Reductions in cost and improvements in both performance and reliability are the key factors on the road to the mass commercialisation of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells in Europe. These depend principally on the design and properties of cell com ponents and stacks that are developed by SMEs. In order to be able to design and construct as cheap, efficient and reliable a PEM fuel cell as possible, it is necessary to be able to understand qualitatively and predict quantitatively how it functions; to do this, and to do it in a more time- and cost-effective manner, SMEs' experimental methods must be complemented by modelling. This project aims to provide SMEs with validated modelling tools, in the form of computer software, which will enable them to dev elop better-performing fuel cell-related products more efficiently. In so doing, this will accelerate the longawaited wide-scale acceptance of PEM fuel cells as whole, and will in turn boost the core business of the SMEs themselves. The steps to the overa ll objective of the project will be: (i) to establish a focused SME priority list of key problems, associated with cell performance, stability and degradation, that they wish to see addressed; (ii) to address those problems by modelling; (iii) to progra m the derived models into user-friendly software; (iv) to carry out extensive parameter studies using the software for key operating conditions; (v) to perform experiments in order to validate the models; (vi) to demonstrate the optimisation, by experim ent and modelling, of an industrial PEM fuel cell stack. As compared to the state-of-the-art, the innovations will be modelling tools that: a. lead to savings in time for PEM fuel cell product development of 50-60%; b. lead to savings in cost for PEM fu el cell product development of 50-60%; c. lead to 30-50% improvements in PEM fuel cell performance; d. can predict how to optimise the operation of an industrial-use PEM fuel cell stack; e are as practically useful as, yet 90-95% more time-efficient tha n, existing modelling tools for PEM fuel cells.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeCooperative - SMEs-Co-operative research contracts
Valverde Del Manjano