CIDAUT continues its development in hydrogen technologies

On May 17th, CIDAUT had the pleasure of attending to the International Sustainable Mobility Forum (FIMS) in Entroncamento (Portugal) in such an incomparable setting as the National Railway Museum. CIDAUT participated as a speaker in the meeting entitled Hydrogen-based emission-less mobility and transportation solutions

This forum aims to promote a meeting of the supply and demand of innovative hydrogen and fuel cell solutions in transport systems in the context of emissions-free mobility. The event brought together suppliers of technology solutions, industry, transport management entities and fleet owners, urban planners, land managers and decision makers – among others – promoting mutual updating on opportunities and challenges related to the use of hydrogen. Hydrogen ecosystems, such as production, storage, distribution, refueling and end-use, are presented through innovative pilot projects carried out in the context of European projects and strategies.

The forum “Hydrogen-based Low Carbon Transport and Mobility Solutions” aims to present functional options in the area of hydrogen and fuel cells demonstrated in European cities and regions, present innovative technological solutions and discuss methodologies to accelerate the deployment and implementation of hydrogen and technologies in the mobility and transport sectors.

It was attended by the Secretary of State for Mobility Protuguese, José Mendes, as well as representatives of the regional authorities of Medio Tejo and Cities, regions, Hydrogen and fuel cell associations, investors, industry, mobility and other stakeholders with a keen interest in the hydrogen sector and its outcomes and interested to learn more about the local Hydrogen Clusters and willing to develop partnerships.

Continuing with the European events on Hydrogen, CIDAUT also attended on June 25th the kick-off meeting of the Intelligent Platform S3 European Hydrogen Valleys Partnership held in Brussels. CIDAUT was invited by the Regional Energy Agency (EREN). This platform is established in Normandy, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, Northen, Netherlands and Aragon, and aims to strengthen interregional cooperation across the EU on S3 common areas to co-develop investment projects for the modernization of the European industry.

During the meeting there was an introduction of the Partnership mission, after which there was a round of presentation of the present regions in the kick-off meeting and their interest in hydrogen technologies. Finally, a presentation of the analysis of the preliminary mapping questionnaires was made which will sent to the different regions whose results and it will be presented at the next meeting to be held on October 15th.

This event was held coinciding with the celebration of the H2020 Energy Infodays that took place from June 24th to 26th. CIDAUT attended on June 26th where the topics on Research, Innovation and Market uptake projects on Clean Energy were presented.

ReFreeDrive project reaches 18 months

Last March ReFreeDrive project, coordinated by CIDAUT, reached the half of its length. The ReFreeDrive project is focused on contributing to avoid the use of rare earth magnets through the development of a next generation of electric drivetrains, ensuring the industrial feasibility for mass production while focusing on the low cost of the manufacturing technologies.

ReFreeDrive project is expected to achieve an incremental reduction in total motor and power electronics system costs through optimised design for manufacture, increasing the performance of both electric motors and power electronics. Specifically, ReFreeDrive project aims at achieving a motor torque increase of 30% while halving motor losses, increasing power density in power electronics by 50% and reducing production costs around 15% against similar solutions (Reference: Tesla Model S60).

On the occasion of the 18 months since the beginning of the project, its partners met on 20th and 21st March at Brussels for a new General Assembly meeting. During the meeting, the tasks carried out by the partners during the last six months were reviewed, and the status of the different Work Packages was analysed in order to define actions for the second half of the project, when the 8 e-Drives (200kW and 75kW) will be manufactured and tested.

Also on these days CIDAUT attended the joint GV04 dissemination event, which took place in Brussels, too. The workshop presented the innovations that are currently being developed by three EU-funded projects under the European Green Vehicles Initiative (EGVI): ModulED, ReFreeDrive and DRIVEMODE. This event allowed exploring synergies between the three projects in order to maximize the outcome of the innovations under development within each one of them.

