Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Expected Impact:

Projects will enable important players in the fuel cell system segment to implement technologies enabling the step-up from small scale production towards higher volumes. Increased manufacturing capacity by elimination of slow processes and automation of highly manual intensive processing steps will lead to lower manufacturing costs which are the most critical factor towards real market competiveness. Innovative manufacturing technologies could also contribute for cost reduction and reduced time to market.

The project should focus on the following impact:

  • Confirmation of KPI of the MAWP of at least 97% availability due to implemented quality systems in established production lines, availability shown in relevant environment
  • Potential cost reduction of key components to achieve overall system CAPEX of
    • Max. 12,000 €/kW as KPI target for residential micro-CHP for single family homes and small buildings (0.3 - 5 kW, residential) in the MAWP less than 7,500 €/kW for systems of 5-400 kW (commercial)
    • Less than 3,000 €/kW for the 0.4-10 MW (industrial) segment.
  • Demonstrate manufacturing flexibility, by allowing reduction of time to market for new concepts by 20-30%, compared to traditional manufacturing lines

and possibly address in addition to that also:

  • Demonstrate potential for cost reduction of at least 50%, compared to state of the art, once mass production is achieved


Currently most fuel cell systems and key components like stacks, BOP components, system integration, inverter, heat exchanger etc. are produced in small quantities, often with considerable manual input. In order to achieve cost levels allowing for mass deployment, stationary fuel cells need further significant cost reductions in their manufacturing. The currently still low production volumes do not allow identifying, improving and validating all factors that influence the robustness and yield of the manufacturing processes on cell, stack and system level. To reduce costs and increase quality cost effective manufacturing technologies are required for the medium term. This topic focuses on actions to improve production processes and scaled production for stacks, and stack components (cell & cassettes), key components like BOP components, system integration, inverter, heat exchanger etc., and whole systems. The aim is to develop/apply novel manufacturing technologies, including for example: laser welding, coating, 3D printing, molding and casting of materials that are used for fuel cell system components and /or fuel cell stacks.


Projects should support development and use best in class manufacturing technologies, production processes, equipment and tooling with cost impact on, for example, stacks, reformers, pre-heaters, BOP and heat exchangers. Optimised production processes for mass manufacturing can include automated assembly, shortened cycle times, continuous production and lean manufacturing with little waste and should be compatible with environmental and health standards. Thus development and adaption of production processes with fewer steps, more tolerant to varying quality of raw materials and with lower-cost materials or materials with reduced environmental or health impacts are important tasks as well as advanced quality control methods.

Innovative manufacturing technologies could also be considered to provide complex design solutions with increased performance while allowing for lower cost levels compared to conventional production technologies.

Pilot plants are excluded.

To achieve cost reduction projects may also aim to develop industry-wide agreements for standard BoP components for FCs, including heat exchangers, reformers, converters, inverters, post-combustors, actuators and sensors. Reaching this target it’s necessary to establish a resilient supply chain with respect of REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p.1) and other regulations impacting on manufacturing.

  • Residential (0.3 – 5 kW): start TRL 5, end TRL 8
  • Commercial (5 – 400 kW): start TRL 4, end TRL 6
  • Industrial (0.4 – 10 MW): start TRL 4, end TRL 6

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