Transport and Refuelling Infrastructure

HYCORA

Hydrogen Contaminant Risk Assessment

 

 

In HyCoRA project, a strategy for cost reduction for hydrogen fuel quality assurance QA is developed and executed. For developing this strategy, hydrogen quality risk assessment is used to define the needs for hydrogen impurity gas analysis, system level PEMFC contaminant research as well as needs for purification needs in hydrogen production, especially produced by steam methane reforming (SMR). The use of qualitative and quantitative risk assessment enables identification of critical needs for gas analysis development and guides the research work on those issues, which require most attention. The development of quantitative risk model enables implementation of data from other parallel activities in USA, Japan and Korea. The measurement campaigns in hydrogen refuelling stations, as well as in SMR production units, provide quantitative data, which can be used for identification of canary species, when analysed with help of quantitative risk assessment. Essential part of the HyCoRA project is hydrogen contaminant research in PEMFC system level. The research is performed in down-scaled automotive fuel cell systems, which can replicate all the features of full-scale automotive fuel cell systems, including the change of gases in the anode and cathode during the start-stop cycling. The contaminants and levels to be studied are, excluding obvious carbon monoxide, determined using risk assessment with help of automotive advisory board. The main objective of HyCoRA project is to provide information to lower reduce cost of hydrogen fuel QA. However, it will also provide recommendations for revision of existing ISO 14687-2:2012 standard for hydrogen fuel in automotive applications.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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HYFIVE

Hydrogen For Innovative Vehicles

 

 

HyFIVE is an ambitious European project including 15 partners who will deploy 110 fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) from the five global automotive companies who are leading in their commercialisation (BMW, Daimler, HONDA, Hyundai and Toyota). Refuelling stations configured in viable networks will be developed in three distinct clusters by deploying 6 new stations linked with 12 existing stations supplied by Air Products, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network, Danish Hydrogen Fuel, ITM Power, Linde and OMV. The project’s scale and pan-European breadth allow it to tackle all of the final technical and social issues which could prevent the commercial roll-out of hydrogen vehicle and refuelling infrastructure across Europe. Research tasks will ensure these issues are analysed and that the learning is available for the hydrogen community across Europe. Issues include:

  • Demonstrating that the vehicles meet and exceed the technical and environmental expectations for FCEVs
  • Establishing best practice on supporting FCEVs in the field, including new procedures for equipping maintenance facilities, training dealers, establishing a spare parts regime etc.
  • Using the stations in the project to understand progress on solutions to the outstanding technical issues facing HRS
  • Investigating the challenges of using electrolysers to generate renewable hydrogen
  • Understanding the impact of operating a network for filling stations operated by different suppliers, with different hydrogen supply modes
  • Understanding the buying characteristics of the earliest adopters, who will procure vehicles despite high costs and limited infrastructure
  • Providing evidence on the likely trajectory of the commercialisation of FCEVs in Europe

The project will disseminate the results of this demonstration to opinion formers and decision makers across Europe to improve public readiness for the technology and encourage supportive policies and investment decisions.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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COBRA

COatings for BipolaR plAtes

 

 

Several automotive OEMs have announced plans for the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles from 2014/15. While this is a clear signal for the readiness of the automotive market, durability, efficiency, power density and cost of the fuel cell stack need further advancements and in some cases substantial improvement in years to come. Industrial fuel cell development in Europe lacks both state-of-the-art stack components and competitive stack suppliers for automotive application. Only a few European component suppliers can deliver mature state-of-the-art stack components such as bipolar plates with the specifications requested by the AIP of the FCH-JU.

The COBRA proposal aims to develop best-of-its-class bipolar plates for automotive stacks with superior corrosion resistance and durability while meeting commercial target cost. The project has a multidisciplinary character which implies joint efforts of specialists from various areas: chemistry, physics, material science, fuel cell engineering. Thus the COBRA consortium combines the collective expertise of bipolar plate and coating suppliers, system integrators and research institutes and thus removes critical disconnects between stakeholders. The scientific objectives of this project are elaboration and characterization of low-cost new functional coated bipolar plates highly resistant to corrosion with low contact resistance. The project will contribute in defining new coatings combining passivity and conductive properties by i) material selection, ii) screening of the coating elaboration process, iii) performance evaluation in stack configuration in real operating conditions, iv) techno-economical evaluation for large scale industrial production.

Presence of key industrial players in the project and strict orientation towards industrial requirements shall facilitate commercial utilization of the project outcomes. The project is of strategic importance for European competitiveness.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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3EMOTION

Environmentally Friendly, Efficient Electric Motion

 

 

The 3EMOTION project will provide policymakers and financing institutions with the necessary arguments to invest in Fuel Cell Buses (FCB) as a cost effective strategy to accelerate the reduction of harmful local emissions while offering attractive co-modality options for commuters. By leveraging the experiences of earlier FCB demonstrations in overcoming the last technical and economic barriers, as well as significantly increasing the number of bus operators involved with FCBs, the project will support the achievements anticipated in the upcoming FCH-JU Bus Commercialisation Study, 2014. More specifically, the project will:

  • Lower H2 consumption for FCB’s to less than 9kg/100km (a 30% improvement over the FCH JU targets)
  • Integrate latest drive train, fuel cells & battery technologies to lower the TCO and increase their actual lifetime
  • Ensure Availability >90% without the need of permanent technical support, a major advance compared to that achieved under current FCH-JU projects
  • Increase warranties (>15,000 hours) and improved delivery times of key components
  • Reduce bus investment costs to 850K€ for a 13m bus (a reduction of 35% over the current generation of vehicles)
  • A pan-European consortium of public & private actors will achieve these challenging targets and objectives by:
  • Operating 27 FCB in 5 leading EU cities: London, Rome, Flanders, Rotterdam, Cherbourg (6 already existing)
  • Developing 3 new Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HRS)
  • Conducting an evaluation assessment of the use of FCB & HRS (environment, economic, social) using the existing MAF
  • Identifying the transferability model for accelerating the commercialisation of FCB’s in the EU by comparing their latest performances with conventional/alternative technologies
  • Consolidating and extending the network of H2 Bus Centres of Excellence to the project sites, in collaboration with the H2 Bus Alliance Global H2 Bus Platform and UITP.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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CATAPULT