More than 100 people showed interest in the event and around 75 of them attended the workshop (36 people belong to the project consortia, while 68 people are external audience), many of them belonging to leading edge organizations in the field of electric drivetrain design and innovation.

CIDAUT highlights “The role of hydrogen in the energy transition”

The current decarbonisation policies place hydrogen in the spotlight of sustainable energy development. This aspect is reinforced by the fact of the need for large-scale energy storage to manage an electrical system with high renewable production where hydrogen plays a fundamental role. In addition, on February 11, the “Hydrogen Roadmap Europe” was published by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, which highlights the need to use hydrogen to achieve high decarbonisation rates and reduce CO2 emissions by 80%.

CIDAUT as a national reference in the field of hydrogen technologies participated in the technical conference of February 28, 2019: “The role of hydrogen in the energy transition”, which was developed within the program of activities of the International Fair of Energy and Environment (GENERA) held in Madrid.

This conference helped to highlight the key role that hydrogen will play in the energy transition and to define the actions that must be carried out to achieve the development of these technologies in Spain. During the conference, attended by the Secretary of State for Energy, José Domínguez Abascal, the current decarbonisation policies were discussed and the need for the implementation of hydrogen technologies in the European context of energy transition was exposed.

In the first round table of the day, the representatives of the main Ministries and national entities related to Energy, Industry, Science and Innovation debated on the importance of hydrogen to reach a carbon-free energy system.

In a second part of the conference, institutional partners of the AeH2 presented the “Main initiatives of the hydrogen sector and fuel cells in Spain”. As one of the partners, CIDAUT exposed its extensive experience in R&D projects within the field of hydrogen technologies and stressed its commitment to the future of hydrogen as an energy vector and decarbonization factor.

But this was not the only event that took place in Madrid on hydrogen. On March 1, the National Infoday of the Call 2019 of the FCH 2 JU was held in the Assembly Hall of the Center for Industrial Technological Development, CDTI. CIDAUT attended the Infoday where we could know firsthand all the information related to the call.

During the Infoday, Ms. María Luisa Revilla, from the Department of Social Challenges of the CDTI, presented the objectives and general vision of the FCH 2 JU and the H2020, as well as the rules for participation and presentation of proposals within the framework of H2020. The infoday was attended too by Mr. Carlos Navas, Head of the Strategy and Market Development Department of the FCH 2 JU, who presented the strategic vision and role of hydrogen in the European energy transition. In addition, he presented the topics included in this call and the keys for the presentation of proposals. The budget of this call is 80.8 million euros and 17 topics are considered: 5 related to transport, 8 with energy, 3 cross-cutting or cross-sectoral themes and 1 general. Finally, Mr. Antonio González, vice president of AeH2 and president of PTE HPC, explained the current situation of hydrogen technologies and fuel cells in Spain, explaining the key role they will play in the energy transition towards a carbon-free system.

CIDAUT participates in the VII GASNAM Congress presenting its progress in the ECOGATE project

On April 10 and 11, the 7th GASNAM congress was held in La Nave (Madrid), under the slogan “Renewable gas: innovation for sustainable mobility”. The congress had more than 50 national and international speakers, more than 30 tables of work, lectures and the largest exhibition of natural and renewable gas vehicles in Europe.

During this congress, CIDAUT has presented an innovative adsorbed natural gas (ANG) storage system that has been implemented in a dual-fuel van, as a pilot test within ECO-GATE project.

The storage of adsorbed natural gas (ANG) allows storing more energy per unit volume at the same pressure as the storage of compressed natural gas (CNG). This innovation allows the use of tanks that work at lower pressure (60 bar), with the advantages that this entails: greater flexibility in the design of the tank, greater formability, lower refueling costs, the possibility of home refueling and greater security.

CIDAUT has carried out the characterization of the loading and unloading processes of this type of adsorbed natural gas storage systems in an experimental facility also developed within the scope of the ECO-GATE project.

