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Experimental facilities

DLR Division of Electrochemical Energy Technology at DLR-ITT

The electrochemical energy technology division has extensive experience in fuel cells (SOFC, PEFC; DMFC and AFC), production technologies e.g., plasma technology, rolling and cold dry spraying techniques. Around 50 persons work in the electrochemical energy technology division, 25 persons in the field of low temperature fuel cell. The low temperature fuel cell group works on the development and characterisation of fuel cell components, development of diagnostic tools and techniques for manufacturing fuel cell components, the design and controlling of fuel cell systems as well as working on stacks.Equipment for the preparation and characterisation of electro catalysts and of gas diffusion electrodes is available as well as long-term experience in using XRD, XPS, UPS, SEM/EDX, AFM, STM, AES, porosimetry, chemisorption, TPD, TPR, TRO, CV, EIS, RDE, TGA, quartz-crystal microbalance and approx. 20 test facilities for PEFC single cells and stacks. The test facilities include specialised test stations for specific applications (e.g. aircraft application of fuel cells) and most are equipped with local-resolved current densitiy set-ups. The electrode production technique is a rolling technique, where the institute has experience for more than 20 years in different areas.

Chalmers Chalmers University of Technology

The condensed matter physics group (35p) have been working on energy related materials for Li-batteries and low temperature fuel cells for two decades. The group has an expertise in ion-ion and ion – hostpolymer interactions; ion-transport properties; chemical degradation of membranes after fuel cell testing and more recently also on direct probing of water management utilizing a confocal micro Raman in-situ technique. The group has in house facilities for light scattering experiments (Raman from near UV to near, IR, IR-absorption, Brillouin, photon-correlation), DSC, and dielectric relaxation spectroscopy. Members of the group perform experiments at neutron and x-ray facilities. There is also an expertise in ab-initio calculations, RMC modelling, and bond valence sum methods performed on ion-conducting systems. Special attention is currently given also to ex situ degradation studies of used fuel cell stack membranes in collaboration with industry. Modelling of electrolyte materials is a core competence since 8 years.Chalmers University of TechnologyThe condensed matter physics group (35p) have been working on energy related materials for Li-batteries and low temperature fuel cells for two decades. The group has an expertise in ion-ion and ion – hostpolymer interactions; ion-transport properties; chemical degradation of membranes after fuel cell testing and more recently also on direct probing of water management utilizing a confocal micro Raman in-situ technique. The group has in house facilities for light scattering experiments (Raman from near UV to near, IR, IR-absorption, Brillouin, photon-correlation), DSC, and dielectric relaxation spectroscopy. Members of the group perform experiments at neutron and x-ray facilities. There is also an expertise in ab-initio calculations, RMC modelling, and bond valence sum methods performed on ion-conducting systems. Special attention is currently given also to ex situ degradation studies of used fuel cell stack membranes in collaboration with industry. Modelling of electrolyte materials is a core competence since 8 years.

UER Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

The Department of Computer Science 10 deals with the modelling, efficient simulation and optimization of complex systems in science and engineering, e.g. simulation of fluid dynamics, bioelectric fields and laser systems, medical image processing, optical flow and image registration. The main focus is on the design and the analysis of algorithms and tools for these purposes, where especially programming techniques for high performance computers are addressed. Concerning simulation of fluid flow, the department has more than five years experience with lattice Boltzmann methods in various engineering and medical applications. Code development includes massively parallel and highly optimized cache aware implementations of the LBM. With appropriate extensions of the lattice Boltzmann method, the department achieved to simulate moving particles and agglomerates in fluid, blood flow in aneurysms and stenosis as well as flow with free surfaces including surface tension, e.g. the foaming process of metal foams. Besides fluid simulations, different iterative methods such as Multigrid Methods and Finite Elements are used for image registration and segmentation of CT/MRT images. For the computing-intensive simulations equipment in form of High Performance Computers is available at the Department of Computer Science 10 and also in collaboration with other departments and universities.The research of the Institute for Theoretical Physics is in the field of condensed matter physics, in particular on the statistical physics of fluids at interfaces and on the development of morph metric tools for spatially complex structured matter. Used methods comprise density functional theory, analytic geometric methods and computer simulation techniques such as molecular dynamics and Monte-Carlo simulations to study phase behaviour of liquids, thin liquid films and fluids in porous media.The theoretical physics group has extensive experience in the statistical physics of spatially complex and disordered materials such as foams, granular systems or porous media. Novel mathematical tools have been developed to characterize the shape of advanced materials and to derive shape-property relations based on integral geometry. The research group uses algorithms to calculate effective properties of heterogeneous and porous media, trying to find principles for designs of materials.

