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The Hydrogen Refuelling Station at CSIRO in Clayton, Victoria

Our hydrogen refuelling station is a computer-controlled system consisting of six main components:

  1. Three in one unit comprising an electrolyser, compressor and 700 bar hydrogen dispensing system to fuel a hydrogen car
  2. FIBA hydrogen storage pressure vessels (x6) for storage of hydrogen at high pressure
  3. Deionisation subsystem for water purification
  4. Gordon Brothers chiller system for cooling hydrogen down to -40oC
  5. Electrolyser cooler for removing excess heat from the electrolysis process
  6. Safety, control and power unit which controls all the logic, safety alarms and power.

The flow chart below shows how the components work together to produce hydrogen and refuel cars:

Flowchart showing how the hydrogen refuelling station works

  1. Deionised water and renewable electricity enter the electrolyser stack.
  2. The electrolyser produces hydrogen (H2) which is cooled, purified and compressed before going to storage.
  3. The hydrogen leaves storage and goes through another cooler before being dispensed into the car. The cooler requires a low temperature chiller to provide cooling.

Electrolyser and Compressor

The Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser inside the central unit marked as SimpleFuel is used to convert deionised water into hydrogen and oxygen, using ‘green’ electricity purchased from the state grid. It can produce 20kg of hydrogen per day. The hydrogen then goes through to the compressor, which pressurises it to 1000 bar (14,503 psi), before sending it to one of the storage tanks.

Hydrogen Storage

There are six horizontal storage cylinders totalling 80kg of storage. The cascade hydrogen system requires that some hydrogen is stored at 1000 bar, some at 700 bar and some at at 500 bar. These different pressures are used to fill the hydrogen vehicle via a computer-controlled protocol to 700bar.

Current hydrogen cars such as Toyota Mirai & Hyundai Nexo can store up to 6 kgs of hydrogen at this standardised 700 bar pressure. The vehicles have a driving range of around 600km.


As fast filling of hydrogen results in heat being generated during the depressurising phase (when filling a vehicle), the gas entering the vehicle tanks must be precooled. The chiller is used to cool the hydrogen gas down to –40oC.

Our chiller was constructed by an Australian supplier.


To dispense hydrogen, the user connects the nozzle to the vehicle and then presses the vehicle fill button on the bowser.

The vehicle and the hydrogen refueller use a standard based Protocall to talk to each other and perform the pre-fill safety checks, which include a connection seal check. Only after all the checks are completed will the refueller start the fuelling stage.

Filling a vehicle is computer controlled, where the computer can speed up or slow down the filling process depending on the temperature in the vehicle's tank. Typically, with hydrogen gas precooled to –40oC, a vehicle can be filled from empty in under 10 minutes.

The computer system is constantly monitoring the filling process and no further intervention is needed by the user. Once the filling is complete the user is prompted to remove the nozzle from the vehicle and return it to its location.

The Hydrogen Refuelling Station is designed to refuel cars with a 700 bar storage tank.

Australia is investing in hydrogen for transport as a potentially zero emission fuel, in line with the government’s pledge to reach net zero by 2050.

Hydrogen fuelled vehicles have a greater range than electric vehicles, and refuel much faster. The only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water.

The CSIRO has built a green hydrogen refuelling station at its research facility in Clayton, Victoria, as part of the Victorian Hydrogen Hub led by Swinburne University of Technology.

The hydrogen in our refuelling station is produced using electricity from renewable sources, such as solar or wind, so there are no emissions from hydrogen production either.

The refueller is capable of refuelling vehicles at 700Bar and can generate 20kg/day of hydrogen with storage capacity of 80kg.

The refuelling station is part of the Swinburne-led Victorian Hydrogen Hub and sits alongside CSIRO’s Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Facility, which can be used by researchers and industry to test new technologies.

Together, we are supporting the rapidly growing Australian technical know-how around hydrogen production, storage and utilisation.

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Safety documentation

CSIRO staff can access all the safety documentation for the hydrogen refuelling station in our safety platform, Donesafe (RIS50018).

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