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NEOHIRE project holds its fourth Consortium Meeting

Last April, the NEOHIRE Consortium, formed by 10 partners, met at KOLEKTOR premises in Essen (Germany) to analyze the evolution of the project. Members of the Advisory Board and the Technical Monitor also were present at this meeting. The progress made so far in the project was presented to them and they gave their recommendations to continue the lines of research initiated.

NEOHIRE aims to reduce the dependence on magnet material for the manufacture of electric motors and generators. In this scenario Cidaut presented the status of the Work Package 3 of the project, which is related to the design, modeling and simulation of a novel full-scale wind turbine generator using the magnets developed in the project.

For more information on NEOHIRE, please visit

The VALORCOMP project reviews its results until the first quarter of 2019

On March 29, 2019, coinciding at the end of the first quarter of the year, the VALORCOMP consortium met to monitor all its activities. This time, the meeting was held at the University of Valladolid at its headquarters of the School of Industrial Engineering. As usual and once demonstrating the cohesion of the working group, representatives of the whole consortium attended: Polytechnic Institute of Bragança (IPB, Principal Beneficiary), CIDAUT Foundation, University of Valladolid (UVa), Resíduos do Nordeste (RN) and Nertatec.

The topics discussed during the meeting were related with the technical, the coordination and communication committees.

Within the technical committee, the main objective of the meeting was to share the progress of the work in each of the aspects of compost use in the framework of the project. CIDAUT presented the results obtained in pelletized compost tests on a real scale, which have been very satisfactory. Likewise, the preliminary results of the pilot scale tests of fluidized bed gasification were shown and the next realization of combustion tests in updraft boilers was proposed. IPB made a presentation on the progress of the modeling of the adsorption process for the separation of CO2 using the activated carbons of activity 2 and it was proposed to carry out validation tests. In the framework of activity 2, the results of carbonization of the compost were shown using two different techniques: hydrotreatment (HTC) and functional carbonization by TEOS and EDTA. Activity 2 concluded with advances in the use of compost in construction materials and the results of temperature tests. Within activity 3 of agronomic use, the UVa presented the results of nutrients extraction using microwaves with water and KOH and it was carried out a comparison with the conventional method. The results seem very promising with this new technique fulfilling the criteria for its use as a liquid fertilizer. The realization of a global technical-economic balance of the process is proposed. On its side, IPB made a review of the characterization of leachates obtained at Residuos do Nordeste plant, highlighting its great heterogeneity and its use as fertilizer. Given the progress of the project, Nertatec made a presentation of the tasks addressed in activity 4 where a collection of waste generation data has been done in Castilla y León waste treatment plants. It intends to be extrapolated to the area of Portugal where the project is being developed. The content of the data sheets elaborated in the activity was explained in order to collect the information of the processes studied and evaluate their potential application.

In relation to communication activities, it was reviewed the publications generated during the project and the next congresses where the results of VALORCOMP will be disseminated. Likewise, it was proposed to hold two workshops of dissemination of the results on dates close to the end of the project. One of them will be held in Spain in July and the other one will be held in the Portuguese area in September.

Finally all the partners were summoned to a next meeting in July 2019 in Valladolid with two purposes: to carry out the follow-up meeting of the project and the workshops jointly.

This project is co-financed by the programme of cooperation INTERREG V-A Spain-Portugal (POCTEP) 2014-2020 and will run until September 2019. Project VALORCOMP aims to contribute cooperatively to solve cross-border problems in the valorisation of waste generated in the treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste.

Bracketweld project: final results.

The Bracketweld project, led by the CIDAUT and granted by the clean sky programme JTI-CS2-2014-CFP01-LPA-02-03 GAP, number 686611, presented his final results on 28th frebuary 2019.

