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NOVAdev plans large-scale hydrogen testing in Antelope Valley
Thursday, 13 June 2024
Planned test cells will perform high and low cycle fatigue testing, cryogenic and high-pressure system testing, operational performance testing at ambient and elevated temperatures, and crash testing.

NOVAdev Inc., a developer of hydrogen transportation and storage technologies, has disclosed plans for a large-scale hydrogen test facility to be located in high desert area north of Los Angeles, California. The California Hydrogen Test and Training Center is purpose-designed to advance hydrogen storage, refueling and power systems for the air, land and marine transport industries.

“This facility represents a significant resource for the hydrogen industry,” says Michael Kramer, NOVAdev founder and CEO. “While hydrogen is a key contributor to sustainable transportation, capabilities for testing hydrogen systems at scale are almost non-existent and prohibitively expensive. Our hydrogen-focused facility will uniquely and cost-effectively support testing needs from a global audience working hydrogen storage and power systems development.”

NOVAdev plans to establish the facility on a 200 to 400-acre site in California’s Antelope Valley which includes the Palmdale, Mojave and Victorville communities. The area already hosts principal test facilities for Lockheed, Northrop, Honda, Hyundai, Boeing and NASA, among others.

NOVAdev’s Hydrogen Test and Training Center will support engineering development and certification testing of hydrogen storage, fuel and power systems for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Department of Transportation (DOT) approvals.

The site plan encompasses five discreet cells, each optimized for a specific aspect of development and certification testing. Test cells will accommodate both large and small hydrogen systems, including structures up to 20,000 pounds and 30 feet long. An operations centre will house test monitoring stations, workshop facilities, offices and a hydrogen training centre for staff and clients.

Planned test cells will perform high and low cycle fatigue testing, cryogenic and high-pressure system testing, operational performance testing at ambient and elevated temperatures (including solar radiation effects), and crash testing. The facility will also support “iron bird” performance testing of fuel cell, turboelectric and hybrid power systems – including integration with hydrogen storage and fuel delivery systems.

The company envisions a full-time initial workforce of 10 to 15 employees. Site development is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2025.

"There are many hydrogen vehicle and system development projects underway. We see a growing market for affordable hydrogen testing across air, land, and marine sectors," says Richard Bartz, Vice President of Business Development at NOVAdev. "We also believe universities, technical schools, industry and government will find significant value in accessing the Center for education and development of hydrogen engineers, technicians, and specialists. It is likely to help foster a much-needed hydrogen technology talent pool."

NOVAdev began developing Hydrogen Flux Capacitor storage for air vehicle systems and quickly recognized its value for land and marine applications as well. However, lack of cost-effective testing services at scale is a critical constraint for an emerging hydrogen powered transport industry. “We think support for this test and training capability will be very much welcomed by our peers and contemporaries in mobile hydrogen systems development,” adds Mr. Kramer.

NOVAdev is currently briefing industry and government officials, including prospective clients, regarding facility requirements and capabilities. It expects to release a detailed site development schedule later this year.

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