Ecological fossil fuel alternatives

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List of deliverables

Deliverable Title


Complete deliverable

D1.2: Project shared workspace implemented and operational

To fulfil two fundamental internal project communication requirements: i) efficient exchange between partners of information about VOLUMETRIQ project ii) decentralised and secured archiving of the documents generated, one independent and secured web-based communication tool: Project Shared Workplace – PSW has been implemented with a restricted access for project partners only.Among all the functionalities installed on this PSW, for now partners have a total access to the following tools:
  • Document sharing and archiving
  • Meeting organization
  • General project communication
  • Online working document
  • Individual project management
The PSW maintenance is therefore an on-going activity that will go along with the project lifetime.
D2.1: Stack requirements provided for further component analysisThis deliverable concerns a set of fuel cell stack requirements which have been derived from vehicle specifications defined by the OEMs. The project target is to build a fuel cell stack of 90 kW continuous power at specific operating conditions as described in this report. The requirement specifications will be used to further breakdown the necessary component properties in order to fulfil the general system requirements D2.1
D2.2: Stack component requirements derived and agreed amongst component and stack development partnersThis document contains the key stack component requirements for the VolumetriQ project and covers, bipolar plate, gasket, sealed coated catalyst membrane and gas diffusion layer. The component requirements were derived from the stack performance and test requirements provided by OEM’s. D2.2
D2.3: Stack component test scope and procedures

This deliverable concerns test scope and test procedures corresponding to the general requirement specifications as described in D2.1. The goal is to ensure repeatability of test results and to define representative operating conditions and test protocols. This will close the loop from stack specification to test verification. The test results can then be compared to the initial set of requirements and prove the compliance of the product. Test conditions will be delivered for the following operating conditions:

1.    Test conditions for polarisation curves
2.    Leak test procedure
3.    Freeze start sequence
4.    Start –up and shut-down sequence
5.    Drive cycle as reference conditions for durability tests

Other, safety related test requirements, will be treated elsewhere as for example described in ISO-Standards or OEM test standards.

D2.4: Report on testing calibration and cross checking between partnersTest & Validation of Reference MEAs (Type 1) have taken place at the component manufacturer (JMFC) & stack integrator (IE) as well as at the stack integrator (EK) after the concept change to liquid cooled plates was decided; the purpose of which are to establish baseline performance of the MEA in single cell hardware against interim performance target of 2.0 Acm-2 at 0.6V for single cell and the final performance target of 2.5Acm-2 @ 0.6V in single cell and short stack. Cross-checking of the performance between the different hardware has been done successfully. Overall there is good correlation of power densities between EK single cell and JMFC test hardware when conditions are controlled. This was shown based on calibration testing of JMFC screener cells and EK NM5 format. Testing has also been conducted according to the Harmonisation Test Protocol & is reported here.Confidential
D2.5: Test and validate short stack meeting a performance of 2,5 A / cm2 @ 0,6 V.This report presents and describes the test results of the 9-cell short stack with NM12 format. It demonstrates the achievement of Milestone 4 of the project which is meeting a performance of 2.5 A / cm2 @ 0.6 V.D2.5
D.2.6 – Test demonstration of a 90 kW full size stack that meets 2,5 A / cm2 @ 0,6 VThis report presents and describes the NM12 full size stack as well as the test results.
It demonstrates the achievement of Milestone 6 of the project, which is described as delivering a stack with power output of 90 kW and 2.5 A/cm2 current density at 0.6V. The stack actually delivered in the project provides a power output of 111 kW with
2.5 A/cm2 current density at 0.6 V. The stack power density is 5.4 kW/L (excluding housing).
D.2.7 – Report of stack assembly cost projection against FCH JU Multi – Annual Work Programme 2014 - 2020On the pathway to a wider future implementation of fuel cells at the automotive sector besides the technology readiness, the component quality and the fast and reliable quality control procedures, the cost assessment plays a crucial role. This report presents the cost projection for high volume production of stacks, taking into consideration the cost target projections within the FCH JU Multi – Annual Work Programme 2014 – 2020. The cost assessment in this report is presented after the valuable feedback of the activities within the project, and also after setting a highly relevant baseline considering the technical, process and manufacturing improvement.Confidential
D3.1: Baseline ionomer and reinforcement components deliveredBased on the results obtained in the former FCH JU MAESTRO project, the selected baseline components are electrospun PBI reinforcements with 5 μm thickness (reduced thickness in comparison to MAESTRO product, since VOLUMETRIQ is automotive application oriented) and Low EW Aquivion dispersion. CNRS delivered discrete sheets of PBI web, and SOLVAY delivered litre size samples of ionomer dispersion to partners, both according to the project schedule. Confidential
D3.2: Supply of components for membrane after first material improvementIonomer reinforced membranes comprising ePTFE support are a standard for automotive fuel cell application given the low thickness and the better mechanical properties compared to competitive technologies, despite a series of unsolved issues defining some limits to this technology.
The introduction of an innovative material (PBI) and an innovative reinforcement geometry (open web) is key for further improving performance of automotive fuel cell membranes. Aquivion ionomer used for impregnation must be designed around this innovative structure, must be highly stable and conductive in the typical conditions of automotive fuel cell; the solvent formulation must be selected to be compatible with the support and ionomer and to keep the open web structure as such during solvent evaporation.
The aim of WP3 is the development of innovative materials which will be then integrated in reinforced membranes, particularly:
- PBI electrospun support
- Low EW Aquivion-based ionomer dispersion
- Chemical scavenger catalyst able to increase membrane lifetime
A first set of improved materials is presented in Deliverable 3.2 after 18 months of activities.