The general objective of the BRACKETWELD project has been to develop an innovative technology for the rapid assembly of thermoplastic supports so that there is an improvement in the integration of these materials, in particular supports of thermoplastics material as PEI, with the thermosetting composite components currently used in aircraft structures. It also seeks to be a greener, efficient and cost-effective solution than the current ones.

This innovative assembly technology is based on the idea of using the fast and efficient ultrasonic welding technology to assemble thermoplastic brackets to thermosetting composite structural components.

As thermosetting materials cannot be welded, a thermoplastic surface media has to be strongly attached to the thermosetting composite structure by a co-curing process, being this surface media used as an anchor interface for the latterly welding of the thermoplastic brackets by any fusion bonding technique, and especially by the ultrasonic welding.

The key challenge for the development of this innovative technology will be the development of the appropriate surface media that must be compatible with the typical thermoplastic materials used for the injection of brackets (PA, PEEK, PEI,..) while at the same time achieving a very high adhesion strength to the thermosetting composite laminate during the curing of the structural components.

With the objetive to achieve a succesful results, three great phases was developement:

In the first, an innovative test method was developed combining different mechanical and lab tests to analyze the performance of the co-cured welded joints. This test method was used to assess the compatibility and the behaviour of a large series of commericial references of surface medias, and also of in-house developed formulations for surface media.

The second was focused on the validation of  the conclusions obtained in the first part of the project . It was necessary implied a redefintion of the welding procedure and parameters. New samples were welded to validate the performance of the welding tool and ensure that the performance of the welded joints was not affected by this change.

And finally,in the third phase, the curved panels were produced, after the tooling design and manufacture, the chosen surface medias were co-cured and welders were used to manufacture a new series of curved panels. These welded joints were analyzed under different condtions (room temperature and hot and wet) and load cases (axial and transversal) comparing the performances of the joints versus those of the previous stage and the different load cases and situations. This analysis has resulted in a series of recommendations for the future market uptake of the project technologies.

The success in the development of the activities proposed in the BRACKETWELD contributes to the development of the rapid assembly process for the integration of brackets and fittings into structural thermosetting composite components leading to significant advantages related to the reduction in weight (associated to the change from metal to thermoplastic brackets), assembly costs and energy reductions compared to the current adhesive bonding methods, since is that there is no need for surface preparation, adhesives, and curing time nor expensive quality control procedures. To illustrate the magnitude of the benefits achieved by the development of this rapid assembly technology, it has to be considered the number of ten thousand brackets used today in the A350-XWB, and this allow us to contributed to the achievement the innovative assembly technology through the evaluation of the performance of the assembly itself in accordance with the specifications of typical aeronautical requirements used in the joined/bonded supports.

Much knowledge has been generated during the project that will enable the technology update in the future, though higher TRL levels call for larger experimental campaigns, and more robust manual welding tool design. This may be exploited not only for the specific application of System-Structure integration in aviation, but also for the general development of the welding capability for thermosetting composites that may be useful in other applications and sectors.

For instance, the laboratory characterization methodologies and the procedures for the elaboration of suitable surface media that have been developed in the project for the specific application of ultrasonic welding of PEI brackets will be also useful for:

  • the rapid assembly of thermosetting composite components with suitable surface medias using the welding techniques already industrialized for thermoplastic composites like resistance or induction welding,
  • the assembly of thermosetting composites with suitable surface medias to thermoplastic components or thermoplastic composite components,
  • the capability to manufacture hybrid components (thermoset composite-thermoplastic) by over-moulding a thermoset composite component having a suitable surface media with a thermoplastic material by injection moulding for an added functionality.

These potential new capabilities for thermosetting composite components will have a positive impact for the reduction of current assembly times and costs, increasing the number of applications of composite lightweight materials in Transport Sectors for reducing vehicle weights, fuel consumptions and emissions. For instance, in the Automotive Sector, where the need for lightweight materials is increasing and the use of composite materials will grow. The development of rapid and reliable joining technologies for thermosetting composite components may boost the current developments related to the use of carbon fibre composites in vehicle structures, since the assembly and repair of these structures is nowadays a handicap compared to the traditionally used steel and aluminium structures.

