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Nordic Consortium for Fuel Cell Development and Demonstration

Several Nordic companies including Volvo Technology, PowerCell, H2 Logic, and SINTEF, are joining forces to develop further and to demonstrate proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology that is suitable for operation in cold Nordic climates. The two-year project is supported by Nordic Energy Research through a NOK4.4M (US$809,000) grant.

The improved PEM fuel cell stack will be demonstrated by implementing it in a vehicle for niche transport applications powered by hydrogen. H2 Logic will provide system integration experience and lead the work of assembling a more reliable and efficient system.

PowerCell, a joint venture between Volvo and StatoilHydro, was established in 2005 for development and commercialization of PEM fuel cell systems based on Volvo technology in the range of 5-10 kW for Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) applications for heavy-duty trucks and other high-tech niche markets. The primary sectors for PowerCell is the European and North American truck market, with a focus on trucks larger than 20 tons.

PowerCell fuel cell stacks are available for use with pure hydrogen from pressurized tanks or hydrogen reformed on-board the truck from diesel. One of the issues with PEM-fuel cells has been the ultra-low tolerance to carbon monoxide, which is a byproduct of the reforming process. The PowerCell design allows for CO concentrations of more than five times greater than conventional solutions.

In this new project, Volvo Technology will work closely with SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, to provide R&D support to PowerCell for further technology development. This collaboration is based on Volvo Technology’s PEM fuel cell stack development and SINTEF’s experience with advanced PEM fuel cell characterization over the last 15 years.

The partners aim to reduce system cost significantly as well as incorporating the capability of sub-zero temperature operation. Experiences from fuel cell system operation will be shared with SMEs and OEMs in an open Nordic workshop to facilitate knowledge transfer and development of next generation PEM fuel cell technology aiming at further reduction in cost and increased efficiency and durability.


Mikael Johansson

Power Cell have understood the best use of fuel cells. Fc:s should be used in heavy-duty trucks, contract machines, forest machines and large boats.

Cars should use batteries not FC:s.


I can understand fuel cells if they do not use too much platinum and can reform NG or methanol on board.

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