Contact

The measure of success

By

March 16, 2021

Image titel:

Sources:

The measure of success

Breakthroughs in bipolar plate development

Eisenhuth
Large, thin injection-molded bipolar plates
© Eisenhuth

Bipolar plates, or BPPs, are one of the most common components in fuel cell stacks. So, which BPP is put in a stack has a huge impact on functionality and costs. Three research projects, InProPlate, PreCoil and BePPel, funded by the German hydrogen and fuel cell program NIP II, have come up with new techniques that, above all, promise a significant reduction in manufacturing and measurement costs.

Advertisements

Most stacks include either graphite compounds or metallic plates. While metallic BPPs conduct electricity better, they are not very resistant to corrosion. Still, Thorsten Hickmann, Eisenhuth’s chief executive, believes ample evidence suggests that passenger vehicle stacks will contain primarily metallic plates. In contrast, trucks, buses, stationary hydrogen systems and other kinds of applications requiring a steady flow of electricity will become the domain of graphite compounds.

As for passenger cars, Hickmann said, two factors play into settling on metallic plates: weight and space. “Neither matter in the commercial vehicle market,” he noted. Nearly the same can be said about range extenders in electric vehicles, where the most important factor is economic life.

Advertisements

InProPlate: Large, thin graphite BPPs

Eisenhuth, based in Osterode am Harz, ventured into the fuel cell market in 2006 and has since focused on making graphite-based bipolar plates. In 2018, the company joined InProPlate, a collaborative effort between Eisenhuth, Siqens and DLR’s Networked Energy Systems Institute. Their shared goal is to design new, innovative production techniques, appropriate testing procedures and equipment by the end of this year, to guarantee the quality of plates, stacks and complete fuel cell systems.

Eisenhuth’s project assignment is to produce bipolar plates while improving both production processes and chemical formulas for graphite compounds. Munich-based Siqens’ primary objective is to optimize assembly and individual fuel cell components, which entails assuming the consortium’s end user role, especially for stationary systems. For its part, the German Aerospace Center – DLR is analyzing project materials and investigating their electrochemical properties.

One challenge InProPlate seeks to address is how to use injection or, at low volumes, compression molding to manufacture large and extremely thin bipolar plates. After all, the project’s aim is to come up with solutions for the auto industry, where plates must be up to 700 millimeters long. Currently, many are only 300 to 400 millimeters. “Every additional millimeter raises the stakes,” said Hickmann. All plates are approximately 0.7 millimeter thick, an extremely low value for graphite BPPs and soon to be lowered even further, Hickmann believing the limit to be somewhere between 0.5 and 0.6 millimeters.

But thickness and length aren’t the only challenges the companies need to surmount. A second stage will focus on polyvinylidene fluoride and polyphenylene sulfide, or PVDF and PPS, compounds. “We’ve worked with polypropylene compounds successfully so far. The challenge we’re now facing is how to apply our knowledge to our new base polymers PVDF and PPS,” said Hickmann.

When asked if they will achieve the desired plate dimensions, Hickmann sounded optimistic: “We’re making good progress. Using injection molding for large plates was an important milestone.” One key criterium for plate quality is homogeneous design, an aspect influenced by multiple factors, with optimal injection processes being the most dominant. At the same time, efficiency and costs must be consistently monitored. Using the hot molding approach guarantees the least waste plastic per shot, Hickmann noted.

“Each additional millimeter challenges the system exponentially.”

Thorsten Hickmann, Eisenhuth chief executive

… Read more in the latest H2-International e-Journal, Feb. 2021


Author: Michael Nallinger

Kategorien: Germany

Here are interesting and current articles on the topic of hydrogen – stocks and the stock market!

Economic prospects for companies in the hydrogen sector | Future, stocks & hydrogen companies on the stock exchange and more…

Which hydrogen companies will prevail in the competitive market in the long term? Get tips and cartwheels and learn more about risks or opportunities. Our stock market specialist and expert author Sven Jösting reports critically, independently and competently.

Apr 11 2024

Bloom Energy convincing in the long haul

Bloom Energy is planning a cooperation with Shell to use its SOEC technology for the large-scale...
Apr 11 2024

Ballard – Prospects better than current market valuation

The share price of Ballard Power is at an all-time low. The published figures for the fourth...
Mar 18 2024

Search for the ideal hydrogen storage

Interview with Thomas Korn, CEO of water stuff & sun Startup company water stuff & sun has...
Mar 15 2024

Is exponential growth slowing down?

Fuel Cell Industry Review 2022 Year 2022 saw fuel cell shipments creep up over 2021 numbers,...
Mar 11 2024

On the way to becoming a green hydrogen partner

Oman aims to score points with H2 infrastructure Wind, sun and loads of expertise – these...
Mar 07 2024

We can master a scale-up for green hydrogen

Interview with Dr. Kai Fischer, Director at RWTH Aachen The efficient scaling of green hydrogen...
Mar 07 2024

Frustration over continuing uncertainties

Interview with Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, CEO of Hydrogen Europe There is a lot that needs sorting out...
Mar 05 2024

“If ever there was momentum for hydrogen, it is now”

Interview with Dr. Jochen Köckler, chairman of Deutsche Messe “We’re bringing people together.”...
Feb 28 2024

H2Direkt: Blueprint for heating with pure H2

The energy providers Thüga und Energie Südbayern (ESB) as well as Energienetze Bayern have...
Feb 26 2024

Just switch over?

Hydrogen in the existing natural gas network Whether hydrogen contributes to the clean heating...
Feb 26 2024

Pilot plant for coating bipolar plates

At Fraunhofer FEP (Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und...
Feb 20 2024

55 MW electrolyzer to decarbonize Saarland

Hydrogen Regions series: HydroHub Fenne living lab The power plant site in Fenne, Völklingen, a...
Feb 20 2024

Chicken feathers as FC membrane material

Feathers from chickens or other poultry could in the future help make fuel cells more effective...
Feb 15 2024

SMEs demand more security

Guest article by André Steinau, CEO of GP Joule Hydrogen After all, the Ampel Coalition leading...
Feb 15 2024

Accelerated expansion of renewable energies

RED III is here – Elsewhere, the wait continues Progress is being made at EU level – albeit...
Feb 12 2024

Picea 2 relies on lithium instead of lead

HPS presents new product generation The company HPS Home Power Solutions has unveiled a new...
Feb 12 2024

H2 production by photocatalysis

The direct generation of hydrogen from sunlight has long been considered the most elegant solution...
Feb 05 2024

Regional instead of international

Hy-Fcell has it difficult asserting itself The aspiration of Landesmesse Stuttgart with Hy-Fcell...
Feb 01 2024

Hydrogeit Verlag turns 20 years old

Hydrogeit Verlag is proudly celebrating its 20th anniversary as a renowned specialist publisher in...
Jan 26 2024

Stracke other H2Now managing director

BMV Energy GmbH is entering the market as another player in hydrogen refueling stations. The...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *