Stewart Anderson, Global Hydrogen Engineering Manager located in the UK, heads up the Haskel Hydrogen Engineering team. Anderson and his team are focused on the development and deployment of hydrogen refueling solutions to meet the needs of the mobility and transportation sector. He is responsible for Haskel’s hydrogen fueling product family, which includes its latest addition, the Nano Range.
Tell us a little about your background. What is your previous experience in the high-pressure market?
I joined Haskel almost 6 years ago now to head up and develop the hydrogen engineering team. There was a key research and development project at the time that needed clear focus and direction, and I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to take on that project. I have never looked back, and the team has grown from strength to strength.
I started my career working offshore, and as the oil and gas market took a downturn, I became interested in new solutions. I spent 11 years working for BAE Systems, first as a mechanical engineer, then later progressing to design engineer, and, ultimately, program manager. It was an extremely exciting and challenging time, working on the development of brand-new military vehicles.
What attracted you to working with Haskel?
I was familiar with Haskel’s reputation for product reliability and quality in my work in oil and gas, but never knew they had such a diverse portfolio of products and markets. Then this position came up in an emerging niche market that was of real interest to me from a personal and professional level and was an opportunity for me to make a real difference and build a department from scratch. Our engineering team has grown to a department of more than 15 people, and we are building the team further with the onboarding of a new electrical engineer and two more mechanical engineers this quarter to support the increased order intakes.
Battery technologies have a head start—why do you believe so strongly in the viability of hydrogen mobility?
In my opinion, there is space in the market for both technologies as they both significantly improve the drive to cut CO2 emissions and create a greener environment. The advantage of hydrogen is that it’s literally all around us. It can be extracted from several sources, and if this is done using renewable energy, then your only byproduct is water. and create a greener environment. The advantage of hydrogen is that it’s literally all around us. It can be extracted from several sources, and if this is done using renewable energy, then your only byproduct is water.
The focus and commitment of my team is to continue to develop solutions to enable the early adoption and acceptance of hydrogen as a viable refueling option, as well as creating a network of affordable, reliable, and accessible refueling options.
What are some of the big milestones and challenges for hydrogen mobility?
I think we have a very exciting decade ahead of us with more and more companies getting involved with the development and integration of fuel cells and hydrogen as a source of fuel. We are speaking with a number of the OEMs regarding how we can support this activity.
The heavy mobility sector has the most to gain in the short term from the transition to hydrogen, but where I see the biggest milestone will be when we develop a more efficient way to create and transport liquid hydrogen, which will be required as the demands for hydrogen increase.
Based on where we are today, one of the biggest challenges comes down to reliable infrastructure to support the roll out of hydrogen vehicles. Almost all the mainstream car manufactures are creating or are looking into Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV’s), which makes them a real contender for wider adoption and acceptance.
In addition to this, it is great to see that more vehicle refueling stations are beginning to be deployed globally, with exciting announcements and initiatives launched on an almost weekly basis.
Where do you see the biggest growth occurring?
As part of the Ingersoll Rand group, Haskel is in a unique position to have a global reach where we are able to operate and support companies all over the world. Most recently, we have seen significant activity in the southern hemisphere. Countries like Australia and New Zealand are earliest adopters of this industry and look to have a clear vision on how to embrace and fully utilize the potential of hydrogen.
With the progress in Asia, the entire southern hemisphere is the new frontier for hydrogen mobility. As Haskel Hydrogen Systems expands, I am particularly interested in creating the business unit for mobility there.
Where do you see the most exciting developments?
There were a lot of promising developments in the past year, but some of the most exciting ones for hydrogen mobility and hydrogen infrastructure, for me, have been in the aviation and marine sectors. With the potential for heavy ships and planes to adopt fuel cell technology and the advantage of them always returning to known locations, this would make the set-up of the infrastructure easier and quicker to implement. The shift to hydrogen fuel cells also holds a lot of promise for significant improvements that will impact the climate.
I think there are some very exciting times ahead, and I am proud to be part of the solution.