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Robot-Powered Reliability Testing at NREL's ESIF Video Text Version

Below is the text version for the Robot-Powered Reliability Testing at NREL's ESIF video.

[Text on screen] Robot-Powered Reliability Testing at NREL's ESIF: Toward a Robust Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure

Kevin Harrison: Auto manufacturers are planning on releasing fuel cell electric vehicles in showrooms so people like us can buy them in the years 2015 to 2017.

Because the rollout is coming in the next couple years, really the focus on infrastructure is key.

Here at NREL, we've always looked at reliability.

Some of the work we're doing is not only analyzing appropriate locations for fueling stations but also doing infrastructure testing.

One of the key issues surrounding refueling, of course, is where the customer comes in contact with the refueling equipment, and that's where the hose and the nozzle assembly come into play.

So the idea behind the robot in the hose reliability testing research project is to perform the repetitive motion, the bending and twisting that people do when we refuel our vehicles.

It's all programmable, and it's all automated.

We're also pressurizing the hose and exposing the hose to low temperatures, which is required for refueling fuel cell electric vehicles quickly.

So right now, the test plan for this hose reliability project includes repetitive cycling to high pressure, low temperature, and the bending and twisting of a normal refueling action, but in addition to those obvious things you might test for a hose, we're performing some analysis on the hose material itself to see how the hose material degrades over time.

We speak to industry all the time, and what we've heard is that they're replacing these hydrogen hoses perhaps as often as after 100 refuelings.

The hoses we used today to refuel our gasoline cars are used thousands of times.

So here at the Energy Systems Integration Facility, partnering with industry is very important.

Working with the only hose manufacturer in the world, they're very interested in the testing.

They've done the certification testing for pressure and temperature, but they have not done the bending, twisting motion that we have programmed the robot to do today.

So this hose reliability testing project is a matter of adding value, and working with industry to reduce the costs of the hose and the hydrogen, and the hydrogen infrastructure in general.

We have everything here in this facility, and it really allows industry to come in and perform testing that they will not be able to do anywhere else in the world.