TRANSPORT

PEGASUS

PEMFC based on platinum Group metAl free StrUctured cathodeS

 

 

PEMFC is the fuel cell predilection technology for automotive applications with a large deployment horizon by 2025-30. However, the increasing use of fuel cell electrical vehicles is expected to lead to a quickly growing demand for Platinum Group Metals. PGM production is not only itself related to negative environmental impacts but also raises questions of long-term availability due to the limitation of reserves and Europe’s economic dependence on the countries of the materials’ origin. Hence, it is of strategic importance that the transition to PGM-free catalysts is made as quickly as possible to ensure Europe's competitive position and to reduce market pressure on the use of scarce noble metals. In that perspective, PEGASUS is exploring the removal of Pt and other critical raw materials and their replacement by non-critical elements enabling efficient and stable electro-catalysis for performing and durable PEMFCs. The overall aim of the project is to bring up the experimental proof of concept for novel catalysts with five underlying objectives supporting a full validation at single cell scale with a focus on the cathode side: 1) High performance, 2) durable and 3) low cost MEA using non-PGM catalysts-based cathode; 4) Robust test protocols for catalysts screening and 5) Understanding of degradation and prevention & mitigation strategies through a MEA design-driven approach. PEGASUS will benchmark (Metal-Nitrogen-Carbon) materials with variants of Carbon supports and Catalyst Layer designs in order to reach the best compromises between chemical activities and mass/charge transfer with the support of intensive experimentation and modelling. Two generations of non-CRM catalysts will be proposed. GEN1 will implement metals {Fe, Mn or Cu} with Nitrogen onto (1D, 2D and 3D) structured carbon support (single structuration). GEN2 will investigate the enhancement of dual-structuration (1D+3D and 2D+3D) on catalyst stability, reactant availability and water management.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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ZEFER

Zero Emission Fleet vehicles For European Roll-out

 

 

Despite considerable support for the hydrogen mobility sector, there remains low take-up of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) and vehicle sales remain low. This is a significant issue for the commercialisation of the sector, as whilst sales volumes are low, vehicle production costs and prices remain high. The lack of demand for hydrogen also damages the business case for investment in early hydrogen refuelling stations (HRS). The ZEFER project proposes a solution to this issue. ZEFER will demonstrate viable business cases for captive fleets of FCEVs in operations which can realise value from hydrogen vehicles, for example by intensive use of vehicles and HRS, or by avoiding pollution charges in city centres with applications where the refuelling characteristics of FCEVs suit the duty cycles of the vehicles. ZEFER aims to drive sales of FCEVs in these applications to other cities, thereby increasing sales volumes of FCEVs and improving the business case for HRS serving these captive fleets. ZEFER will deploy 180 FCEVs in Paris, Brussels and London. 170 FCEVs will be operated as taxi or private hire vehicles, and the remaining 10 will be used by the police. The vehicle customers are all partners in the project, so that deployments will occur quickly, (the majority of vehicles will be deployed by the end of 2018) and FCEV mileage will be accumulated rapidly (in Paris and Brussels mileages will be over 90,000 km/year; and in London mileages will be over 40,000 km/year). These applications mean that vehicle performance will be tested to the limit, allowing a demonstration of the technical readiness of new generation FCEVs for high usage applications. The vehicles will be supported by existing and planned HRS. ZEFER will complement these ambitious deployments with robust data collection, analysis of the business cases and technical performance of the deployments. A targeted dissemination campaign will aim to replicate the business cases across Europe.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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TAHYA

Tank Hydrogen Automotive

 

 

While automakers have demonstrated progress with prototypes and commercial vehicles traveling greater than 500 km on a single fill, this driving range must be achievable across different vehicle makes and models and without compromising customer expectations of space, performance, safety, or cost. The TAHYA project, mainly led by industrial partners -already involved in producing and manufacturing hydrogen solutions for the automotive and aviation industry-, will focus on the development of a complete, competitive and innovative European H2 storage system (a cylinder with a mounted On-Tank-Valve with all integrated functionalities) for automotive applications up-performing the actual Asian and US ones. The TAHYA consortium composed of Optimum CPV, Anleg, Raigi, Volkswagen, Chemnitz University of Technology, Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, PolarixParner and Absiskey will ensure that the development phase of the storage system remain in line with the expectations (cost, performance and safety) required by the market, end users’ and car manufacturers.

The key objectives of the TAHYA project are:

OBJ#1: Preparatory work to provide a compatible H2 storage system with high performances, safe and Health Safety Environment responsible.

OBJ#2: Provide a compatible H2 storage system with mass production and cost competitive.

OBJ#3: Regulation Codes and Standards (RCS) activities to propose updates on GRT13 and EC79 according to tests results obtained over the duration of the project.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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REVIVE

Refuse Vehicle Innovation and Validation in Europe

REVIVE will significantly advance the state of development of fuel cell refuse trucks, by integrating fuel cell powertrains into 15 vehicles and deploying them in 8 sites across Europe. The project will deliver substantial technical progress by integrating fuel cell systems from three major suppliers and developing effective hardware and control strategies to meet highly demanding refuse truck duty cycles. Specific work on standardisation will ensure that the lessons learned are applicable to the full range of OEMs supplying vehicles into the European market, helping to accelerate the introduction of next generation products. In parallel, the demonstration activities will greatly raise awareness of the viability of fuel cells as a solution to demanding heavy duty vehicle uses (and raise public awareness of hydrogen mobility more generally due to the visibility of the trucks). A successful demonstration of fuel cell trucks will have substantial impacts beyond the technical progress delivered by the project itself, as it will enable public authorities to continue implementing bold decarbonisation strategies by providing clear evidence that viable zero emissions solutions will exist for all vehicle types in the medium term. The project will also support the wider rollout of hydrogen mobility by introducing a further source of hydrogen demand that can improve the economics of existing and future refuelling station deployments, in turn facilitating the rollout of other vehicle types.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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JIVE 2

Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe 2

The spotlight on health impacts of poor air quality and the renewed focus on reducing GHG emissions in recent years provide a strong impetus for cities to seek clean, low carbon transport solutions. When it comes to meeting growing demands for public transport and addressing environmental issues, hydrogen fuel cell (FC) buses offer significant potential. A commercialisation process for FC buses is underway, through which a shared vision has been agreed between vehicle suppliers and their customers. This is based on reducing costs through scale via a phased approach of precommercial demonstrations that will provide the evidence for wider uptake of these vehicles in the 2020s. The first step in upscaling FC bus deployment is underway through the JIVE project, which began in January 2017. JIVE 2 is its successor and is Europe’s most ambitious FC bus project to date: 152 buses in 14 cities across seven countries. JIVE 2 involves regions with experience of the technology scaling up fuel cell bus fleets (e.g. Cologne), and those seeking to build their knowledge and experience by demonstrating FC buses in small fleets for the first time (e.g. Auxerre, Gävleborg). All deployment locations in JIVE 2 share an ambition to increase the size of their FC bus fleets following successful initial demonstrations, hence the participating cities/regions will be natural locations for larger scale roll-out of the technology in the 2020s. A comprehensive data monitoring and assessment exercise will capture the relevant evidence to inform next steps for the sector, and the project’s impacts will be maximised by a high-impact dissemination campaign. This will involve reaching wide audiences via various channels, including a series of international Zero Emission Bus Conferences. The JIVE and JIVE 2 projects together will see the deployment and operation of nearly 300 FC buses in 22 European cities/regions, thus providing a sound basis for further development of this sector.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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FLHYSAFE

Fuel cell hydrogen system for aircraft emergency operation

 

In order to meet the increasing demand to reduce fuel consumption, Green House Gas emissions as well as operating and maintenance costs, while optimising aircraft performances, fuel cell systems are considered as one of the best options for efficient power generation systems in the context of more electric aircraft (MEA). FLHYSAFE’s ambition is to demonstrate that a cost efficient modular fuel cell system can replace the most critical safety systems and be used as an emergency power unit (EPU) aboard a commercial airplane providing enhanced safety functionalities. Additionally the project will virtually demonstrate that the system is able to be integrated into current aircraft designs respecting both installation volumes and maintenance constraints. In order to shift from demonstrator levels (achieved in other projects such as Antares DLR H2 and FCH HYCARUS), to the ready-to-certify product level, it is necessary to optimise the different components of the fuel cell system to reduce its weight, increase its lifetime, ensure its reliability, certify its safety and make its costs compatible with market requirements. Within FLHYSAFE a consortium driven by two major aeronautical Tier 1 OEMs will propose fuel cell technologies using PEM fuel cell stacks, more integrated power converters and air bearing compressors. Thanks to the experience of the participants in previous projects, the necessary tests will be carried out in order to demonstrate compatibility to representative environment and safety levels.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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CRESCENDO

Critical raw material electrocatalysts replacement enabling designed post-2020 PEMFC

 

CRESCENDO will develop highly active and long-term stable electrocatalysts of non-platinum group metal (nonPGM) catalysts for the PEMFC cathode using a range of complementary and convergent approaches, and will redesign the cathode catalyst layer so as to reach the project target power density and durability requirements of 0.42 W/ cm2 at 0.7 V, and 1000 h with less than 30% performance loss at 1.5 A/cm2 after 1000 h under the FC-DLC, initially in small and ultimately full-size single cells tested in an industrial environment on an industrially scaled-up catalyst. The proposal includes the goal of developing non-PGM or ultra-low PGM anode catalysts with greater tolerance to impurities than current low Pt-loaded anodes. It will develop and apply advanced diagnostics methods and tests, and characterisation tools for determination of active site density and to better understand performance degradation and mass transport losses. The proposal builds on previous achievements in non-PGM catalyst development within all of the university and research organisation project partners. It benefits from the unrivalled know-how in catalyst layer development at JMFC and the overarching expertise at BMW in cell and stack testing, and in guiding the materials development to align with systems requirements.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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MARANDA

Marine application of a new fuel cell powertrain validated in demanding arctic conditions

 

 

In MARANDA project an emission-free hydrogen fuelled PEMFC based hybrid powertrain system is developed for marine applications and validated both in test benches and on board the research vessel Aranda, which is one of about 300 research vessels in Europe. Special emphasis is placed on air filtration and development of hydrogen ejector solutions, for both efficiency and durability reasons. In addition, full scale freeze start testing of the system will be conducted. When research vessels are performing measurements, the main engines are turned off to minimize noise, vibration and air pollution causing disturbance in the measurements. The 165 kW (2 x 82.5 kW AC) fuel cell powertrain (hybridized with a battery) will provide power to the vessel's electrical equipment as well as the dynamic positioning during measurements, free from vibration, noise and air pollution. One of the major obstacles for wider implementation of fuel cells in the marine sector is the hydrogen infrastructure. To alleviate this problem, a mobile hydrogen storage container, refillable in any 350 bar hydrogen refuelling station will be developed in this project. This novel solution will increase hydrogen availability to marine sector as well as many other sectors. The consortium of this project contains companies from the whole fuel cell value chain, from balance-of-plant components to system integrator and end user. The fuel cell system will be tested in conditions similar to arctic marine conditions before implementation to the target vessel. In addition, long-term durability testing (6 months, 4380 operating hours) of the system will be conducted at an industrial site. The project will increase the market potential of hydrogen fuel cells in marine sector, which have for long lagged behind road transportation. General business cases for different actors in the marine and harbour or fuel cell business will be created and therefore the impacts in the whole industry will be notable.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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JIVE