Novel CATAlyst structures employing Pt at Ultra Low and zero loadings for auTomotive MEAs

 

Project CATAPULT proposes to develop a radically new concept for automotive PEM fuel cell catalysts based on novel structures wherein platinum is deposited as an extremely thin layer ( <3 nm) on corrosion resistant supports of various morphologies, including particulate, nanofibrous and nanotubular, as well as "nano-hierarchical" combinations of these. In this approach, platinum is deposited using atomic layer deposition as thin, contiguous and conformal films that allow development of extended platinum or platinum alloy surfaces. Non-PGM catalysts will be developed via the tailored synthesis of metal-organic frameworks for their use either sacrificially to generate the C/N support for non-PGM species, or directly as a non-PGM catalyst. Hybrid ultra-low Pt/non-PGM catalysts and catalyst layers will also be investigated as a further novel approach. Increased fundamental understanding from supporting theoretical modelling will provide guidance to the strategies developed experimentally and to the down-selection of the new corrosion-resistant supports and their supported catalyst designs.  Down-selected catalysts will be integrated into novel electrode designs and into MEAs incorporating state of the art membranes best adapted for automotive power trains, and evaluated according to protocols reproducing the stresses encountered in a drive cycle. The candidate MEA best satisfying performance and stability targets will be scaled-up for further assessment at large MEA and short stack levels. Techno-economic assessment will consider the scale up processability, and the impact of MEA performance and durability on stack costs. The well-balanced partnership, comprising two large industries (including an automotive OEM), two SMEs, two research organisations and two universities, will ensure close cooperation between industrial and institute partners, know-how, experience, research leadership, complementarity and industrial relevance.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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HYAC

HyAC: high measurement accuracy of hydrogen refueling

 

 

The overall purpose and ambition of HyAC is to address the two main obstacles for accurate and legal metering for commercial hydrogen fuel dispensing:

  • Validate and demonstrate that state-of-the-art hydrogen mass flow metering can meet expected legal requirements by conducting accuracy testing
  • Analyse existing legislation & standards on gas fuel metering accuracy and provide detailed recommendations on how hydrogen can be included and handled.

The outcome of the HyAC project will primarily be a report named: ““Recommendations for legal requirements & procedures & for verification & approval of hydrogen metering accuracy”.  Scope and purpose of the report will be to provide a thorough basis for later inclusion of hydrogen in the MID directive and OIML recommendation as well acting as a guideline for the handling of hydrogen by national authorities. In short term EU member countries may use HyAC results for individual handling legal accuracy processes for hydrogen. This may help enable an early roll-out of a hydrogen refueling infrastructure in key EU member countries where market introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles are considered, e.g. Germany, UK, Netherlands and Scandinavia. Also the HyAC project results can contribute to a potential inclusion of hydrogen in the European MID directive and OIML standard in medium to long term. This would provide a uniform approval process for hydrogen accuracy across Europe and help support a European wide roll-out of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. To both collect input for the HyAC activities and secure a strong dissemination platform, networking and dialogue will be secured to authorities in selected EU member countries, working groups of MID and OIML, major European hydrogen initiatives (CEP, SHHP and UK/DE H2Mobilities) as well as major ongoing FCH-JU funded transport demonstration projects.

External links:

CORDIS link

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HYCARUS

Hydrogen cells for airborne usage

 

 

In order to meet the increasing pressure to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, airlines are seeking alternative sources to power non-propulsive aircraft systems. The next generation of aircraft is heavily investigating the use of non-fossil fuel to generate electrical power for non-essential applications (NEA). Hydrogen fuel cells are actively being pursued as the most promising means of providing this power. Fuel cells also have the added benefits of no pollution, better efficiency than conventional systems, silent operating mode and low maintenance. The by-products from the fuel cells (heat, water and oxygen depleted air) will also have a positive impact on the global aircraft efficiency when they are harnessed and reused within the aircraft system. The HYCARUS project will design a generic PEM fuel cell system compatible of two NEA, then develop, test and demonstrate it against TRL6. A secondary electrical power generation model for a business executive jet will be run. The application will be tested with the fuel cell system and the storage system under flying conditions. Furthermore, investigations will be made to understand how to capture and reuse the by-products. The HYCARUS project will extend the work already completed in the automotive sector, particularly for safety codes and standards, and develop these for use in airborne installation and applications. Improvements in terms of efficiency, reliability, performance, weight /volume ratio, safety, cost and lifetime under flight conditions at altitude and under low ambient temperatures (mainly in the air) will also be examined. The HYCARUS project also aims to foster a better and stronger cooperation between all the agents of the sector: Aeronautics equipment and systems manufacturers, aircraft manufacturers, system integrators and fuel cell technology suppliers.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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AUTO-STACK CORE

Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Cluster Initiative for Europe II

 

 

Several automotive OEMs have announced plans for the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles from 2014/15. Industrial partnerships such as H2-Mobility in Germany, the UK or Hydrogen Highway in Scandinavia are working to establish the required initial H2- infrastructure While this is a clear signal for the functional readiness of fuel cell technology in automotive application, durability, efficiency, power density and cost of the fuel cell stack need further advancements and in some cases substantial improvement in years to come. Industrial fuel cell development in Europe lacks both, state-of-the-art stack products and competitive stack suppliers for automotive application. Only a few European component suppliers can deliver mature state-of-the-art stack components (MEA, bipolar plates) with the requested specifications. “Auto-Stack Core” establishes a coalition with the objective to develop best-of-its-class automotive stack hardware with superior power density and performance while meeting commercial target cost. The project consortium combines the collective expertise of automotive OEMs, component suppliers, system integrators and research institutes and thus removes critical disconnects between stakeholders. The technical concept is based on the Auto-Stack assessments which were carried out under the FCH JU Grant Agreement No. 245 142 and reflects the system requirements of major OEMs. It suggests a platform concept to substantially improve economies of scale and reduce critical investment cost for individual OEMs by sharing the same stack hardware for different vehicles and vehicle categories as well as selected other industrial applications thus addressing one of the most critical challenges of fuel cell commercialization. Presence of key industrial players in the project and strict orientation towards industrial requirements shall facilitate commercial utilization of the project results. The project is of strategic importance for European competitiveness.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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COPERNIC

Cost & Performances Improvement for CGH2 composite tanks

 

 

A certain level of maturity of on-board compressed gaseous storage systems have been demonstrated through large Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) deployment projects like Clean Energy Partnership (100+ FCEVs). In addition, major car companies have confirmed their intent to start production by 2015. Nevertheless, major issues still remain to be addressed:

  • VOLUME: Actual CGH2 tank production is far from being capable of feeding the volume requested by the automotive industry. Therefore, current manufacturing equipment and production strategies are not designed for addressing such a market.
  • COSTS: Latest techno-economic analysis (DoE 05/2011) are still forecasting that industrial costs for 700bar CGH2 tanks may remain 4 to 5 times higher than expected targets.

This is particularly critical with respect to a massive deployment of FCEV.

COPERNIC will address the two major targets: performance improvements and cost reduction of 70MPa TypeIV composite vessels for automotive application in order to achieve targets and lead to rapid industrial exploitation owing to the strong contribution of 4 SME and industrial partners in the consortium. It will provide real scale demonstration on a pilot manufacturing line quantitative and technical and economic assessment of strategies including evolution of materials, components, processes and designs.

Therefore, in full consistency with the call Topic, the COPERNIC project will contribute to:

  • Increase the maturity and competitiveness of CGH2 manufacturing processes evolving from classical automotive manufacturing technologies or concepts.
  • Decrease costs while improving composite quality, manufacturing productivity and using optimized composite design, materials and components.
  • The scope of work has been defined taking into account past project outcomes (STORHY) and on-going project objectives (HYCOMP). COPERNIC will ensure that the deployment of FCEV is not inhibited by prohibitive high-pressure tanks cost or availability.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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SMARTCAT

Systematic, Material-oriented Approach using Rational design to develop break-Through Catalysts for commercial automotive PEMFC stacks

 

 

The present consortium will build a new concept of electrodes based on new catalyst design (ternary alloyed/core shell clusters) deposited on a new high temperature operation efficient support. In order to enhance the fundamental understanding and determine the optimal composition and geometry of the clusters, advanced computational techniques will be used in direct combination with electrochemical analysis of the prepared catalysts. The use of deposition by plasma sputtering on alternative non-carbon support materials will ensure the reproducible properties of the catalytic layers. Plasma technology is now a well-established, robust, clean, and economical process for thin film technologies. Well-defined chemical synthesis methods will also be used prior for quickly defining the best catalytists. MEA preparation and testing, MEA automated fabrication in view of automotive operation will complete the new concepts of catalysts with a considerably lowered Pt content (below 0.01 mgcm-2 and less up to 0.001 mgcm-2) and supports for delivering a competitive and industrially scalable new design of PEMFC suitable for automotive applications.

SMARTCat will thus address the following objectives:

  • Deliver specifications/requirements for reaching the technical goals as a roadmap.
  • Design an efficient new catalyst architecture
  • Establish a support selection criteria based on physico-chemical characterization and modelling for defining the most suited electrode support to the defined catalytic system
  • Assess the robustness regarding operation conditions and fuel cell efficiency
  • Enable to automate the MEA production using state of the art (< 100°C) and high temperature membranes (120°C)
  • Build efficient short-stack required for competitive automotive fuel cell operation
  • Low cost process and low Pt content will dramatically reduce the fuel cell cost, and which will lead to economically suitable fuel cells for automotive application

External links:

CORDIS link

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NANO-CAT

Development of advanced catalysts for PEMFC automotive applications

 

 

Many efforts have been put on the reduction of the Pt loading but nowadays a threshold seems to be obtained. Because the kinetics of the Hydrogen Oxidation Reaction is very fast on Pt, it is possible to use MEA with a Pt loading as low as 35 µgPt/cm-2 without any effect on the voltage loss when such an anode is used in front of a well working cathode. But, the Oxygen Reduction Reaction kinetics is not so fast which is the limiting step concerning the electrochemical processes in a PEMFC. For that raison, the decrease of the Pt loading is now encountering a plateau. Nano-CAT will propose alternatives to the use of pure Pt as catalyst and promote Pt alloys or even Pt-free innovative catalyst structures with a good activity and enhanced lifetime due to a better resistance to degradation. Nano-CAT will thus develop novel Pt-free catalysts (called bioinspired catalysts) and explore the route of nanostructured Pt alloys with very low Pt content. Catalysts are chemical species on which the electrochemical reactions are accelerated. PEMFC uses heterogeneous catalysis meaning the catalyst needs to be supported on a material in a solid phase (catalyst support). Nano-CAT will focus on the development of new supports with 2 promising sets of solutions: functionalized Carbon NanoTubes and conductive carbon-free Metal Oxide. These supports offering a better resistance towards degradation than the carbon black commonly used will address the issue of the support degradation and the MEA lifetime. Nano-CAT will follow two routes, one low risk to ensure demonstration of the use of Pt alloys on new resistant supports and one high risk route to evaluate the feasibility of Pt-free MEA based on the use of bioinspired catalysts. Finally, Nano-CAT addresses all technical issues leading to the industrialization of the project outcomes for automotive application by the development of high quality manufacturing methods of complete MEAs required to maintain high power density and efficiency.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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HyTransit

