Fluid management component improvement for back up fuel cell systems

Framework Programme: 
Call for proposals: 
Application area: 
Stationary power production and CHP


The project aims to develop specific components relative to fluid management that substantially affect electric efficiency and the total cost of a fuel cell system. This includes:

  1. Blower
  2. Recirculation pump
  3. Humidifier
  4. Heat exchanger

Additionally, the project aims to:

  1. Improve performance, in terms of reliability and efficiency
  2. Improve lifetime singularly and at a system level,
  3. Reduce cost in a mass production perspective,
  4. Simplify manufacturing/assembly processes of the entire fuel cell system.


  • Support the implementation of the RTD priorities of the MAIP
  • Disseminate the technology and its functional capabilities against current technology
  • Launching of new and innovative initiatives and products
  • Implementation of hydrogen and fuel cells as mainstream applications
  • Improved energy efficiency
  • Increased public and private RTD investment in fuel cells and hydrogen technologies
  • Development of market applications and facilitation of additional industrial efforts for development of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies.


The FluMaBack project aims to improve the performance, life time and cost of BOP components of back up fuel cell systems specifically developed for emerging countries where long black-outs occur and difficult operative conditions are present. The improvement of sub-system components addressed in the project will benefit both back-up and CHP applications. The project focuses on new designs and improvement of BOP components, aimed at:

  • improving BOP components’ performance, in terms of reliability;
  • improving the lifetime of BOP components, both at component and at a system level;
  • reducing cost in a mass production perspective;
  • simplifying the manufacturing/assembly process of the entire fuel cell system.

The project consortium consists of industries working together commercially and being able to identify the critical needs based on their daily experience. It represents a real opportunity for developing a strategic alliance of industrial actors. In the future, these actors can collaborate on fostering the technological evolution of the components towards more efficient and flexible BOP components that will allow the fuel cell industry to exploit the huge opportunities both for EU market and for emerging countries.

The project is focused on the most critical BOP components with the largest potential for performance improvement and cost reduction, including:

  • Air and fluid flow equipment, more specifically blowers and recirculation pumps
  • Humidifiers
  • Heat exchangers

Relevant research institutes and universities support the industries in the development and evaluation of BoP components.

The project activity completely aligns with the call topic as it aims to improve availability and the cost competitiveness of balance of plant (BoP) components, as well as their suitability for mass production to meet performance and lifetime targets (up to 10 years).

As the industrial partners are actively supplying the fuel cell business, the project results can be implemented rapidly, enhancing the impact of the project.

Project reference: 
SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.3.3: Component Improvement for stationary power applications
Project type: 
Research and technological development
Contract type: 
Collaborative Project
Start date: 
Sunday, July 1, 2012
End date: 
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
36 months
Project cost: 
€ 3,999,005.80
Project funding: 
€ 2,482,969.20

Electro Power Systems, SpA, Italy

Ms. Ilaria ROSSO
Other participating organisations: 
Organisation Country
Domel Slovenia
Tubiflex Italy
Environment Park Italy
Jozef Stefan Institute Slovenia
Foundation for the Development of New Hydrogen Technologies in Aragon Spain
NedStack Fuel Cell Technology BV The Netherlands
Onda Italy
University of Ljubljana - Faculty for Mechanical Engineering Slovenia
Joint Research Centre The Netherlands


Publisheable Reports: 
Andrej Debenjak , Pavle Boškoski , Bojan Musizza , Janko Petrovčič , Đani Juričić, Journal of Power Sources 01/05/2014, 112-118, "Fast measurement of proton exchange membrane fuel cell impedance based on pseudo-random binary sequence perturbation signals and continuous wavelet transform"