D3.3: Supply of components for membrane after second material improvement in line with target characteristics defined

Reinforced membranes comprising ePTFE reinforcement are a standard for automotive fuel cell application given the low thickness and the better mechanical properties compared to competitive technologies, despite a series of unsolved issues defining some limits to this technology.
The introduction of an innovative material (PBI) and an innovative reinforcement geometry (open web) is key for further improve performance of automotive fuel cell membranes. The ionomer used for impregnation must be designed around this innovative structure, must be highly stable and conductive in the typical conditions of automotive fuel cell; the solvent formulation must be selected to be compatible with the support and ionomer in order to keep the open web structure as such during solvent evaporation. Additionally, specific chemical scavenger, must be used to improve the chemical stability of the ionomer membrane. Specific ionomer must be also developed for the cathode side electrode to prevent oxygen diffusion limitation when low Pt loading is used.
The aim of WP3 is the development of innovative material which will be then integrated in reinforced membranes and MEAs.
A second set of materials is presented in this deliverable after 28 months of activities
D.3.4 – Realisation of reinforced membrane including demonstration of  manufacturability and target properties relating to functionality and manufacturability Confidential
D3.5: Component supply for realisation of final stack(s) using fabrication method consistent with high volume manufacturing technologyThis deliverable report describes the manufacturing of the proton exchange membrane to allow component supply for the realisation of final stack(s) using fabrication method consistent with high volume manufacturing technology.
Following from deliverable report D3.4, where target properties were demonstrated for an improved ePTFE-reinforced membrane using new ionomer and radical scavenger technologies introduced by Solvay, Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells (JMFC) have optimised the manufacturing parameters and produced 35 square metres of membrane for downstream catalyst coated membrane (CCM) production and delivery for the project’s final 90 kW stack demonstration at partner ElringKlinger.
The process for the 35 square metre production used JMFC proprietary membrane fabrication methods that have been developed for high volume roll-to-roll manufacturing. The production technique includes the ability to introduce different
layer compositions through the membrane, to bring in reinforcement materials, and to control heat treatment time and profile and in-line verification parameters critical to product quality.
D4.1: Baseline CCM supplied for testingThe project Baseline MEA, developed in the former FCH JU project MAESTRO, based on a reinforced membrane comprising electrospun PBI reinforcement and Solvay Aquivion ionomer has been provided and tested successfully using ex-situ characterisation techniques and in-situ beginning of life single cell performance measurements. The Baseline MEA performance was extremely promising, especially under hot, dry operating conditions, but mechanical strength of the membrane still needs to be improved in order to meet the project durability targets.Confidential
D4.2: CCMs meet 2.0 A/cm2 at 0.6 V in relevant single cell protocolThis report summarises the Membrane Electrode Assembly development work carried out by Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells and ElringKlinger (EK) to meet the mid-term performance target of 2.0 A/cm2 at 0.6 V in an EK NM5 type single cell.  The development successfully focussed on catalyst coated membrane (CCM) components compatible with high volume processes and the optimisation of said processes to maximise screener single cell performance. Initially the developed CCM performance did not translate well into the NM5 single cell and did require optimisation of its in-cell compression as well as the introduction of an alternative gas diffusion layer (GDL), first introduced in FCH 2 JU project INSPIRE (700127), in order to maximise its performance and achieve the mid-term performance target.Confidential
D4.3: Single Cell Performance target 2.5 A/cm2 at 0.6 VThis report summarises the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) development work carried out by Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells (JMFC) and ElringKlinger (EK) to meet the performance target of 2.5 A/cm2 at 0.6 V in an EK NM5 single cell.
Four strands of work have been completed to reach a better performing MEA. These are:
  • Cathode development
  • Membrane development (from Work Package 3)
  • Cell compression optimisation
  • GDL development
D4.4: Report outlining volume manufacturing capability including Process FMEA on volume CCM manufacturingThis report summarises the process established for volume manufacture of roll-good Catalyst Coated Membranes (CCMs) at Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells (JMFC) and the Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) carried out on this process. The PFMEA covers all manufacturing steps leading up to the CCM manufacture including coating of catalysts layers. The format of the PFMEA carried out by JMFC is included in this report, in addition to detailed discussions of the key failure modes and the mitigations that have been implemented either to prevent or to detect the occurrence of these failure modes.Confidential 