CES CEA - Laboratory of Innovation on Technologies for New Energies and Nanomaterials

The LITEN is well equipped with processing machine for electrode, CCM and complete MEA with equipment like coating, spraying and hot-pressing machines. Several testing facilities are available for single cells and stacks testing for performance and durability testing in various operating conditions as well as facilities for microstructure and physicochemical properties studies (SEM, FEG SEM, TEM, conductivity measurements, strength machine…).The LITEN has also developed models for the understanding of fuel cells operation from the active layers to the system level. Modelling tools are available adapted to the different transfer phenomenon taking place in the MEA (fluidic, biphasic, electric, thermal, electrochemical). CEA has developed a multiscale, multiphysics and modular model that describes the coupling between micro scale and nanoscale transfer. This approach is based on irreversible thermodynamics and enables to predict a MEA response without the classical electrical analogical models. It is intermediate between fundamental atomistic models and engineering modelisation.

DANA
DANA has established PEFC stacks test capabilities for material and durability testing. Furthermore, test facilities and expertise for bipolar plate and seal component analysis are available.DANA has experience in the development, design and characterization of bipolar plates and seals for the fuel cell environment.DANA has the ability to perform mechanical test and gas permeation analysis.On the modelling side DANA has experience in providing raw data to for the simulation of fuel cell bipolar plates. With the expertise and the components used from DANA it is possible to carry out long term tests and to provide a good base line to the consortium for further investigation.DANA has established PEFC stacks test capabilities for material and durability testing. Furthermore, test facilities and expertise for bipolar plate and seal component analysis are available.DANA has experience in the development, design and characterization of bipolar plates and seals for the fuel cell environment.DANA has the ability to perform mechanical test and gas permeation analysis.On the modelling side DANA has experience in providing raw data to for the simulation of fuel cell bipolar plates. With the expertise and the components used from DANA it is possible to carry out long term tests and to provide a good base line to the consortium for further investigation.

OPEL
GM/Opel Fuel Cell Activities

Modelling of a PEFC applying a non-isothermal, two-phase CFD model. The experimental and computational results on the micro scale serve as an input for the macroscopic transport properties which enter the CFD model.The model shall be used as a tool to understand the impact of the changes of the microscopic material properties induced by degradation. These changes are reflected by the constitutive relations on fuel cell operation and performance.

JRC
European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy

JRC-IE operates a state-of-the-art PEFC testing facility in the power range of up to 100 kW. The facility is equipped with a Fuel Cell Automated Test Station, multi-axial shock & vibration test system housed in a walk-in climatic chamber and multi-component gas analyzer equipments. Another of its capability is to determine the conversion and total energy efficiency of a reformer taking account of all its inputs and outputs. In addition, it has a fuel cell catalyst laboratory.Currently, the Institute is in the installation phase of test equipments capable of testing PEFC single cells and short stacks at operation temperatures as high as 160°C. The equipment capabilities will include current distribution measurements on segmented cells, cyclic voltametry, current interrupt method and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.The Institute offers a fully equipped computerized test platform for state-of-the-art online analysis of fuel gas quality and emissions analysis of fuel cells and reformers using high accuracy FTIR/MS (Fourier transform infrared combined hydrogen mass spectroscopy) analyzers.European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for EnergyJRC-IE operates a state-of-the-art PEFC testing facility in the power range of up to 100 kW. The facility is equipped with a Fuel Cell Automated Test Station, multi-axial shock & vibration test system housed in a walk-in climatic chamber and multi-component gas analyzer equipments. Another of its capability is to determine the conversion and total energy efficiency of a reformer taking account of all its inputs and outputs. In addition, it has a fuel cell catalyst laboratory.Currently, the Institute is in the installation phase of test equipments capable of testing PEFC single cells and short stacks at operation temperatures as high as 160°C. The equipment capabilities will include current distribution measurements on segmented cells, cyclic voltametry, current interrupt method and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.The Institute offers a fully equipped computerized test platform for state-of-the-art online analysis of fuel gas quality and emissions analysis of fuel cells and reformers using high accuracy FTIR/MS (Fourier transform infrared combined hydrogen mass spectroscopy) analyzers.