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CIDAUT becomes associated partner of ARCADE

ARCADE (Aligning Research & Innovation for Connected and Automated Driving in Europe) is a Coordination and Support Action coordinated by Ertico under the Horizon 2020 Programme. The Consortium consists of 24 partners from 11 different countries. It is a 36 months project that started the 1st of October 2018.

ARCADE coordinates consensus-building across stakeholders for sound and harmonized deployment of Connected, Cooperative and Automated Driving (CAD).

ARCADE supports the commitment of the European Commission, the European Member States and the industry to develop a common approach to development, testing, validation and deployment of CAD in Europe and beyond.

The ARCADE project aims to establish a joint stakeholders forum in order to coordinate and harmonize automated road transport approaches at European (e.g. strategic alignment of national action plans for automated driving) and international level (in particular with the US and Japan). Towards this objective, ARCADE will organise the Second European CAD conference in 2019 and is open to associated partners beyond the confinements of the consortium.

Associated partners of ARCADE Project

ARCADE objectives are:

  • Cooperation between all CAD stakeholders(e.g. industry, research, member states, European Commission and international partners) from the different sectors (e.g. automotive, infrastructure, ICT and service provisions)
  • Coordination of cooperation efforts between all programmes, initiatives and projects, including national and European research programmes as well international cooperation activities
  • Exchange of knowledge, lessons andexperiences from past and ongoing activities at national, European and international level
  • Consensus buildingon CAD deployment scenarios and research needs for connected and automated driving

STEEL S4 EV Project has held its First Steering Committee Meeting

The six partners of the Consortium (Cidaut, IFEVS, Belgian Welding Institute, Lulea Technical University, Magnetto Automotive and thinkstep) have met at thinstep’s facilities in Stuttgart to discuss about the evolution of the project. STEEL S4 EV aims at putting high strength steel at the forefront of a new trend in electric vehicles: light vehicles with three or four wheels that comply with crash regulation and with more restrictive Euro NCAP demands. Weld joint design and welding methodologies research to keep material properties along the joints assuring robustness and long term durability. To do this cost competitively low investment manufacturing will be achieved by a modular and flexible structural design: a complex 3D skeleton frame of welded tubes, bent with high accuracy using programmed laser cuts will enable different vehicles sharing the same tooling.

Representatives of the six partners involved in STEEL S4 EV project

This is the First Steering Committee Meeting and it has been hold in the fifth month of the project. All the project activities are running in accordance to the timing. This time special attention has been paid to the input data needed for the Life Cycle Assessment.

SAFE STRIP Project crosses its Equator

The Safe Strip Consortium, formed by 18 partners, has met in Brussels with the Project Officer to analyze the evolution of the project. SAFE STRIP aims to introduce a disruptive technology that will achieve to embed C-ITS applications in existing road infrastructure, including novel I2V and V2I, as well as VMS/VSL functions into low-cost, integrated strips markers on the road; to make roads self-explanatory (with personalized in-vehicle messages) and forgiving (due to advanced cooperative functions) for all road users (trucks, cars and vulnerable road users, such as PTWs riders) and all vehicle generations (non-equipped, C-ITS equipped, autonomous), with reduced maintenance cost, full recyclability and added value services, as well as supporting real-time predictive road maintenance functions.

Different prototypes of the strips to be used in the user’s trials

In this scenario Cidaut presented the status of the sixth Work Package of the project, which is related to the users’ trials that will get into the crucial phase of the project in several weeks. In this Work Package, the C-ITS applications will be tested by different users, with different driving profiles in order to understand how is the answer of different drivers to the applications developed during the project.

The review meeting was a good occasion to show the actual status of the prototypes of the strips that will be used along the users’ trials.