Joint Initiative for hydrogen Vehicles across Europe

The hydrogen fuel cell (FC) bus is one of very few options for the elimination of harmful local emissions and the decarbonisation of public transport. Its performance has been validated in Europe in recent years through various demonstration projects, however, a number of actions are required to allow the commercialisation of FC buses. These include addressing the high ownership costs relative to conventional buses, ensuring the FC buses can meet the high availability levels demanded by public transport, developing the refuelling infrastructure to provide reliable, low-cost hydrogen and improving the understanding of the potential of FC buses for zero emission public transport. JIVE will pave the way to commercialisation by addressing these issues through the deployment of 142 fuel cell buses across 9 locations, more than doubling the number of FC buses operating in Europe. JIVE will use coordinated procurement activities to unlock the economies of scale which are required to reduce the cost of the buses. They will operate in large fleets of 10-30 buses, reducing the overhead costs per bus, as well as allowing more efficient supply chains and maintenance operations compared to previous deployments. By working at this scale and with bus OEMs with proven vehicles, JIVE will ensure reliability at the level required for commercialisation. JIVE will also test new hydrogen refuelling stations with the required capacity to serve fleets in excess of 20 buses. This will not only reduce the costs of hydrogen and increase the availability of equipment but will also test the ability to offer >99% reliability, which is required for the commercialisation of FC buses. A dissemination campaign will use the project results to demonstrate the technical readiness of FC buses to bus operators and the economic viability of hydrogen as a zero emission bus fuel to policy makers will help to catalyse the future development and expansion of the hydrogen bus sector.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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INN-BALANCE

INNovative Cost Improvements for BALANCE of Plant Components of Automotive PEMFC Systems

 

The aim of INN-BALANCE is to develop a novel and integrated development platform for developing advanced Balance of Plant components in current fuel cell based vehicles, in order to improve their efficiency and reliability, reducing costs and presenting a stable supply chain to the European car manufacturers and system integrators. Accordingly, INN-BALANCE technical objectives are (i) to develop highly efficient and reliable fuel cell BoP components; (ii) to reduce costs of current market products in fuel cell systems; (iii) to achieve high technology readiness levels (TRL7 or higher) in all the tackled developments; and (iv) to improve and tailor development tools for design, modelling and testing innovative components in fuel cell based vehicles. To this end, a European Consortium composed by major automotive companies, consulting groups, research institutes and universities was established. INN-BALANCE will be focused on four main general topics; first of all on new components developments, addressing the latest changes and trends in fuel cells vehicles technology, from new air turbo-compressor, anode recirculation/injection module and advanced control/diagnosis devices to new concepts of thermal management and anti-freeze units based on standard automotive components; secondly, on the vehicle integration and validation of the components in a TRL7 platform placed at a well-known car manufacturing platform; thirdly, providing innovative and cost optimized manufacturing processes especially developed for automotive BoP components; finally, on the results dissemination and exploitation, new technology broadcasting and public awareness of new, low-cost and reliable clean energy solutions in Europe bringing at the same time highly qualified new job opportunities.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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INLINE

Design of a flexible, scalable, high quality production line for PEMFC manufacturing

 

 

The INLINE project aims at the solution of key challenges to enable the implementation of a scalable manufacturing process for fuel cell systems. Current manufacturing processes rely on manual work that has substantial limits in terms of cycle times, costs and scalability. Developments will start with the re-design and optimization of two key components: the media supply unit and the tank valve regulator. Both are components that are currently difficult to manufacture and are perceived as bottlenecks in the production process. Based on these new designs, an integrated production line will be planned using simulation tools. These tools will enable the evaluation of different layouts, part flow strategies and for different production scenarios. In terms of manufacturing tools, the end of line test will be improved to reduce cycle times by a factor of 3 and assistance systems for assembly stations will be developed that will enable scalability by reducing the need for training of workers. The overall target is to reduce the cycle time for production of a whole fuel cell system from 15 hours to less than 2.5 hours. Data gathering and analysis methods will be developed to enable the tracking of parts through the production line and - through a correlation of process and quality data - the continuous improvement of the production process. Demonstration of the end of line test and the assistance system will be done in hardware. The whole production line will be evaluated using a simulation tool that has been verified on the current production process. A set of engineering samples of the re-designed tank valve regulator and the media supply unit will be produced and used for tests of the integrated fuel cells and for assessment of the whole production process. A potential of 250 new jobs in manufacturing of fuel cells and for production of the key components will be generated by the project.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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Fit-4-AMandA

Future European Fuel Cell Technology: Fit for Automatic Manufacturing and Assembly

 

 

The main target of our work is to industrialise the stack production, to deliver affordable fuel cell systems in larger quantities to saturate the emerging market/demand. Heart of our call is to build a worldwide new and unique machine which allows serially* produce the centrepiece of fuel cell system: the stack. This will revolutionize the way how stacks are produced in future. The members of the consortium are: a developer and producer of fuel cell systems (Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH), a supplier of MEAs and BiPolar Plates (BPP) (EWII), a supplier of industrial machinery for assembly, handling and testing equipment (USK Karl UTZ Sondermaschinen GmbH), two renowned research institutions (Technische Universitat Chemnitz / ALF, Fraunhofer IWU) and a EU project management expert (Uniresearch B.V.) and last but not least, UPS an international transport OEM with its own vehicle production of Light Commercial Vehicles. The result of our project work can be used for several purposes: Branding, Prototyping and Business development. The stacks can be used outside of automotive industry, because they can be adapted to other applications (such as uninterruptible power sources) by the design of a fuel cell system.

