Construction of Australia’s first hydrogen R&D facility gets underway

Works have begun on the Hycel Technology Hub, Australia’s first hydrogen fuel cell research and development facility. Construction of the 2200 m2 facility, which is located at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus in Victoria, is expected to be completed in late 2023.

The Hycel Technology Hub will see the development, assembly, testing, and demonstration of hydrogen fuel cells, with a focus on developing fuel cells for heavy vehicles, starting with heavy haulage trucks, and potentially progressing to other larger scale uses including trains or boats.

The project includes the construction of a new 2200 m2 facility with specialised fuel cell assembly and testing equipment and a heavy vehicle integration bay, along with training facilities and a multi-functional space for education and demonstration activities.

The Hycel Technology Hub is co-funded by the Victorian Government, whose contribution supports construction and development of hydrogen and future energy education programs. With the funding, Deakin is creating new hydrogen curriculum for primary and high schools, hydrogen short courses for professional engineers and is also seeking to develop a hydrogen bus training package in collaboration with vocational and industry partners.

The facility will form part of a broader hydrogen precinct on the campus which currently includes the existing Hydrogen Test Beds, where researchers from Deakin’s Institute of Frontier Materials are testing the efficacy of plastic piping to understand if Australia’s gas network can safely transport 100% hydrogen in the future.

Other proposed hydrogen projects within the precinct include a hydrogen boiler demonstration using 100% hydrogen fuel for domestic hot water and hydronic heating, as well as potentially supporting Warrnambool Bus Line’s new hydrogen bus refuelling station and depot as they convert their fleet from diesel to hydrogen fuel cell buses, making it the first public bus deployment of its kind in Australia.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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