European Hydrogen Transit Buses in Scotland

 

 

Hydrogen buses have the potential to play a significant role in expanding the use of hydrogen in the transport sector. To date, however hydrogen bus demonstrations have been focussed on urban buses only, leaving other public transit applications completely unaddressed. In addition, only a limited number of European regions have had the chance to trial hydrogen bus technology, which means the technology is relatively unknown to the majority of European bus operators.

HyTransit will trial a fleet of six hybrid fuel cell buses in daily fleet services, together with one state of the art hydrogen refuelling station in Aberdeen (Scotland) for over three years. This project is designed to contribute to the commercialisation of hydrogen buses in Europe by:

Bringing together an industrial consortium from across Europe to deliver the project, including buses from Van Hool (Belgium) and state of the art refuelling technology from BOC (UK).

  • Develop six A330 hybrid fuel cell buses specifically modified for long sub-urban routes.
  • Generating new Intellectual Property for Europe by developing the concept design for the world’s first hybrid fuel cell coach for long-route transit applications.
  • Exposing the six buses to real world operation with exactly the same service requirements as diesel buses, with 14 hours and 270km per day operation.
  • A state of the art hydrogen refuelling station will be constructed to serve the bus fleet. The station will be based on ionic compressors, configured to allow a refuelling speed of up to 120 grams per second. The station will house an electrolyser system for on-site hydrogen production.
  • Taking the first step for a large-scale rollout of hydrogen buses in Scotland. The next logical step after this project is Scottish Government support for the deployment of a minimum of 50 buses. This project will be the first step to realising this vision for Scotland.

The overall project objective is to prove that a hybrid fuel cell bus is capable of meeting the operational performance of an equivalent diesel bus on demanding UK routes (including urban and inter-urban driving), whilst considerably exceeding its environmental performance.

This will be achieved by bringing together a primarily industrial consortium from five member states to develop, deploy and then monitor the buses in day to day service, with an overarching aim to demonstrate an operational availability for the buses equivalent to diesel (over 90%).

The project will also address the main commercial barrier to the technology (namely bus capital cost) by deploying state of the art components, which will reduce the unit cost of the bus to below 1.1 million euros for the first time.

Results of the project will be widely disseminated to the general public. In addition, a more targeted approach will be adopted towards the key stakeholders who will be responsible for decisions on the next steps towards commercialisation of the technology.

External links:

CORDIS link

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ARTEMIS

Automotive PEMFC Range extender with high TEMperature Improved meas and Stacks

 

 

ARTEMIS is a collaborative project whose aim is to develop new high temperature PEMFC MEAs for operation up to at least 130 °C, and preferably 150 to 180 °C, and their validation in a stack for automotive application as a range extender.

There is increasing industrial interest in developing HT-PEMFC systems in conjunction with Diesel or methanol-reformer to continuously charge batteries onboard of automotive vehicles, thus extending the range to several hundred kilometers, using the existing infrastructure for hydrocarbon fuels. HT-PEMFC systems are being developed commercially for backup-systems in remote areas or developing countries where a long operation time is required when the grid fails. Hydrogen supply for those applications is, in the present infrastructure scenario, rather difficult and expensive, leading to the combination of reformers with HT-PEMFC as an attractive option.

High temperature fuel cells offer advantages for the overall system. HT-PEM fuel cells require less balance of plant components and thus have reduced ancillary loads, and they offer high tolerance to CO and other pollutants, meaning that either lower quality hydrogen can be used on an onboard reformer integrated to use readily available hydrocarbon fuels (gasoline or diesel in the case of range extender to an ICE, or others, bioethanol for example in the case of a range extender to a battery).

The purpose of ARTEMIS is to develop and optimise alternative materials for a new generation of European MEAs which could be integrated into a 3 kWe high temperature PEMFC stack, while reducing cost and increasing durability. The MEAs will be based on new and alternative polybenzimidazole type membranes and improved catalytic layers providing low catalyst loading and high efficiency at high temperature as well as a high tolerance to pollutants. The MEAs should offer long and stable properties under various conditions of operation relevant to the range extender application.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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STAMPEM

STAble and low cost Manufactured bipolar plates for PEM Fuel Cells

 

 

One key component in the PEMFC which contributes significantly to cost, weight, volume of the stacks and still needs to be improved to ensure cell lifetime is the BiPolar Plate (BPP). Metal based bipolar plates are very attractive, but a protective coating is needed to avoid corrosion and keep the interfacial contact resistance low.

The STAMPEM-consortium has been established acknowledging that further development of BPPs require Europe’s best available resources, with respect to both human competence and infrastructure (laboratories). The objective in STAMPEM is to develop a new generation coating for low cost metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs, with robust and durable properties for assembly and manufacturing, showing high performance after more than 10000 hours of operation.

The concept of STAMPEM is to combine world leading industrial actors capable of volume manufacturing with research institutions with the required generic competence capable of providing breakthrough solutions with respect to a new generation coating for low cost metallic BPPs. By involving an end user of the BPPs developed in the STAMPEM project, the results will be thoroughly verified under realistic operating conditions in a PEMFC stack.

The initial phase of the project will be used to establish a testing protocol for BPP materials. In order to screen materials basic corrosion experiments will be performed with contact resistance measurements before and after the testing. Promising materials will further be tested in fuel cells and even further in stacks. The BPP materials go through a real mass production cycle, and also the real production cost will be analyzed. Also the possible detrimental contamination of the membrane will carefully be investigated. The most promising materials will in the end be fully integrated into a system and that also can be produced in series to provide the building blocks in other fuel cell vehicles.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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PUMA MIND

Physical bottom Up Multiscale Modelling for Automotive PEMFC Innovative performance and Durability optimisation

 

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) are complex nonlinear systems. In order to improve their durability, efficiency and to decrease the cost, time of development, design of new diagnostic tools is crucial.

Powerful mathematical models of the dynamic behaviour of PEMFCs are necessary for the design and improvement of diagnostic tools. The project PUMA MIND will enhance the understanding of interaction, competitions and synergies among the mechanisms at multiple scales and lead to the development of robust dynamic macroscopic models for control-command purposes with predictive capabilities.

The novel mathematical models developed by PUMA MIND will be tested by an experimental work, in order to ensure the applicability on commercial attainable components and catalysts. The most suitable catalysts for the MEA manufacturing technology will be used for these experiments. The implementation of the developed models on the mentioned above catalysts might allow a significant impact, and might also contribute to the most promising solutions based on current EU industrial available components. Operation conditions and control strategies to enhance the durability of automotive PEMFC will be derived on the basis of the multiscale modelling approach proposed by PUMA MIND.

External links:

CORDIS link

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IMPACT

Improved lifetime of automotive application fuel cells with ultra-low pt-loading

 

 

The main objective of the planned project IMPACT is to increase the life-time of fuel cells with membrane-electrode assemblies containing ultra-low Pt-loading (< 0.2 mg cm-2) for automotive applications. The economic requirements to reduce Pt loading leads to the challenge to maintain durability and performance, an aspect which has not been addressed sufficiently in public projects and studies. A durability of 5000 h under dynamic operation conditions with ultra-low loading is envisioned for automotive applications. IMPACT aims at improving significantly durability in the automotive application at reduced PGM loadings by material development and MEA development. Development ist performed on the main components of the cell, namely the membrane, the gas diffusion media and the electrodes. The basis for the durability is extensive testing at the industrial and research partner`s facilities under diverse and highly dynamic conditions and comprehensive and detailed analysis and evaluation of degradation processes and their importance for fuel cell performance loss. This analysis is utilized for the derivation of mitigation strategies by component modification and optimization of operation modes. The mitigation strategies are experimentally validated and consecutively lead to a demonstration of the improved durability in a predefined stack. IMPACT also aims at providing a cost analysis and an evaluation of the technical feasibility for large scale utilization of the project achievements. Recommendation and dissemination activities are planned within scientific workshops, publication of the results in scientific journals, and using project fact sheets.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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IMMEDIATE

Innovative automotive MEA Development – implementation of IPHE-GENIE Achievements Targeted at Excellence

 

 

The prime focus of IMMEDIATE is to develop high performing MEAs aimed for automotive applications through material R&D & process optimisation. The technical targets aimed in IMMEDIATE are addressing the JTI targets for automotive MEAs with respect to performance & cost. The proposed project is a continuation of the recently terminated and very successful FP6 R&D-project: IPHE-GENIE. The IMMEDIATE project approach is based on utilisation and further improvement of the materials and processes. Thus, the approach and the technical IMMEDIATE targets are as follows:

-Development of a membrane with

-A proton conductivity of at least 0.1 S/cm at 120ºC & 25% RH

-Thermal stability up to 160ºC

-Low dimensional changes (<10%, wet/dry)

-Development of MEAs that show high performance [1 W/cm2 @ UCell=0.68V (hEl=55%)] at low Platinum loadings [0.15g Pt/kW] through:

-Catalyst development and design

-Ionomer and membrane optimisation

-Electrode design

-GDL optimisation

-Process optimisation

-Testing of the developed MEAs on single cell and on small stacks level at realistic automotive operating conditions i.e. T=120ºC, RH 25%, P=1.5bar, yet being able to start from -20°C

-Application of automotive AST protocols to make a 5,000 h’s lifetime probable

It is considered that especially the combination of these targets is both challenging and a significant step forward.

The project is scheduled for 3 years. The Consortium is well balanced, with the following 9 partners complementing one another to achieve the project target goals:

•A PEM MEA manufacturing company (IRD [SME]) - coordinator

•A leading manufacturer of ion exchange polymers and membranes (FuMa)

•A huge producer of specialised carbon and graphite (TC)

•A huge GDL manufacturing company (SGL)

•A leading supplier (OEM) of commercial transport solutions (Volvo)

-4 R&D centres/universities, with more than 15 years’ experience working within PEM catalyst, ionomer, membrane & MEA development (ICPF, CNRS, SJTU & JRC)

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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CATHCAT

Novel catalyst materials for the cathode side of meas suitable for transportation applications

 

 

Novel low temperature fuel cell (FC) cathode catalyst and support systems will be designed and synthesized. The focus will be on highly active catalyst materials for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for transportation applications.

These materials will be fully characterized, benchmarked and validated with a multi-scale bottom up approach in order to significantly reduce the amount of precious metal catalyst loadings (< 0.15 g/kW) and to vastly improve fuel cell efficiency and durability. Thereby, materials compatible and stable under automotive fuel cell environment and conditions will be investigated in order to reach a FC lifetime of 5000h. These targets are highly relevant to the call topic requesting ambitious, highly novel concepts for next generation European membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) for transportation applications.