External links:

CORDIS link , Project’s website

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DIGIMAN

DIGItal MAterials CharacterisatioN proof-of-process auto assembly

 

 

The project’s proposition and charter is to advance (MRL4 > MRL6) the critical steps of the PEM fuel cell assembly processes and associated in-line QC & end-of-line test / handover strategies and to demonstrate a route to automated volume process production capability within an automotive best practice context e.g. cycle time optimization and line-balancing, cost reduction and embedded / digitized quality control. The project will include characterization and digital codification of physical attributes of key materials (e.g. GDLs) to establish yield impacting digital cause and effects relationships within the value chain, from raw material supply / conversion / assembly through to in service data analytics, aligning with evolving Industry 4.0 standards for data gathering / security, and line up-time, productivity monitoring. The expected outcome will be a blueprint for beyond current state automotive PEM fuel cell manufacturing capability in Europe. The project will exploit existing EU fuel cell and manufacturing competences and skill sets to enhance EU employment opportunities and competitiveness while supporting CO2 reduction and emissions reduction targets across the transport low emission vehicle sector with increased security of fuel supply (by utilizing locally produced Hydrogen).

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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COSMHYC

COmbined hybrid Solution of Multiple HYdrogen Compressors for decentralised energy storage and refuelling stations

 

 

The COSMHYC project aims at answering the needs identified by the MAWP of the FCH2 JU of increasing energy efficiency of hydrogen production while reducing operating and capital costs, in order to make hydrogen a competitive fuel for transport applications. COSMHYC will develop and test an innovative compression solution from 1 to 1000 based on a hybrid concept, combining a conventional compressor with an innovative compression technology. The aim is to reduce the overall compression costs, by reducing investments costs down to less than 2000 €/(kg*day), reducing energy consumption by optimizing the interactions between both compression technologies. Maintenance will be reduced to <50% compared to mechanical compressors and life time will be improved, by decreasing the degradation down to 1% per year, thanks to mechanical adjustments and the implementation of appropriate remote control devices and corrective algorithms. In addition, the system will be significantly less noisy than a mechanical compressor (less than 60 dB at 5 meters). LBST will perform an analysis of the market requirements and define the main critical parameters, which will be used as an input for the research and development activities. MAHYTEC, NEL and EIFER will develop and test both compressors, with a focus on thermal integration. The partners will jointly install, connect and test both components of the new compressor solution in two sites for 9 months. At each stage of the developments and tests, the results will be used to perform a technical economic assessment of the solution compared to competitors with LBST. In parallel, Steinbeis 2i will accompany the partners in organizing and managing the communication around the project, disseminating the results and preparing their exploitation.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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COMPASS

Competitive Auxiliary Power Units for vehicles based on metal supported stack technology

 

The COMPASS project is a collaborative effort of AVL, Plansee, Nissan and Research Center Jülich to develop advanced SOFC APU systems for range extender applications in passenger cars. The consortium is perfectly integrated from powder-, cell-, stack-, APU system technology providers to vehicle manufacturer and an academic partner. The project will use innovative metal supports SOFC stack technology, which enables key features like rapid start up and mechanic robustness for this application. Within the project advanced APU systems will be developed with electrical efficiency above 50%, a start-up time below 15min and a small packaging size suitable for integration into battery electrical vehicles. Under the lead of NISSAN also a prototype vehicle will be build up, where an APU system will be completely integrated into the electrical powertrain. A major focus of the project is technology validation and systematic durability/reliability development. Therefore in a specific work package all validation activities are concentrated. The validation testing includes tests on stack, APU system and vehicle level. The APU system will furthermore undergo automotive testing like vibration, altitude, climate chamber and salt spray. In an additional dedicated work package manufacturing cost and business case analyses will be performed. These analyses will help to reduce the technology cost by design-to-cost and design-to-manufacture measures and show the business case of this new powertrain concept compared to other alternative and conventional propulsion concepts. This project is worldwide the first approach to integrate SOFC APU systems into electrical powertrains and will help to significantly improve APU systems also for other applications like heavy duty trucks, marine and leisure/camping.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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INSPIRE

Integration of Novel Stack Components for Performance, Improved Durability and Lower Cost

