26/04/2023 | Press release

Rheinmetall wins new customer for innovative hydrogen recirculation blowers – order in the mid-double-digit million-euro range

The tech enterprise Rheinmetall’s Sensors and Actuators division has won a new order for more than 150,000 HRB 1800 hydrogen recirculation blowers. The contract, worth a figure in the mid-double-digit million-euro range, is from a new customer. Extensive testing of the new technology convinced the customer that this robust, high-quality blower is the best on the market.

For Group subsidiary Pierburg, this is an important milestone in the development of innovative fuel cell technology, with meticulous testing of samples by the customer resulting in a full-scale production order. Production of the HRB 1800 blowers begins in 2026 and ends five years later in 2030. Follow-up orders are expected. An additional nomination in the lower-two-digit million-euro range for an electric coolant pump from Pierburg, the CWA 2000, has already taken place. The blowers and coolant pumps will be installed in buses and trucks.

The hydrogen recirculation blowers play an important role in the fuel cell system by returning hydrogen unused in the reaction to the fuel cell stack. This enhances the efficiency and longevity of the fuel cell. Moreover, even distribution of the hydrogen in the stack results in improved start behaviour.

Designed to assure low-leakage throughout their service life, the Pierburg blowers are available in high- and low-voltage versions. Extremely compact, they also feature excellent noise, vibration and harshness characteristics. The electric output ranges from 0.7 to 2 kilowatts or up to 400 watts in the low-voltage model. They are powered by a brushless motor controlled without sensors. For data transmission, LIN and CAN bus communications and diagnostic functions are present.

The hydrogen recirculation blowers are balance-of-plant (BoP) products, i.e., components for supplying media to the fuel cell stack. The two systems ordered assure active cooling of the electronics and e-motor, resulting in greater performance density. Rheinmetall is now benefitting from knowledge and experience gained in over twenty years in the fuel cell business, making the Group a leader in the field. Especially in the bus sector, the technology applied here has been validated for over a decade.

Owing to the latest successes and the anticipated growth of the market, the Group is stepping up its development of BoP products, resulting in a series of innovative new components.  The product portfolio continues to grow. Rheinmetall is eager to play an enduring role in the industry’s shift away from the internal combustion engine to new, environmentally friendly drive technologies for motor vehicles and stationary industrial applications alike. Rheinmetall aims to be climate-neutral by 2035.


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