Numerical simulations will be used in order to identify which alloy compositions to strive for in the experimental work. These alloys will be synthesized both in the form of well-defined model compounds as well as in the form of nanoparticles. Different modified support materials will be studied.  For the NPs, there will be two stages of preparation, the small scale preparation to create well defined NPs for preliminary assessment of their performance and stability, and, subsequently, up-scaling for MEA production. Supported NP catalysts and model catalysts will be tested using electrochemical methods and Surface Science approaches. After up-scaling MEAs based on improved cathode catalysts and improved supports will be assembled using advanced Nafion- based and high temperature membrane based electrolytes. These will be tested for performance and durability using procedures established in automotive industry and previous EU projects.

External links:

CORDIS link

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Phaedrus

High Pressure Hydrogen All Electrochemical Decentralized RefUeling Station

 

 

PHAEDRUS addresses the complete scope and objectives of Topic SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.1.8. A new concept and new technologies for a hydrogen retail refuelling system are developed.

The major objective is to develop and validate a new concept for 70 MPa hydrogen refuelling retail stations by showing the applicability of electrochemical hydrogen compression technology in combination with a PEM electrolyser, storage units and dispensing system. The use of electrochemical hydrogen compression technology is a step change in both the efficiency and cost of ownership of an integrated hydrogen refuelling system. The applicability will be demonstrated in a fuelling system producing 5 kg hydrogen per day, while a design is made for a fuelling system capable of producing 200 kg hydrogen per day. Safety aspects, efficiency and economic viability of the system’s components will be analysed and validated as well. The targeted HRS infrastructure will have a modular dispensing capacity in the range of 50-200 kg per day, and will be fit for early network roll-out from 2015 onwards to 2020. Various consortium members are actively involved in working groups where relevant standards like SAE J2601, SAE J2799, CSA TIR 4.3, ISO TC 58/SC3 and ISO TC197 are being developed.

An Advisory Board will review the progress with respect to international developments and will act as an interconnection to efforts in other Member States, Asia and the United States. The project is scheduled for 3 years and can be regarded as phase one of a two-step development. In the first phase technology will be developed, a complete Hydrogen Refuelling System design is made for 200 kg/day capacity, and validated on a 5 kg/day scale. Subsequently in phase two the technology will be demonstrated in a scalable 200 kg/day Hydrogen Refuelling System.

The consortium encompasses the complete value-chain for an innovative hydrogen refuelling station; from a hydrogen producer to the automotive industry.

External links:

CORDIS link

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SWARM

Demonstration of Small 4-Wheel fuel cell passenger vehicle Applications in Regional and Municipal transport

 

 

This project will establish a demonstration fleet of small passenger vehicles that builds on and expands existing hydrogen refuelling infrastructure. Three European regions will be participating in this effort: the UK (the Midlands and Plymouth), the Brussels area and Wallonia, and the Weser-Ems region in Northwest Germany. Each of these regions will deploy a new hydrogen refuelling site to close the gaps in a continuous ‘hydrogen highways’ that leads from Scotland via the Midlands to London, connecting to Brussels and on to Cologne and Hamburg/Scandinavia/Berlin via Bremen.

The vehicles employed are low-cost, high fuel-efficiency, hybridised, light-weight passenger cars specifically designed for city and regional transport. These vehicles provide a complementary pathway to commercialisation to the large Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of hydrogen fuel cell options, by allowing near-term rollout on a commercial basis to a wide range of users – in parallel with the planned rollouts for large OEM vehicles from 2015. Their deployment regions will gain the infrastructure, public exposure and technological understanding to act as seed locations for future large scale OEM vehicle rollout.

In view of the lower vehicle costs, this project will deploy an unprecedented number of road vehicles for a demonstration project, with three OEM’s contributing 20, 10 and 20 vehicles respectively to the project. These will be put in the hands of users in a variety of real-life operating environments. An extensive data monitoring exercise will run throughout the demonstration phase, allowing the reliability of the vehicles tested by different users to be evaluated and leading to recommendations for the improvement of future, fully commercial vehicle designs.

The three European regions will deploy several hydrogen refuelling stations, adding a total of 3 new stations to existing supply sites, contributing to some of the first regional hydrogen refuelling clusters in Europe. Each region will as a consequence either own a high-standard filling station with = high capacity (200 kg/day) and high performance (70 MPa) refuelling technology (Wallonia, Weser-Ems), or build on existing smaller stations of lower capacity and pressure (UK, Midlands and Plymouth).

The project will be a near-commercial stepping stone and will include a reach-out activity timed to coincide with OEM’s commercialisation plans in the post-2015 period, to attract further vehicles to the newly developed infrastructures - by offering cost effective and readily available focal points for additional hydrogen fleets developing around these regions. Therefore supplementing the SWARM fleet and infrastructure by more vehicles and hydrogen filling stations supplied through other projects and separate funding.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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IMPALA

IMprove Pemfc with Advanced water management and gas diffusion Layers for Automotive application

 

 

The purpose of the IMPALA project is to manufacture improved GDL to increase performance (up to 1 W/cm²) and durability of PEMFC for automotive applications. Two approaches will be followed: i) Homogeneous GDL will be modified to ensure a better water management on anode and on cathode side (formulation of the MPL, wettability, stability of the hydrophobic treatment, hydrophilic layers, and conductive additives). Most of these modifications should be transferable to industry. ii) More innovative non uniform GDL will be manufactured to adjust their local properties to the non-uniform local operating conditions of a PEMFC (gradients of porosity and of wettability, patterns of hole). This is a higher risk approach as some modifications could be difficult to transfer to industry but the improvements should be higher and lead to breakthrough GDL.