The objective is to develop and integrate the most advanced critical PEMFC stack components, many from recent FCH JU programmes, into an automotive stack showing BOL performance of 1.5 W/cm2 at 0.6V, <10% power degradation after 6,000 hours, with a technical and economic assessment showing a cost of less than €50/kW at a 50,000 annual production scale. This will be achieved by leading industrial and academic partners with expertise in the design and manufacture of PEMFC stacks, their components and materials. They will select and build on components which can achieve key target metrics, e.g. catalyst materials showing mass activities of 0.44 A/mg Pt. There will be focus on integration of the key components and optimisation of the interfaces regarding the electrochemistry, mass and heat transport, and mechanical interactions. Several iterations of an advanced stack design will be evaluated. Work is organised to optimise the flow of development, which begins with catalysts being advanced and down-selected, scaled then fed into the design and development of catalyst layers, integration with membranes and the demonstration of CCM performance. The CCMs feed into stack component development where they will be integrated with GDLs to form MEAs; and where bipolar plates will be designed and developed and supplied with the MEAs for iterative stack design, assembly and testing. All mandatory and optional objectives of the FCH 2 JU Work Plan are addressed. Performance and durability are evaluated from small single cell to stack level using standardised test protocols. Degradation is addressed by stability testing, structural visualisation and modelling. Interfaces and specification alignment is an important focus, being integrated with the evaluation of new architectures and synthesis methods and informing balance of plant component specifications. Dismantling and recycling for the recovery and re-use of all critical MEA components is included in the costing evaluation.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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Giantleap

Giantleap Improves Automation of Non-polluting Transportation with Lifetime Extension of Automotive PEM fuel cells

 

 

Fuel-Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) have been deployed in multiple demonstrations in Europe, Canada and the USA, but they still suffer from high costs and low availability. Oddly enough, the low availability has almost always been due to control issues and hybridisation strategies rather than problems in the fuel cells themselves. Giantleap aims to increase the availability and reduce the total cost of ownership of FCEBs by increasing the lifetime and reliability of the fuel cell system; this will be achieved with advanced online diagnostics of the fuel cells and the balance-of-plant components of the system, coupled with prognostics methods to calculate the system's residual useful life, and advanced control algorithms able to exploit this information to maximise the system's life. The same control system will also be engineered for robustness, in order to increase availability to the level of diesel buses or better. Giantleap will improve the understanding of degradation in fuel-cell systems with extensive experimentation and analysis; diagnostic and prognostic methods will focus on exploitation of current sensors to make the novel control approach cost-effective. Giantleap includes the demonstration of a prototype in relevant environment, allowing the project to reach technology readiness level 6.The prototype will be a trailer-mounted fuel-cell based range extender meant for battery city buses. The ability to swap out the range extender in case of malfunctions greatly increases the availability of the bus, while the large battery capacity allows the bus to complete its route should malfunctions occur during usage. Furthermore, the large battery capacity will give the control system ample opportunity to optimise fuel-cell usage via hybridisation management strategies.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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NewBusFuel

New Bus ReFuelling for European Hydrogen Bus Depots

 

 

The overall aim of NewBusFuel is to resolve a significant knowledge gap around the technologies and engineering solutions required for the refuelling of a large number of buses at a single bus depot. Bus depot scale refuelling imposes significant new challenges which have not yet been tackled by the hydrogen refuelling sector:

  • Scale – throughputs in excess of 2,000kg/day (compared to 100kg/day for current passenger car stations)
  • Ultra-high reliability – to ensure close to 100% available supply for the public transport networks which will rely on hydrogen
  • Short refuelling window – buses need to be refuelled in a short overnight window, leading to rapid H2 throughput
  • Footprint – needs to be reduced to fit within busy urban bus depots
  • Volume of hydrogen storage – which can exceed 10 tonnes per depot and leads to new regulatory and safety constraints.

A large and pan-European consortium will develop solutions to these challenges. The consortium involves 10 of Europe’s leading hydrogen station providers. These partners will work with 12 bus operators in Europe, each of whom have demonstrated political support for the deployment of hydrogen bus fleets. In each location engineering studies will be produced, by collaborative design teams involving bus operators and industrial HRS experts, each defining the optimal design, hydrogen supply route, commercial arrangements and the practicalities for a hydrogen station capable of providing fuel to a fleet of fuel cell buses (75-260 buses).Public reports will be prepared based on an analysis across the studies, with an aim to  provide design guidelines to bus operators considering deploying hydrogen buses, as well as to demonstrate the  range of depot fuelling solutions which exist (and their economics) to a wider audience. These results will be disseminated widely to provide confidence to the whole bus sector that this potential barrier to commercialisation of hydrogen bus technology has been overcome.

External links:

CORDIS linkProject's website

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H2REF

DEVELOPMENT OF A COST EFFECTIVE AND RELIABLE HYDROGEN FUEL CELL VEHICLE REFUELLING SYSTEM

 

 

H2Ref addresses the compression and buffering function for the refuelling of 70 MPa passenger vehicles and encompasses all the necessary activities for advancing a novel hydraulics-based compression and buffering system that is very cost effective and reliable from TRL 3 (experimentally proven concept) to TRL 6 (technology demonstrated in relevant environment), thereby proving highly improved performance and reliability in accordance with the following targets that have been defined considering the intrinsic characteristics of this new solution:- Throughput: 70 MPa dispensing capacity of 6 to 15 vehicles per hour (i.e. 30 to 75 kg/hr) - depending on the inventory level in source storage of the compressed hydrogen - with a 75 kW power supply;- Robustness and Reliability: 10 years of operation without significant preventive maintenance requirement, demonstrated through intensive lab test simulating 20 refuelling per day during 10 years, i.e. 72,000 refuelling;- CAPEX: Manufacturing cost of 300 k€ for the compression and buffering module (CBM) assuming serial production (50 systems/yr). This level of cost for the CBM allows to target a cost of 450 k€ for the complete HRS (including pre-cooling and dispensing), assuming application of the optimized approaches for pre-cooling and dispensing control being developed in the HyTransfer project, far below the current HRS cost of approximately 900 k€;- Energy efficiency: average consumption for compression below 1.5 kWh/kg of dispensed hydrogen, i.e. 50% below the energy consumption of current systems, in fuelling stations supplied by trailers, which is and will likely remain the most common form of supply. The knowledge gained will allow subsequent development to focus on optimization of components, of design for manufacturing and maintenance, further demonstration, and the development of a product range for different refuelling station sizes, thus taking this innovation to the market.

