European working group led by Intelligent Energy to develop 90kW automotive EC fuel cell stack for mass manufacture
Intelligent Energy will lead a pan-European industry working group to develop its proprietary 90kW EC (evaporatively cooled, earlier post) fuel cell automotive technology in the funded project called VolumetriQ.
VolumetriQ is a three-year program that will deliver a blueprint for stack suitability for mass manufacture and potential future industrialization. Funded by €5 million (US$5.7 million) from the European program FCH JU (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, the target is to develop fuel cell stacks that can be manufactured in high volumes for use in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020.
In addition to the lead partner Intelligent Energy, the project will involve four industrial partners; Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells, Solvay Speciality Polymers, ElringKlinger and Pretexo; as well as academic input from CNRS Montpellier. Furthermore, BMW Group and Daimler will participate in the project to set out the stack requirements.
The program outputs must demonstrate cost reduction, and advance manufacturing technology with optimized component detail designs.
Under Horizon 2020, the second generation of the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH 2 JU) aims to speed up the commercial deployment of fuel cells and hydrogen in Europe through the investment of €1.33bn (half public, half private funds) in a range of programs from research to demonstration and pre-market introduction tests. The projects under FCH 2 JU will look to deliver a new generation of materials and prototypes as well as demonstrate, on a large scale, the readiness of the technology to enter the market in the fields of transport (cars, buses and refueling infrastructure) and energy (hydrogen production and distribution, energy storage and stationary power generation).—Bert de Colvenaer, Executive Director at FCH JU
Intelligent Energy’s EC fuel cell stack design removes the need for individual cooling channels between each cell. This delivers an advantage in terms of stack mass and volume, and helps contribute to the stack power density which translates into in-vehicle packaging and weight advantages.
Thermal management of the EC fuel cell stack utilizes the benefits of the heat of vaporization in contrast to circulating coolant through the cells.