Munich. BMW Group Forschung und Technik, the company's research and technology arm, has been working with other car manufacturers to achieve an important step forward in hydrogen storage. Teaming up with partners, including some from the European aerospace industry, the engineers have developed a novel type of tank made of composite material for storing liquid hydrogen.

Thanks to its innovative concept, the weight of the entire tank system can be reduced to a third compared with conventional cylindrical steel tanks. Its adaptable form lends it a high degree of flexibility, allowing for significant energy savings. The subsidiary systems, moreover, are integrated inside the tank's casing, which means the tank takes up less room in the car and maintenance is also made much easier. The inner tank is designed on a modular basis, simplifying the production process in comparison with existing hydrogen tanks.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Raymond Freymann, Director of BMW Group Forschung und Technik: "The demonstration model of the new free-form tank being presented marks an important step forward into the hydrogen future. Filled with ten kilograms of hydrogen, it could allow a range well in excess of 500 kilometres in a future vehicle."

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BMW Group Forschung und Technik is presenting the prototype of this innovative liquid hydrogen storage tank at the final event of the "StorHy" EU project in Poissy near Paris on 3 and 4 June 2008. In the past four and a half years BMW Group Forschung und Technik, along with 34 partners from the European aerospace industry, the automotive and supply industry, and leading universities and research institutes, has been investigating ways of advancing current hydrogen storage technologies (high-pressure, liquid and solid storage). The cost of the project was 18.7 million euros, with EU funding to the sum of 10.7 million euros.

BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH is a 100% subsidiary of BMW AG and has been responsible for research within the BMW Group since 2003. Its subject areas cover VehicleTechnology, CleanEnergy (hydrogen technology), EfficientDynamics (intelligent energy management/alternative drive systems), ConnectedDrive (driver assistance/active safety) and ITDrive (IT and communications technology). Its legal independence as a limited company guarantees creative freedom and maximum flexibility. Global access to new trends and technologies is ensured by an internationally established network with branches in the USA (Palo Alto, CA and Clemson, SC), Japan (Tokyo) as well as liaison offices in France with Eurécom (Sophia Antipolis) and in Germany (Saarbrücken) with the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI GmbH).

The StorHy consortium:
ADETE - Advanced Engineering & Technologies GmbH
AIR LIQUIDE Deutschland GmbH
Air Liquide S. A.
Austrian Aerospace GmbH
BMW Forschung und Technik GmbH
Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
Daimler AG
Dynetek Europe GmbH
ET- Energie Technologie Gesellschaft für innovative Energie und Wasserstofftechnologie mbH
European Commission - Directorate General Joint Research Centre
Faber Industrie Spa
Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
Fundación para la Investigación y el Desarrollo en Automoción CIDAUT
GKSS Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH
Institut für Verbundwerkstoffe GmbH
Institute for Energy Technology
Institute for Protection Systems - Prochain e.V. at the University of Applied Sciences Ingolstadt
Linde Aktiengesellschaft
MAGNA STEYR Fahrzeugtechik AG & Co KG
MT Aerospace AG, Augsburg
National Center for Scientific Research Demokritos
Oeko-Institut e.V.
Oerlikon Space AG
Peugeot Citroën Automobiles
The University of Nottingham
Volvo Technology Corporation
Wroclaw University of Technology