SGL
In the frame of the project SGL will offer gas diffusion material of variable thickness and structure (nonwoven 3-dimensional material as also carbon fiber paper) with varying hydrophobicity levels and different MPL options. These materials will be also provided as artificially aged by exposure to mechanical stress, water of defined temperatures, and chemical agents. The characterization of the GDL materials regarding their mechanical properties on delivery and after ageing experiments will be performed at SGL and communicated to project partners in the form of summary table of properties. Due to the feedback of project partner in the WP 6 the materials with improvement potential will be supplied from SGL at the final project stage.

SLX
Solvay Solexis (SLX)

At various stages in the project, SLX will make basic, intermediate and finally advanced developmental material samples of cutting-edge ionomer membrane and dispersion available to the other partners. Phenomena can be studied and conclusions drawn on the mechanisms of in- and ex-situ degradation. The results will influence the characteristics for next level specimens to inject in the DECODE project. In all phases, SLX will partially allocate its production resources for the project – namely Polymerization, Post-treatment, Polymer Activation, Film Forming and Intermediate Characterization. Control of degradation rate under standard accelerated testing will also be performed in parallel to analyses by other partners.

Volvo
Volvo Technology Corporation

Department of Energy Conversion & Physics has characterised PEFC for vehicle application for over a decade. The laboratory is well equipped with flexible testing stations for fuel cells up to 50 kW and single cells for performance and durability tests in various operating conditions. A climate chamber is available for simulating ambient temperatures from -40°C to 60°C. Any synthetic gas composition for the fuel cell tests can be mixed in the laboratory. EIS is available for in-situ tests for operating fuel cells. XPS is available for ex-situ characterisation of bipolar plates and MEA. This XPS is capable of spatial resolution down to 10 nm allowing for mapping of imhomogeneities induced by fuel cell degradation. A multi single-cell testing station will be available in the first half of 2008.Volvo Technology CorporationDepartment of Energy Conversion & Physics has characterised PEFC for vehicle application for over a decade. The laboratory is well equipped with flexible testing stations for fuel cells up to 50 kW and single cells for performance and durability tests in various operating conditions. A climate chamber is available for simulating ambient temperatures from -40°C to 60°C. Any synthetic gas composition for the fuel cell tests can be mixed in the laboratory. EIS is available for in-situ tests for operating fuel cells. XPS is available for ex-situ characterisation of bipolar plates and MEA. This XPS is capable of spatial resolution down to 10 nm allowing for mapping of imhomogeneities induced by fuel cell degradation. A multi single-cell testing station will be available in the first half of 2008.

ZSW
ZSW

SW has established a test facility for PEFC stacks and systems. Besides various test benches for single cell measurements, a total of 6 fully automated test benches up to a power level of 10-kW as well as a test bench for full sized automotive stacks up to a power of 100 kW are operational. Furthermore, test facilities and expertise for components and systems are available.ZSW has long term experience in the use and characterization of porous media in a fuel cell environment. Characterization methods such as mercury porosimetry, BET-surface analysis, SEM and 3D-optical imaging are available at a routine basis. Recently instruments for the analysis of non wettable microstructures by water have been implemented.ZSW is also operating mechanical test and gas permeation methods as well as methods to characterize wettability of media. On the theoretical side the ZSW has experience in modelling and simulation of fuel cell systems, stacks, and cell components.Using these skills and equipment, ZSW is capable carry out long term tests and to provide in situ and artificially aged GDLs to the consortium for further investigation.ZSWSW has established a test facility for PEFC stacks and systems. Besides various test benches for single cell measurements, a total of 6 fully automated test benches up to a power level of 10-kW as well as a test bench for full sized automotive stacks up to a power of 100 kW are operational. Furthermore, test facilities and expertise for components and systems are available.ZSW has long term experience in the use and characterization of porous media in a fuel cell environment. Characterization methods such as mercury porosimetry, BET-surface analysis, SEM and 3D-optical imaging are available at a routine basis. Recently instruments for the analysis of non wettable microstructures by water have been implemented.ZSW is also operating mechanical test and gas permeation methods as well as methods to characterize wettability of media. On the theoretical side the ZSW has experience in modelling and simulation of fuel cell systems, stacks, and cell components.Using these skills and equipment, ZSW is capable carry out long term tests and to provide in situ and artificially aged GDLs to the consortium for further investigation.