Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

The overall objective of the projects in this topic is to bring non-road vehicles from TRL 4 to TRL 6. The achievement will be based on adaptation of road LT PEM Fuel Cell system components to non-road vehicles, heavy duty vehicles, airport ground vehicles, trains, harbour taxies and smaller ships as substitutes to battery systems and ICE systems on pre-existing vehicles/vessels and non-road vehicles/vessels. Any kind of applications could be addressed such as ships, trains and aircraft. Material handling vehicles are considered outside the scope of this topic.

Examples of adaptation of pre-existing components devoted to cars and buses could be:

  • The size and/or the catalyst loading of MEA,
  • Alternative high resistant coating on metallic bipolar plates used for automotive application,
  • Power management and hybridization technology

but produced with the same processes as used for cars and buses in order to increase the scale effect but taking into account specific size restriction with more severe operating conditions (corrosion, temperature…)

The achievements should be validated on the economic and environmental model versus reference battery vehicles and ICE solutions.

  • The on-road vehicles EU outdoor capabilities can be implemented in non-road vehicles
  • Hydrogen storage technology transferred to the non-road segment
  • Low temperature PEMFC stacks and components can be shared between several applications
  • BoP components from on-road can be adapted
  • Power and control strategies adapted

The low temperature PEMFC technology for road applications are gaining more and more traction and investment, and these activities can have a very positive impact on other segments by making available components and systems of lower cost and more robustness to the market – along with increased sales volumes. The goal of this topic is to facilitate that these benefits are transferred to early niche markets within other applications. It is important to dedicate specific focused activities to make this happen.

An advanced level of technology readiness has been achieved for specific non-road transport applications, within material handling vehicles. These are close to market introduction in Europe, although in other markets about 6,000 vehicles are reported to be in operation, with significant public financial support for demonstration before market introduction. These are a not priority for this Pillar in view of their limited contribution to meet key transport policy objectives. The low temperature PEMFC technology and components developed for road transport may be used as the basis for other non-road applications. This could lead to a significant cost reduction, improved affordability and reliability. These systems and components from road transport need to be adapted to the specific non-road special needs. Identification of the needed adaptation of specific FC road vehicle drive train components for main propulsion for any vehicles but passenger cars and buses should be addressed in this topic.

On-road FC drive train components and systems are designed, developed and tested for on-road use in Europe’s climatic conditions spanning from high summer temperatures to sub-zero winter temperatures. Non-road applications will benefit from the implementation and adaptation of the knowhow and different applications from on-road FC drive trains in order to operate also in European out-door climate including more severe operating conditions with a higher lifetime.

The technical goals of this topic are:

  • Identify components and systems where the development, learning and volume from road vehicles can be transferred to non-road vehicles
  • Identify ways to adapt components and systems for specific non-road applications
  • Identify value proposition of each component and sub-system and prioritize efforts to implement or redesign components for implementation in non-road vehicles
  • Implement chosen components and sub-systems in non-road fuel cell power unit

The project should meet the technical milestone from the MAWP in 2020:

  • Specific FC system cost: < 1200 €/kW @ 10kW
  • Hydrogen storage system cost: < 750 €/kg H2
  • Lifetime: > 10 000 h
  • Efficiency: > 52%
  • Availability: > 98%
  • Power Range <250kW
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