Development of PEM Fuel Cell Stack Reference Test Procedures for Industry

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Cross-cutting issues


  • To establish consistent, industry-wide test methods for PEFC-stacks.
  • To facilitate the interaction between stack developers, system integrators and end-users.
  • To define a harmonized catalogue of interface / acceptance criteria between stack manufacturers and system integrators.
  • To liaise with international standard development organizations to contribute to relevant working groups and technical committees, including proposals for new work items where relevant.

Achievements to date

  • Test matrices for application oriented testing of PEFC-stacks have been drafted, identifying relevant tests to be carried out addressing performance, endurance and safety outputs.
  • Stack testing aspects in several international standards have been reviewed and summarized and work to define an initial set of harmonized test procedures is still in progress.
  • Specifications of stack samples to be tested have been exchanged among the partners.
  • The formation of an industrial advisory board is in progress.


  • Industrial partners will benefit from commonly accepted, experimentally validated generic test modules and application-specific test programs by consistent and comparable test data which will allow for technical and commercial decisions on better grounds.
  • Research organizations will benefit from the harmonized test procedures defined in this project by improved quality and transferability of test data reported in the scientific literature. Harmonized test procedures will also assist in the extraction of parameters from test results for advanced performance modeling and degradation modeling to support improved lifetime prediction.
  • The harmonized reporting format will allow an assessment of data quality to be used for further scientific analysis.


In this project, industry-wide harmonized test procedures for PEFC stacks shall be developed and validated. The proposal builds on experiences gained in the FCTESTNET, FCTESQA series of projects taking up the methodology developed there and expanding it to the test of PEFC stacks. Furthermore, the experiences of individual consortium members have long time experience in international standardization. Performance / functional, durability and safety outputs for vehicle propulsion, stationary and portable applications shall be addressed.

Generic test modules addressing the effects of outputs to the variation of a single test parameter shall be defined and experimentally validated on a stack level. From these building blocks, selected application oriented test programs shall be derived and validated as well. A two phase approach is pursued, starting with an initial selection and definition phase followed by experimental validation. Subsequently, a review is carried out followed by a second validation phase.

The consortium mainly consists of experienced research organizations, all working in close contact with and providing testing services to the industry. The test modules and test programs are expected to be methodologically sound and independent. Contact to industrial practice will be established by the implementation of an industrial advisory group consisting of selected key stakeholders along the value chain of the fuel cell industry. The consortium will liaise with international standardization activities and contribute to the improvement of existing standards by pre-normative research and – if deemed necessary – will initiate new work item proposals on performance and endurance testing of PEFC stacks.

Project reference: 
"SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.5.4 Development of EU-wide uniform performance test schemes for PEM fuel cell stacks"
Project type: 
Research and technological development
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Saturday, September 1, 2012
End date: 
Monday, August 31, 2015
36 months
Project cost: 
€ 5,637,780.20
Project funding: 
€ 2,909,898

Zentrun Fuer Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff- Forschung Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

Other participating organisations: 
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives France
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet Danmark
Deutsches zentrum fue Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. Germany
Instytut Chemii Przemyslowej im. Prof. Ignacego Moscickiego Poland
EWE-Forschungszentrum fuer Energietechnologe Germany
Fundacion Cidetec Spain
Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der Angewandten Forschgung e.V. Germany
JRC-Joint Research Centre European Commission Belgium
SymbioFCell S.A. France


PL414321, Wojciech Tokarz, Piotr Piela, "Method for stopping work of a fuel cell fueled with a gaseous fuel"
Samuel Simon Araya , Søren Juhl Andreasen , Søren Knudsen Kær, Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology 01/12/2014, 061007, "Parametric Sensitivity Tests—European Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Stack Test Procedures"
Corinna Harms, Frank Köhrmann, Alexander Dyck, Solid State Ionics 01/07/2015, 75-79, "Validation of the Influence of Test Parameters in Performance Measurements of a PEMFC Stack"
Piotr Piela , Jens Mitzel, Journal of Power Sources 01/10/2015, 95-103, "Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell efficiency at the stack level"