// Generic fuel cell stack: open development platform for industry

The research factory for hydrogen and fuel cells (HyFaB) emerging at the ZSW in Ulm will be a base for the development of the necessary processes for the large-scale production of fuel cells. A design for a generic fuel cell stack in the form of an open deve­lopment platform was the result of work done in cooperation with an industry partner in a HyFaB project funded by the Baden- Württemberg Ministry of the Environment. The specifications were worked out in a prior project with the automotive industry and its component suppliers. In terms of power density, the stack size and design correspond to the fuel cell systems used in the auto­motive sector. The stack is designed for an output of up to 150 kW.

All the relevant parts of the cell design, such as port channel geo­metry, active zone and distribution area, were studied in the pro­ject by means of suitable CFD simulations using ANSYS Fluent®. The simulations were carried out in equal measure for air, hydro­gen and cooling systems based on the operating boundary conditions arising from the EU-funded AutoStackCore project. A matching balance-of-stack design was issued for the bipolar plates. This includes the electricity consumers, compression plates, length compensation units made from metal strips and disc springs acting as a tensioning unit, and the end plates complete with media supply lines. A device was also developed for connec­tion to the test rig in order to facilitate the rapid and simple con­nection and disconnection of stacks. The working model will be available for research projects in early 2023 and will give enterpri­ses access to the industry.


Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Frank Häußler
+49 731 95 30-791
CAD design of the generic stack, including compression unit and media connections.

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