External links:

CORDIS link

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H2ME

Hydrogen Mobility Europe

Hydrogen Mobility Europe (H2ME) brings together Europe’s 4 most ambitious national initiatives on hydrogen mobility (Germany, Scandinavia, France and the UK). The project will expand their developing networks of HRS and the fleets of fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) operating on Europe’s roads, to significantly expand the activities in each country and start the creation of a pan-European hydrogen fuelling station network. In creating a project of this scale, the FCH JU will create not only a physical but also a strategic link between the regions that are leading in the deployment of hydrogen. The project will also include ‘observer countries’ (Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands), who will use the learnings from this project to develop their own hydrogen mobility strategies. The project is the most ambitious coordinated hydrogen deployment project attempted in Europe. The scale of this deployment will allow the consortium to:

  • Trial a large fleet of FCEVs in diverse applications across Europe - 200 OEM FCEVs (Daimler and Hyundai) and 125 fuel cell range-extended vans (Symbio FCell collaborating with Renault) will be deployed
  • Deploy 29 state of the art refuelling stations, using technology from the full breadth of Europe’s hydrogen refuelling station providers. The scale will ensure that stations will be lower cost than in previous projects and the breadth will ensure that Europe’s hydrogen station developers advance together
  • Conduct a real world test of 4 national hydrogen mobility strategies and share learnings to support other countries’ strategy development
  • Analyse the customer attitude to the FCEV proposition, with a focus on attitudes to the fuelling station networks as they evolve in each country
  • Assess the performance of the refuelling stations and vehicles in order to provide data of a sufficient resolution to allow policy-makers, early adopters and the hydrogen mobility industry to validate the readiness of the technology for full commercial roll-out.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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VOLUMETRIQ

Volume Manufacturing of PEM FC Stacks for Transportation and In-line Quality Assurance

 

 

The principal aim of the project is to develop an EU-centric supply base for key automotive PEM fuel cell components that achieve high power density and with volume production capability along with embedded quality control as a key focus - to enable the establishment of a mature Automotive PEM fuel cell manufacturing capability in Europe. It will exploit existing EU value adding competencies and skill sets to enhance EU employment opportunities and competitiveness while supporting CO2 reduction and emissions reduction targets across the Transport sector with increased security of fuel supply (by utilising locally produced Hydrogen).

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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BIG HIT

Building Innovative Green Hydrogen systems in an Isolated Territory: a pilot for Europe

BIG HIT

BIG HIT will create a replicable hydrogen territory in Orkney (Scotland) by implementing a fully integrated model of hydrogen production, storage, transportation and utilisation for heat, power and mobility. BIG HIT will absorb curtailed energy from two wind turbines and tidal turbines on the islands of Eday and Shapinsay, and use 1.5MW of PEM electrolysis to convert it into ~50 t pa of hydrogen. This will be used to heat two local schools, and transported by sea to Kirkwall in 5 hydrogen trailers, where it will be used to fuel a 75kW fuel cell (which will provide heat and power to the harbour buildings, a marina and 3 ferries when docked), and a refuelling station for a fleet of 10 fuel cell vehicles. The project employs a novel structure to manage the hydrogen trading, and dissemination that includes a follower territory and associations of over 1640 isolated territories.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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H2ME 2

Hydrogen Mobility Europe 2

Hydrogen Mobility Europe 2 (H2ME 2) brings together action in 8 European countries to address the innovations required to make the hydrogen mobility sector truly ready for market.  The project will perform a large-scale market test of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, passenger and commercial fuel cell electric vehicles operated in real-world customer applications and demonstrate the system benefits generated by using electrolytic hydrogen solutions in grid operations.
H2ME 2 will increase the participation of European manufacturers into the hydrogen sector, and demonstrate new vehicles across a range of platforms, with increased choice: new cars (Honda, and Daimler), new vans (range extended vehicles from Renault/Symbio and Renault/Nissan/Intelligent Energy) and a new medium sized urban delivery truck (Renault Trucks/Symbio). H2ME 2 develops an attractive proposition around range extended vehicles and supports a major roll-out of 1,000 of these vehicles to customers in France, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK.  1,230 new hydrogen fuelled vehicles will be deployed in total, trebling the existing fuel cell fleet in Europe.
H2ME 2 will establish the conditions under which electrolytic refuelling stations can play a beneficial role in the energy system, and demonstrate the acquisition of real revenues from provision of energy services for aggregated electrolyser-HRS systems at a MW scale in both the UK and France. This has the further implication of demonstrating viable opportunities for reducing the cost of hydrogen at the nozzle by providing valuable energy services without disrupting refuelling operations.
H2ME 2 will test 20 new HRS rigorously at high level of utilisation using the large vehicle deployment.  The loading of stations by the end of the project is expected to average 20% of their daily fuelling capacity, with some stations exceeding 50% or more.  This will test the HRS to a much greater extent than has been the case in previous projects.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project's website

