself.

Today, Rheinmetall already has technologies and products that will be required in the evolution of the energy of the future: the spectrum ranges from renewable power generation and the production of hydrogen to its storage, its distribution and its use.

"The Green Road" to hydrogen usage

Note: Clicking on the Rheinmetall icons provides lists of Rheinmetall technologies and products that already support hydrogen use today.

Renewable power generation

  • Slide bearing
  • AC/DC inverter

Hydrogen production

  • Bi-polar plates
  • H2 control valves
  • Water separator valves
  • Circulation pumps

H2 transport and storage

  • H2 control valves
  • Volume/mass measurement
  • Conditioning system

H2 usage

  • Coolant pumps/valves
  • Anode recirculation fan
  • Gas/hydrogen control valve
  • Air supply (fan/compressor)
  • Bi-polar plates
  • High-pressure H2 control valve (tank side)
  • H2 sensor
  • Electric drives

Rheinmetall's product range for hydrogen utilisation

Rheinmetall's expertise already plays a key role.

And this is no coincidence: because our developers have been working on products for the fuel cell for over 20 years. We are a development partner for our customers and are now successful on the market with innovative products.

One example where rapid developments are required is in road freight transport. With 47 million tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, this alone causes a third of all transport emissions in Germany. The European Union (EU) has called for a 55 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, experts consider hydrogen propulsion via fuel cells in trucks and buses to be an absolute necessity. Their demand: 100,000 hydrogen trucks in Germany and 1,500 hydrogen filling stations by 2030.

Germany wants to take a leading role in hydrogen technology both in Europe and globally. That is why The National Hydrogen Strategy has been set out as well as the associated technology promotion programmes for hydrogen as a flexible and environmentally-friendly energy source of the future. By 2030, the German government will provide over EUR 12 billion in start-up funding for further research and development of this technology.

Since September 2021, Rheinmetall has also been part of the "Wasserstoff- und Brennstoffzelleninitiative" (hydrogen and fuel cell initiative), which is supported financially by the German government and the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia. Rheinmetall is an industrial partner in the research and development consortium of the "Zentrum für Brennstoffzellen Technik" (the hydrogen and fuel cell center) in Duisburg, which has been selected as one of four "Innovations- und Technologiezentren für Wasserstofftechnologie" (innovation and technology centres for hydrogen technology funded in Germany.

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FORZE VIII – Student team teaches fuel cell to race


Similar to the "Pink Panther" from the crime comedies by Blake Edwards, the Forze racing car built by students at Delft University is in fact a real treasure: namely, currently the world's only Le Mans-style fuel cell racing car with a monocoque homologated by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA).

The young racing team receives support from several sponsors. In some cases, it is enough to provide urgently needed but expensive components, as Rheinmetall does with its electric pumps.

Heartbeat 1/2021
Download (.pdf, 8.35 MB)

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