Hydrogen mobility: New research project optimizes fuel cell

One man in the lab
In a joint project, a team of researchers from the Technical Universities in Freiberg and Chemnitz is working with industrial partners to analyze how the development and production of fuel cells can be made more efficient and cost-effective.

The German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport is funding the further development of fuel cell technology. The focus of the joint project is on so-called fuel cell stacks. In these stacks consisting of several fuel cells, the electrical energy that powers the vehicle is generated.

The Institute of Materials Engineering (Chair of Material Testing and Strength of Components) is focusing on the end plate of the fuel cell in a subproject. "Specifically, we are researching the hydrogen-induced susceptibility to brittle fracture and the effectiveness of inorganic corrosion protection coatings, using both experimental and simulation-based approaches," explains Dr. Mandel. "The aim of the subproject is to use the results in the production process of a fuel cell in cooperation with the project partners and to bring them to industrial scales," Dr. Mandel continues.

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Lutz Krüger, two scientists will analyze the hydrogen permeation behavior of die-cast aluminum alloys and the barrier effect of selected protective coatings and evaluate their longevity for use.

Background: Joint project "Stack and system components of PEM fuel cells for mobility applications

In the industrial sector, the joint project focuses on the development and industrialization of stack and system peripheral components as well as the adaptation of large-scale technologies for the production of fuel cell systems. Over a period of three years - retroactive to December 1, 2021 - the consortium will receive a total funding volume of around 3.5 million euros.

As part of the research and development project to further develop the hydrogen fuel cell, the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV) is funding the Institute of Materials Technology (IWT) at TU Bergakademie Freiberg and its seven partners, TU Chemnitz, ESKA Automotive GmbH, Handtmann Leichtmetallgießerei Annaberg GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology (IWU), WätaS Wärmetauscher Sachsen GmbH, Bernd Flach Präzisionstechnik GmbH & Co. KG and FES GmbH Fahrzeug-Entwicklung Sachsen.

Further information about the joint project

Fragen beantwortet / Contact: 
Prof. Dr. Lutz Krüger (krueger@ww.tu-freiberg.de) and Dr. Marcel Mandel (mandel@iwt.tu-freiberg)