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COSMHYC XL

COmbined hybrid Solution of Metal HYdride and mechanical Compressors for eXtra Large scale hydrogen refuelling stations

 

Hydrogen mobility is one of the most promising solutions for a sustainable energy transition in large-scale transport modes, including trucks, busses, trains and professional vehicle fleets. For these applications, a dedicated hydrogen refuelling infrastructure is necessary, including hydrogen compressors able to meet challenging constraints in terms of flow rate and availability. The COSMHYC XL project aims at developing an innovative compression solution for extra-large hydrogen refuelling stations, based on the combination of a metal hydride compressor and a diaphragm compressor. The solution will be scalable and modular and will therefore be adapted to the diversity of large-scale mobility applications. The combination of both technologies will provide a cost efficient solution, by reducing both the investment and the maintenance costs. Thanks to significant research and innovation activities, from core materials and components to system integration, the new compression solution will contain no critical raw materials. The hydrogen flow rates will be drastically increased, as well as the overall compression ratio. In addition, the reliability and availability of hydrogen refuelling stations will be significantly improved. An innovative system integration concept will enable to optimise the thermal synergies between both compressors and lead to an improved electrical efficiency by more than 30%, thereby contributing to reduce the production costs of hydrogen and making it a competitive fuel for large-scale mobility. COSMHYC XL will include the development of a 1/10 scale prototype, and a long-term test phase of 6 months under real conditions. Techno-economic analysis will be performed and an advisory committee will support the partners to better understand the needs of the market. Extensive communication, dissemination and exploitation activities will take place and maximise the economic, environmental and societal impacts of the project.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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DOLPHIN

Disruptive PEMFC stack with nOvel materials, Processes, arcHitecture and optimized Interfaces

 

Current PEMFC stack technologies for automotive applications show limitations in performance, durability and production cost which are primary challenges to reach mass production and fuel cell commercialization. It is obvious that filling the gap between present State of The Art performances and expected targets will not be possible by an incremental evolution of the present PEMFC technology as deployed today in first commercial cars. Thus, it is necessary to identify, develop and validate a more innovative, disruptive approach including new materials and processes to have a chance to reach these ambitious challenges. In this perspective, the DOLPHIN project is exploring an unconventional, highly innovative route towards a newly designed cell architecture featuring a Dual-Core Single Repeat Unit (DC-SRU). Thanks to smart approaches in the fields of ‘Process Integration’, ‘Interfaces Quality’ and ‘Materials Efficiency’, DOLPHIN will deliver a light-weight & compact fuel cell and stack architecture with low (mass/charge) transport resistances inside the fuel cell core. Mechanically strong and corrosion resistant structures with redesigned and more coherent cell-internal interfaces will delay the activation of major ageing mechanisms and failures occurrence hence increasing system reliability to a level compatible with automotive durability targets. Finally, by triggering an original concept relying on two integrated multifunctional cores and two architectures (w/o GDM) of increasing level of disruptiveness, DOLPHIN will finally deliver reinvented process scheme with projected stack production costs less than 20 €/kW. DOLPHIN will in that sense address drastic fuel cell stack requirements for the automotive industry and beyond. It consists in another step forward toward the large-scale deployment of environmentally friendly vehicles, while also participating to the increase in European competitiveness, industrialisation and self-sufficiency in energy.

External links:

CORDIS link

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FLAGSHIPS

Clean waterborne transport in Europe

 

The FLAGSHIPS project raises the readiness of zero-emission waterborne transport to an entirely new level by demonstrating two commercially operated hydrogen fuel cell vessels. The demo vessels include a new build in France (Lyon) and a retrofit in Norway (Stavanger). The Lyon demo is a push-boat operating as a utility vessel on one of the most demanding rivers, the Rhône, while the Stavanger demo is a high-speed passenger ferry operating as part of the local public transport network. In the project, a total of 1.4 MW of on-board fuel cell power will be installed and both vessels will run on hydrogen produced on-site with electrolyzers powered by renewable electricity. Gaseous (Lyon) and liquid (Stavanger) hydrogen will be used in the vessels' on-board hydrogen storage. Both vessels will be approved for safety. The project will cooperate over a broad base to complete the required safety assessment and approval for the two vessels, by applying and further developing the existing regulations and codes. The ship owners expect to maintain the ships in normal commercial operation after the 18-month demonstration period of the project and to this end, a solid support from local end-users and community has been gathered. The project will reduce the capital cost of marine fuel cell power systems significantly by leveraging knowhow from existing on-shore and marine system integration activities. European supply chains for H2 fuel and FC system technologies are strengthened by networking through the project. The consortium includes ten European partners, with two ship owners Norled (NO) and CFT (FR), and the maritime OEM and design companies ABB (FI), Kongsberg Maritime (NO) and LMG Marine (NO & FR). World-leading fuel cell technology is provided by Ballard Europe (DK) and vessel energy monitoring and management by Pers-EE (FR). Management and dissemination activities are provided by VTT (FI) and NCE Maritime CleanTech (NO), respectively.

