During a first market analysis several years ago, Professor Birgit Scheppat from RheinMain University conducted extensive tests and evaluations of fuel cell stacks available at the time (see October 2010 issue of German-language magazine HZwei). On behalf of Hessen Agentur and in collaboration with the H2BZ initiative, she examined which challenges customers face
Fuel cell stacks continue to show a critical gap in power density development along the European automotive value chain. Filling it was the objective of two EU projects, Auto-Stack (FCH-JU GA 245142) and AutoStack CORE (FCH-JU GA 325335), which received financial support from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
Regarding fuel cells, a challenging and important issue are still the catalysts. To a considerable degree, they determine both the performance of stacks and their price. Currently, the most different nanoparticles are being examined in the most different structural combinations. This is also true for the field of water splitting, where catalysts are employed in electrolysis systems. The jury is still out on which materials could ultimately replace platinum in both cases, so work on the required catalyst quantity continues.
The Auto Stack Core (Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Cluster Initiative for Europe II) cooperation project is a merger between 14 European auto manufacturers, suppliers, system integrators and research institutes. Working together, their goal is to develop a fuel cell stack (FC stack) for vehicle applications which satisfies the most advanced international aspirations in terms of performance, performance density, lifespan and effectiveness. On the basis of cooperation between these differing participants, the most optimum possible combination of the existing know-how should be achieved and the critical development interfaces coordinated efficiently.
At the end of April 2015, GP Joule began testing its electricity fill-in concept. As part of the 200 kW H2 biogas project, the engineers at the head office of the company in Reussenköge, Germany, installed two electrolyzers, each with 5 kW stacks. In May, the plant was extended, with 16 additional stacks initially being installed. By the summer of 2015, the first four stacks were set to be replaced with a total of 24 new modules so that the nominal output then totals 200 kW. This enables