Hycel Technology Hub

A regional hub of expertise in hydrogen usage.

A hydrogen hub of expertise

Hycel is currently in an 18-month Establishment phase. If fully funded, the Technology phase will see the construction of Hycel Technology Hub at Deakin University’s Warrnambool Campus in Victoria’s south-west. Hycel Technology Hub will be a regional cluster of expertise for researching, testing, optimising and scaling technologies that use hydrogen.

Hydrogen hubs are a key element of Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy and provide industry with a springboard to scale. Bringing research and industry together enables applied innovation in hydrogen technologies.

Hycel Technology Hub will also support training, education and social licence, to ready the Australian workforce for the hydrogen jobs of the future.

Why is hydrogen a fuel of the future?

Hydrogen is an important part of a clean energy future because it can be used to effectively store renewable electricity, supporting flexibility across the grid, as well as creating clean liquid fuels for use in transport.

This video has been reproduced with permission from CSIRO.

Transport

We're optimising fuel cells and refuelling networks to help transition the heavy transport industry from diesel to hydrogen.

The transport industry accounts for 19% of Australia’s annual emissions*. To decarbonise trucks, fuel cell research is needed to increase the performance of hydrogen fuelled vehicles. There is currently no facility in Australia that assembles and tests fuel cells at scale. Hycel Technology Hub will fill this gap and enable scaled testing, which may lead to reduced manufacturing costs and increased skills. Areas of research and innovation include:

Fuel cell manufacturing and testing

Aim: Test and optimise fuel cells to increase performance of hydrogen fuelled heavy vehicles to help decarbonise the transport industry.

Research: Fuel cell R&D platform and prototype, application testing framework stage 1 - Dr Rob Kerr, Institute of Frontier Materials.

Fuel cell application pilots

Aim: Test and demonstrate the operation of hydrogen fuel cell heavy vehicles to support the uptake of hydrogen as a future fuel.

Research: Fuel cell R&D platform and prototype, application testing framework stage 2 - Prof Bernard Rolfe, Advanced Manufacturing, School of Engineering.

Partner: PACCAR Australia (Kenworth).

Network optimisation

Aim: Develop an optimisation model that supports the implementation of hydrogen refuelling networks.

Research: Optimisation of refuelling logistics for a hydrogen bus network - A/Prof Vicky Mak, School of IT.

Partner: Warrnambool Bus Lines.

Pipelines

We're testing hydrogen in natural gas infrastructure to support the safe decarbonisation of reticulated gas.

To safely transition from natural gas to hydrogen, we need a better understanding of how existing natural gas infrastructure (pipelines, regulators) and appliances (cook tops, heaters, BBQs, hot water services) perform with hydrogen. Hycel is supporting industry-led research to assist in the transition from natural gas to hydrogen in the following areas:

Hydrogen: A Clean Future

Hydrogen testbeds at the Deakin Warrnambool campus.

Gas infrastructure

Aim: Test the long term compatibility of hydrogen with polymer pipe materials.

Research: Hydrogen Test Beds Project, A/Prof Nolene Byrne, Institute of Frontier Materials.

Partners: Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre.

Watch the video

Monitoring systems

Aim: Develop an IoT and GIS supported asset management framework for monitoring systems associated with hydrogen testing and application.

Research: Building an interactive map for asset management for Hycel using IoT and GIS, Dr Hamid Abdi, School of Engineering.

Education

We want to play a key role in increasing research expertise, training and community knowledge in hydrogen applications to prepare Australia for the jobs and opportunities of the future.

Australia could see 16,900 jobs created by the hydrogen industry by 2050^. These jobs of the future could include engineers, technicians, gas fitters, plumbers and builders, amongst others. Hycel is supporting training pathways, developing research expertise and increasing community knowledge to ensure Australian communities are ‘hydrogen ready’.

Training in hydrogen

Aim: Develop hydrogen training pathways to skill the Australian workforce for the jobs of the future.

Partners: South West TAFE.

Community education

Aim: Increase hydrogen knowledge in schools, communities and businesses to create hydrogen leaders.

Social licence

Hycel supports the development and application of safety standards to build community awareness, acceptance and trust in a regulated hydrogen industry.

While hydrogen has been produced and transported in Australia for many decades, public understanding remains low#. Hycel is engaging with communities and stakeholders to build awareness and acceptance of hydrogen as a future fuel. Engaging meaningfully with communities, and supporting the development of safety standards, means that Australia can pave the way for a safe and trusted future fuelled by hydrogen.

Social licence

Aim: Design and test hydrogen messages to build social license.

Research: Hycel Social Licence, A/Prof Josh Newton, Faculty of Business and Law.

Community readiness

Aim: Build social licence and models of community understanding to support the development of an Australian hydrogen economy.

Safety standards

Aim: Contribute to the development and application of safe, regulated processes to support the development of a trusted, regulated, and competitive hydrogen industry.

Contact us

Adam Fletcher
Hycel Program Manager
adam.fletcher@deakin.edu.au
(03) 5227 3431

Ailiche Goddard-Clegg
Hycel Engagement & Communications Coordinator
a.goddardclegg@deakin.edu.au
(03) 5563 3075

Loren Tuck
Hycel Project Officer
loren.tuck@deakin.edu.au
(03) 5563 3057

Dr Adrian Panow
Director, Deakin Energy
a.panow@deakin.edu.au
+61 3 5227 8269
@DeakinEnergy

*'Transport is letting Australia down in the race to cut emissions', Philip Laird, Honorary Principal Fellow, University of Wollongong (2020)
**
^Australia's National Hydrogen Strategy (2019)
#Australian Hydrogen Council