// Definition and validation of test procedures for fuel cells

Comparable test procedures are required for the market introduction of fuel cells. In the European joint project “Stacktest” coordinated by ZSW and carried out with eleven industrial and research partners, different test programmes for the characterisation of fuel cell stacks are defined and validated over a period of three years.

Test modules and test programmes are developed and tested in practice with hardware from different manufacturers. To evaluate the service life of a fuel cell stack, a current profile was defined that is based on the New European Driving Cycle (see the diagram below). Repeated applications of the load profile on a stack in the test rig demonstrate the performance development, based on characteristic load points, over the operating period, thereby providing the database for service life estimations. The BZ‐100 ZSW stacks, which were also handed out to partners, exhibited very high uniformity and very good begin of life values during the specification tests.

As part of the project, further test programmes for specific performance data and for sensitivity analyses of various operating parameters, service life and safety aspects have been developed and successfully tested by the cooperating institutes. The test procedures were validated at the ZSW fuel cell test centre with its advanced and reliable testing infrastructure in fuel cell test benches in the range between 0.1 – 100 kW. Safety‐related analyses were carried out on the basis of the testing standard DIN EN 62282‐2.


Dr. Alexander Kabza
+49 731 9530-832
Dynamic load cycle. ZSW/ECS
Dynamic load cycle. ZSW/ECS