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Compact, light, efficient and reliable turbo compressor for fuel cell vehicles

Project description

A breath of fresh air for fuel cell cars

Conventional cars run on petrol or diesel, but new eco-friendly fuel cell cars combine hydrogen and oxygen to power an electric motor. The constant supply of oxygen that is needed usually comes from air provided by a compressor. This is the tricky part because compressor technology is not yet optimised for fuel cell applications. The Swiss CELEROTON company is at the forefront of high-speed turbo compressors that are faster, lighter, smaller and oil-free. With the EU-funded Turbo-FCell project, CELEROTON will finalise production of its new compressor technology for oxygen supply in the fuel cell vehicle market. The project’s overall goal is to boost the deployment of fuel cell vehicles in Europe, increase their efficiency and decrease their cost.


The stronger regulation of carbon dioxide emissions, rising consumer awareness towards eco-friendly energy sources, and the need to minimize our dependency on fossil fuels are boosting the fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) market. Fuel cells need to be fed with a constant supply of oxygen, usually from air provided by a compressor. While much attention has been put on the fuel cell itself and the hydrogen storage, the oxygen supply has not been yet optimized. Currently, air management for fuel cell systems remains a challenge because today’s compressor technologies are not optimized for fuel cell applications.

We are CELEROTON, a Swiss high-tech business at the forefront of high-speed turbo compressor technology. We are able to achieve speeds up to 280,000 rpm, which allows our product to be 20 times lighter and smaller than state-of-the-art compressors, while achieving the highest efficiency of all commercial compressors. Moreover, our compressor is 100% oil-free which results in the highest air purity, crucial to increase the fuel cell lifetime.

Now, with project TURBO-FUELCELL, we aim to take the last technical and commercial steps to introduce our unique turbo compressor as the key technology for oxygen supply in the fuel cell vehicle market. This market with such growth potential (predicted to increase at 22.1% CAGR up to 2024 reaching 1.2 B€), could greatly benefit from the compactness and lightness of our product.

Our vision is contributing to the deployment of fuel cell vehicles in Europe, increasing their efficiency and decreasing their cost thanks to our compact, lightweight, quiet and reliable air compressor.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 1 728 125,00
8604 Volketswil

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Schweiz/Suisse/Svizzera Zürich Zürich
Total cost
€ 2 468 750,00