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AUTO-STACK CORE Résumé de rapport

Project ID: 325335
Financé au titre de: FP7-JTI
Pays: Germany

Periodic Report Summary 2 - AUTO-STACK CORE (Automotive Fuel Cell Stack Cluster Initiative for Europe II)

Project Context and Objectives:
“Auto-Stack Core” establishes a coalition with the objective to develop best-of-its-class automotive stack hardware with superior power density and performance while meeting commercial target cost.
The project consortium combines the collective expertise of automotive OEMs, component suppliers, system integrators and research institutes and thus removes critical disconnects between stakeholders. The key objectives for the project are:
• Development of an automotive PEM fuel cell stack based on agreed OEM system requirements,
• Performance and durability compatible with the stringent requirements of the automotive industry,
• Use of proven technology which can be manufactured in an industrial scale reflecting in depths supply chain and technology assessment,
• Platform concept compatible with different vehicle categories and OEM platforms to allow combining of volumes,
• Technical concept with clear pathway to addressing stack target cost.
The ultimate target of the project is the establishment of a European response to the global technology progress by providing a competitive stack product that can be accessed and shared by several OEMs for their individual system integration work and vehicle platforms. The proposal is building on the Auto-Stack achievements and is moving them to the next phase. The project will moreover benchmark innovative material and component solutions as well as different design options and manufacturing approaches to further reduce stack and component cost. The technical development work will be accompanied by a detailed cost analysis using tools established in the automotive industry.
In the first reporting period, the specifications of the stack have been reviewed and updated. Evolution 1 components for a 331 cell stack and several 10 and 20 cell short stacks have been manufactured. Furthermore, a testing program for the stacks has been agreed upon.
In the second reporting period, the Evolution 1 stacks have been manufactured and tested. The test results showed that 11 out of 13 design parameters have been achieved. The stacks showed robust and almost identical operational behavior at short stack and full size stack level. No fundamental design shortfalls have been identified.
Evolution 2 design takes the challenges identified during Evolution 1 design, assembly and testing into account. First results from modeling indicate that improved performance and robustness can be expected.

Project Results:
In the reporting period the following technical objectives were pursued:
• Manufacturing of evolution 1 components (MEA, BPP) for stack integration including necessary tools,
• Completion of BPP-coating benchmark analysis,
• Completion of MEA benchmark analysis,
• Final designing and manufacturing of evolution 1 “balance of stack” components and connection devices in sufficient quantities to supply test organizations,
• Manufacturing of one full sized stack and short stacks in sufficient quantities to carry out the test program defined in period 1,
• Carrying out test program for evolution 1 short stack and full sized stacks according to the test program defined in deliverable D6.1,
• Providing stack benchmark analysis,
• Providing cost engineering data for stack evolution 1,
• Starting of evolution 2 design work including flow and mechanical modelling work for stack evolution 2.

Potential Impact:
In the reporting period the following objectives were achieved:
• Final design of stack evolution 1 used for manufacturing,
• Manufacturing of bipolar plate in sufficient quantities to manufacture short stacks and one full sized stack as planned,
• Manufacturing of MEAs in sufficient quantities to manufacture short stacks and one full sized stack as planned,
• Manufacturing of sufficient sets of balance of stack components and media supply units for each testing organization,
• Manufacturing of sufficient shot stacks including spare short-stacks to complete the evolution 1 testing program,
• Start and completion of stack evolution 1 test program including endurance tests,
• Compilation and update of stack benchmark analysis,
• Completion of cost engineering study based on stack evolution 1 design and manufacturing processes,
• Start of stack evolution 2 BPP and stack design work,
• Start of evolution 2 MEA material selection.

In the second reporting period, an additional delay in component manufacturing had to be accepted due to a mishap in BPP-tool manufacturing summing up to a delay of three months at the beginning of stack roll-out. As a consequence, only limited test results could be presented during the mid-term assessment meeting having taken place February 6th 2015. An initial recommendation to stop the project could be averted by provision of additional test data and updated planning documents. However, during the phase of imminent project termination, an additional delay in starting activities related to stack evolution 2 design had to be accepted due to interruption of the activities. The total delay in the project accumulated to approximately 6 months. On the recommendation of the reviewers, the consortium asked for a project extension by 6 months. This request is still pending at the date of the preparation of this report.
As indicated in the list of actions performed in the second reporting period, the stack evolution 2 development activities have started.

Electric mobility using hydrogen ideally produced from renewable energies as a fuel will be a key element in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as in the reduction of classical pollutants and noise from traffic.
Within the project it is intended to develop a highly efficient high power stack for automotive applications which can serve as a platform for fuel cell system integrators in the automotive sector. Furthermore, the work done within the project helps to strengthen the European component supply industry as well as the European research organizations.
Eventually, society will benefit from clean mobility and by maintaining competitiveness of the European fuel cell and automotive industry thus maintaining and creation jobs in a high technology sector.
In addition, the stack platform can also be used in clean and emission free electric power generation. With increasing shares of fluctuating renewable energies in the electricity supply, it can be expected that the annual operation time of power plants will decrease significantly thus making cost efficient automotive technology compatible with the lifetime and efficiency targets not only of the backup power market.

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