This technological work will be supported by a deep water management analysis combining the most advanced two-phase models (Pore Network Modelling) and the most advanced experimental diagnostics (liquid visualisation by X-Ray, local instrumentation). This will allow having a much better understanding on water management and on the link between main properties of GDL (thickness, pore size and wettability distribution…) and their performance in PEMFC. This will ensure important scientific progress and provide recommendations for design.

The project is focused on standard automotive conditions but special attention will be paid to ensure the improvements will be valid for higher operating temperatures and different stack design for back-up applications.

The consortium gathers the necessary international complementary leading expertise to reach the project targets: INPT: two-phase modelling, PSI: X-Ray visualisation, JRC: modelling and tests, CEA: performance modelling, tests and modification of GDL, DLR: characterization, SGL: manufacturing performing GDL, and NEDSTACK: stack tests for automotive and back-up application.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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High V.LO-City

Cities speeding up the integration of hydrogen buses in public fleets

 

 

Several European bus manufacturers consider the hybrid fuel cell (FCH) bus as the most promising technology to facilitate the decarbonisation of public transport. By leveraging the experiences of past fuel cell bus projects, implementing technical improvements that increase efficiency and reduce costs of FCH buses, as well as introducing a modular approach to hydrogen refuelling infrastructure build-up, the High V(Flanders).L(Liguria) O(ScOtland)-City project aims at significantly increasing the “velocity” of integrating these buses on a larger scale in European bus operations.

•   The project will address the following key issues: Increase energy efficiency of the buses and reduce cost of ownership:

o   hydrogen consumption down to 7–9 kg H2/100km

o   integrating latest drive train and battery technologies

o   availability of 90% without the need of permanent support

o   >12.000 hours warranty and decreased additional warranty cost

o   increase lifetime of key components as fuel cells and batteries.

o   investment cost <1,3 million euro

•   Reduce the cost of hydrogen supply:

o   Liguria: linking with renewable hydrogen sources

o   Antwerp: using by-product hydrogen from industry

o   Aberdeen: making use of an existing hydrogen production and distribution mechanisms and eventually Scotland’s extensive wind energy resources

•   Consolidate past, current and future fuel cell bus demonstration activities by creating an active dissemination network of Hydrogen Bus Centres of Excellence in collaboration with the Hydrogen Bus Alliance, Global Hydrogen Bus Platform, CHIC Dissemination task force and JTI hydrogen bus demonstration projects. More specifically High V.LO City will:

o   Building on the experience of Van Hool the USA (21 buses 2005-2010) and Oslo (5 buses 2011)

o   Link Liguria, Antwerp, and Aberdeen, with already existing activities in United Kingdom (London), the Netherlands (Amsterdam and Arnhem), Germany (Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona) and Italy (Bolzano and Milano).

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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DESTA

Demonstration of 1st European SOFC Truck APU

 

 

Within the DESTA project the first European SOFC (“Solid Oxide Fuel Cell”) Truck APU (“Auxiliary Power Unit”) will be demonstrated. SOFC technology offers big advantages compared to other fuel cell technologies due to compatibility to conventional road fuels like diesel. Within the last years significant improvements have been made to bring SOFC stack technology and APU BoP components to prototype and product level. The project will begin with APU requirement definition for application of an SOFC APU into an US type Volvo heavy-duty truck. In parallel the test conditions for the vehicle test and off-vehicle tests will be elaborated. Due to huge development efforts at Eberspächer and AVL at project begin of DESTA already 2 SOFC APU systems will be available at laboratory prototype level. These 2 APU systems (in each case 3) will be tested based on an accelerated test profile for at least 1 year. Based on the test results and additional investigations a benchmark of the 2 systems will be performed by the independent research institute Forschungszentrum Jülich. Based on this benchmark and derived recommendations the 2 systems will be merged and optimized to one final DESTA SOFC APU. In this process the most promising approaches from both systems will be identified and realized in the final DESTA SOFC APU. In parallel to the system test and development TOFC will focus on SOFC stack optimization. In this project the decision has been made to focus on ASC stacks to due high maturity of this technology. This technology is already very close to industrialization. But the stacks still have to be improved in terms of start-up time, lifetime and sulphur tolerance which will be performed in WP3. Finally the optimized DESTA SOFC APU systems will go into tests. On the one hand the truck demonstration and on the other hand laboratory systems tests (performance, long-time, vibration, salt spray,..) will be performed.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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HyTEC

Hydrogen Transport in European Cities

 

 

This proposal focuses on creating two new European hydrogen passenger vehicle deployment centres in London and Copenhagen – cities that are widely recognised as synonymous with the goal of developing and then adopting ultra-low carbon urban transport solutions.

The HyTEC project will also create genuine links between the new and existing hydrogen passenger vehicle demonstration projects across Europe, with a view to informing ongoing strategic planning for hydrogen rollout and also ensuring a ‘common voice’ towards the expansion of the hydrogen vehicle fleet in Europe towards commercialisation. To do so, a fleet of passenger cars will be deployed in Oslo, one of the early demonstration centres, continuing the rollout of the hydrogen vehicles at this site.

The goal of the project is to implement stakeholder inclusive vehicle demonstration programmes that specifically address the challenge of transitioning hydrogen vehicles from running exemplars to fully certified vehicles utilised by end-users and moving along the pathway to providing competitive future products.

A European consortium of 17 members from 5 member states has been assembled to deliver the project, which will:

•   Demonstrate 25 new hydrogen vehicles in the hands of real customers, in two vehicles classes: taxis (5), passenger cars (19). In addition fuel cell hybrid hydrogen scooters will be demonstrated as a proof of concept in London and at Ride and Drive type events. The passenger cars will be supplied by leading global OEMs.