External links:

CORDIS link

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GAIA

Next Generation AutomotIve membrane electrode Assemblies

 

GAIA has the overall aim of developing high power and high current density automotive MEAs well beyond the current state of the art up to TRL5. This project, encompassing OEMs, leading industrial and academic/research organisation/research institute partners with long expertise in fuel cell science and technology, and building on best developments from the FCHJU, will not only provide significantly higher performance MEAs but will also ensure the designs satisfy the cost, durability and operational targets set by the call. Accordingly, the specific objectives of the project are to:

  • Develop world-leading components (electrocatalysts, membranes, gas diffusion and microporous layers) and improve the interfaces between them to minimise resistances;
  • Realise the potential of these components in next generation MEAs showing a step-change in performance that will largely surpass the state of the art by delivering a beginning of life power density of 1.8 W/cm2 at 0.6 V;
  • Validate the MEA performance and durability in full size cell short stacks, with durability tests of 1000 h with extrapolation to 6,000 h;
  • Provide a cost assessment study that demonstrates that the MEAs can achieve the cost target of 6 €/kW for an annual production rate of 1 million square metres.

External links:

CORDIS link

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H2Ports

Implementing Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Technologies in Ports

 

Hydrogen is an energy carrier with great potential for clean, efficient power in transport applications. Hydrogen can be obtained from different sources, which in combination with fuel cells it can improve energy efficiency especially when hydrogen is produced by renewable energy sources. The action proposed tries to introduce hydrogen as an alternative fuel in the port industry. The H2Ports project is an Action aligned with the needs and objectives of the European Commission and the port industry. The aim is to provide efficient solutions to facilitate a fast evolution from a fossil fuel based industry towards a low carbon and zero-emission sector. Hydrogen has been proved in other logistics and transportation sectors as a solution to power machinery and vehicles, therefore the action proposes different pilots to bridge the gap between prototypes and pre commercial products:

  • The first prototype will comprise a reach stacker powered with hydrogen and tested under a real life trial, in a Port Container Terminal.
  • The second prototype will comprise a yard tractor equipped with a set of fuel cells. The design will enable the tractor to perform different operations like container horizontal transport or ro-ro loading/unloading operations.
  • The third prototype will comprise a mobile Hydrogen supply station, which will provide the needed fuel under the appropriate thermodynamic conditions for guaranteeing the continuous working cycles of the abovementioned equipment.

The H2Ports project would also have a transversal objective that consists on developing a sustainable hydrogen supply chain at the port, coordinating all actors involved: customers, hydrogen producers, suppliers, etc. The expected results of the project are to test and validate hydrogen-powered solutions in the port-maritime industry, with the aim of having applicable and real solutions without affecting to port operations while producing zero local emissions.

External links:

CORDIS link

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HEAVEN

High powEr density FC System for Aerial Passenger VEhicle fueled by liquid HydrogeN

 

The main goal of HEAVEN project is to design, develop and integrate a powertrain based on high power fuel cell and cryogenic technology into an existing 2-4 seats aircraft for testing in flight operation. Specifically, the project proposes to design a modular architecture with modular systems that can be scale-up to other sizes of aircrafts and UAV applications. The design methodology is complemented with safety and regulation analysis. Regarding the fuel cell technology, two high power PEM fuel cell systems of 45 kW based on metallic bipolar plates will be adapted for aircraft applications and integrated with optimized balance of plant components to obtain an enhanced 90kW fuel cell system able to propel without support of a battery the aircraft operating modes. The hydrogen storage will be based on cryogenic technology successfully applied in previous space applications in order to achieve a gravimetric index of about 15% for a hydrogen payload between 10 and 25 kg that provide an autonomy range to the demonstrator of 8 hours. Moreover, HEAVEN project will leverage existing drivetrain components and an aircraft demonstrator in order to achieve an overall and successful TRL6 at the end of the project. The technology developments will be enriched with economic and business assessments during the execution of the project. Thus, HEAVEN will produce estimations of a total cost of ownership for the entire life cycle of the technology and business plan for the deployment of the technology in different aeronautics applications. Finally, HEAVEN consortium comprises large companies, SMEs and well-known research center with a strong experience and knowledge in fuel cell technology development for aeronautic applications that is supported with the participation in previous relevant H2020 projects and national projects.

External links:

CORDIS link

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THOR

Thermoplastic Hydrogen tanks Optimised and Recyclable

 

THOR aims at developing a cost-effective thermoplastic composite pressure vessel for hydrogen storage both for vehicle and for transportation applications. Thermoplastics appear as a promising solution to the challenges faced by conventional tanks in terms of compatibility with hydrogen service and with mass automotive market requirements. The use of thermoplastic materials, advanced numerical modelling techniques and innovative manufacturing processes will boost the performance, improve safety, enable optimized tank geometry and weight (reduction of 10%) and reduce the cost for mass production (400€/kg of H2 stored for 30 000 tanks/year). A series of tests extracted from demanding automotive standards will validate all the requirements and demonstrate that thermoplastic tanks outperform thermoset ones. The consortium is representative of the hydrogen supply chain, from technology developer to manufacturer and end-user enhancing market uptake: a disruptive technology provider with successful commercial experience of thermoplastic tanks (COVESS), an ambitious Tier One supplier targeting a wide market introduction towards all OEMs (FAURECIA), an industrial gas expert with a long history related to hydrogen and a complementary end-user of tanks for hydrogen supply and refuelling station operations (AIR LIQUIDE). This core industrial team is limited in purpose to avoid possible future commercial conflicts of interests and backed up with top research expertise to address all the identified challenges: an innovation center for material research with important tank scale testing capacity (CSM), a technology center in the fields of composite materials, manufacturing, automation, and testing (SIRRIS), academic teams with strong experience of composite materials and non-destructive testing (NTNU) and of thermo-mechanical materials behavior under fire aggression (CNRS) and a technical center with an innovative recycling technology for thermoplastic composites (CETIM-CERMAT).

External links:

CORDIS link

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