These will be supported by new hydrogen refuelling facilities, which together with existing deployments in each city will lead to two new city based networks for hydrogen fuelling. These networks work on different concepts, one based on on-site production (Copenhagen) and the second on hydrogen delivery (London), allowing different pathways to be tested and compared.

•   Analyse the results of the project, with an expert pan-European research team. The analysis will consider the full well to wheels life cycle impact of the vehicles and associated fuelling networks, demonstrate the technical performance of the vehicles and uncover the non-technical barriers to wider implementation.

•   Plan for future commercialisation of the vehicles, as well as providing an approach for the rollout of vehicles and infrastructure, which builds on the demonstration projects.

•   Disseminate the results of the project widely to the public to improve hydrogen awareness. This will be supported by targeted dissemination to, other regions, key industrial stakeholders and policy makers.

External links:

CORDIS link

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FCGEN

Fuel Cell Based Power Generation

 

 

For truck applications the increasing demand for electrical power when the vehicle stands still has led to an increasing need for an on-board electric power generator which operates with high efficiency and very low emissions. A fuel cell based auxiliary power unit (APU), with a diesel fuel processor is regarded as one of the most interesting options since it combines high efficiency, low emissions and the use of the same fuel as the main engine. The overall objectives of FCGEN were to develop and demonstrate a proof-of-concept complete fuel cell auxiliary power unit in a real application, on board a truck. However, the vehicle demonstration objective was changed to laboratory demonstration as the project partner, CRF, who was responsible for the vehicle demonstration work package and providing the demonstration truck has left the project after 24 months and it was not possible for the FCGEN consortium to find a suitable replacement for CRF. The APU system consisting of a low-temperature PEM fuel cell, a diesel fuel processor and necessary balance of plant components will be designed to meet automotive requirements regarding e.g. size, mechanical tolerances, durability etc. High targets are set for energy efficiency and therefore this will significantly lead to emissions reductions and greener transport solutions in line with EU targets. A key point in the project is the development of a fuel processing system that can handle logistic fuels. A fuel processor consisting of autothermal reformer, desulphurization unit, water-gas-shift reactor, reactor for the preferential oxidation of CO, will be developed. The fuel processor will be developed for and tested on standard available low sulphur diesel fuel both for the European and US fuel qualities. Another key point is the development of an efficient and reliable control system for the APU, systems, including both hardware and software modules. In the final demonstration, the fuel cell based APU will be tested in laboratory environment as the first step in a defined plan towards Vehicle demonstration.

External links:

CORDIS link

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HyCOMP

Enhanced Design Requirements and Testing Procedures for Composite Cylinders intended for the Safe Storage of Hydrogen

 

 

Hydrogen storage is a key enabling technology for the use of hydrogen as an energy vector.  To improve volumetric and gravimetric performance, carbon fiber composite cylinders are currently being developed.  However, current standards governing the design, qualification and in-service inspection of carbon fiber composite cylinders do not allow cylinder design to be optimized.  In particular, safety factors for cycle life and burst pressure ratios appear to be conservative, which results in the cylinders being overdesigned and thus costly.  Furthermore, the requirements in these standards are often not based on degradation processes in composite materials but have been adapted from standards covering metallic cylinders.

To address these issues, HyCOMP will conduct pre-normative research on high-pressure type III and type IV composite cylinders for hydrogen storage and transport for automotive, stationary and transportable applications.  The project will generate all the data necessary to develop a comprehensive scientific and technical basis for fully justifying as well as improving the full set of requirements defined for ensuring the structural integrity of the cylinders throughout their service life, covering design type approval, manufacturing quality assurance, and in-service inspection.

The outcome of the project will be recommendations gathering broad support for improving the applicable European and international standards and regulation on high-pressure hydrogen cylinders for automotive, transport and stationary applications, as well as defining a strategy for implementing these changes. These recommendations will include performance-based design requirements, and improved procedures for type testing, batch testing and in-service inspections.

External links:

CORDIS link, Project’s website

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PEMICAN

PEM with Innovative low cost Core for Automotive applicatioN

 

 

Up to now, much work has been performed on the catalyst but much on the active layers’ structure and on the two other major components (carbon and electrolyte) whereas they do have a major impact on the MEA’s performance and on Pt utilization. Based on this analysis, PEMICAN proposes to reduce the Pt loading for automotive application down to 0.15 gram of Pt per kW, by a twofold approach:

1. To increase Pt utilization and power density by improving effective transport properties of ALs by tuning some properties of the electrolyte and by adding special carbon blacks in order to improve catalyst, electrolyte distribution and water management;

2. To reduce Pt loading by controlling its distribution: very thin layer on the anode side and gradients of Pt on the cathode side. These structured layers will be defined in order to optimise the utilization of the Pt.

The combination of these two approaches will allow reducing the total mass of Pt for a given power density. Whereas the main objective of PEMICAN is to develop and manufacture MEAs with reduced quantity of Pt, it is supported by numerical modelling to help defining the best Pt distribution. Special structural and electrochemical characterizations will be done to improve the existing models and to analyse the performance of our MEAs as a function of manufacturing processes and properties of components. Performance and durability tests under automotive conditions will be performed and analysed. PEMICAN will demonstrate gains in terms of Pt cost (g Pt/kW) obtained by improving the design and properties of the ALs. Its results will be useful also In the future when non pure Pt is available. The Consortium is built-up on the expertise of 6 European organisations with complementary skills: 2 Research Institutes (CEA and INASMET), 1 University (IMPERIAL COLLEGE), 2 industrial suppliers (SOLEXIS, TIMCAL) and 1 automotive OEM (OPEL). Among these partners, 4 of them are active members of the FCH JTI.

External links:

CORDIS link

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AUTO-STACK

Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Cluster Initiative for Europe