D4.5: CCMs supplied using volume capable manufacturing processesThe catalyst coated membrane component required for the VOLUMETRIQ final NM12 stack has been delivered to partners and the relevant quality control measurement recorded and published.Confidential 
D4.6: P-FMEA on volume GDL manufacturing received from supplierThis report presents and describes the Process FMEA on volume GDL manufacturing received from the supplier.Confidential  
D5.1: Optimum bipolar plate design for performance and manufactureThis report describes the bipolar plate (BPP) optimisation work carried out by ElringKlinger (EK) to meet the high performance targets of 2.5 A/cm² @ 0.6 V in an automotive fuel cell stack of the next generation. BPP design in particular flow field patterns were optimised based on EK’s current available NM5 stack technology showing the potential of meeting high performance targets.
Beside performance aspects, the development work focussed on design issues ensuring a plate layout compatible with high volume processes. Quality control methods for series production of BPPs were optimised and evaluated to finally implement these techniques at EK’s BPP production line.
D5.2: Production process and quality control methodology for plate manufactureHigh-precision bipolar plates with low tolerance variations are key components for automotive stacks with their demand for very high power densities and reliability. With the confirmation that a specific technological approach has been identified to meet these targets in a prototype manufacturing environment, it is still challenging to transfer such concepts to high volume production lines. This report describes EK’s experience with high speed production tools and its established manufacturing technology to produce automotive bipolar plates in a series production including related quality control methods.
Furthermore an introduction is given to the improvements on the manufacturing processes and the in line quality measurements developed within VOLUMETRIQ.
D5.3: Bipolar Plate Volume Production capability-Process Capability ReportIn the present report the high volume production capability of BPPs is demonstrated together with the advanced quality control methods that are fully incorporated in the EK processes. More precisely, it is presented how the upgraded QC standards have been successfully implemented and evaluated as capable of high volume production accompanying processes. Within the VOLUMETRIQ framework and time-frame valuable hardware as well as soft-skills have been acquired that ensure the transition from the low-volume manufacturing era to the high-volume production of BPPs accompanied with the high volume and high precision as well as in-line quality control methods. This transition was described through the presentation of standard QC methods and their comparison to the advanced/new QC tools. The evaluation of this transition is demonstrated also by means of the process capability indexes. Finally, PPAP and PSW standards are considered as a necessary prerequisite for the automotive quality standards and are incorporated in the EK processes.Confidential
D6.1: Optimised CCM supply and stack assembly processCCM supply is an important process of the stack assembly due to high costs of the material itself. Therefore it is necessary to utilise as much of the catalyst coated membrane as possible. CCMs are mainly produced directly on rolls so that the further processing has to adapt to this design, ensuring a maximum output of the used material. Furthermore the feeding, processing and process linking has to be analysed and adapted where appropriate to meet the high utilisation rates demanded to minimise costs. Within VOLUMETRIQ, punching and cutting processes for CCM supply were analysed in detail and the most promising technique was identified as rotary die cutting. Satisfying results regarding form tolerance as well as fringes and form defects especially in the edge regions of CCM sheets were achieved at high web speeds. Future work should consider methods to achieve process capability for the identified parameters of the performed tests. For CCM handling, a cycle time improvement of 61 % compared to the current CCM handling process in EK´s automated cell assembly was tested. Assuming the CCM is more critical than the GDL with respect to handling processes, results and identified parameters can be transferred for handling the GDL using a parallel robot and similar vacuum gripper. The knowledge gained in handling MEAs will be transferred to other handling processes in the stack assembly line, in particular to the stacking process. Initial tests of the automated stack assembly line confirmed chosen handling, transfer and assembling processes embedded in EK’s automated stack assembly line. A roll feed automated CCM supply unit was successfully integrated and tested. Concepts for a high volume production have been worked out, having the potential to reduce the cycle time of the whole MEA assembly process of approximately 72 %. Furthermore concepts for very high volume productions, in particular for the MEA assembling process, have to be developed and if possible tested and evaluated.Confidential
D6.2: Key Component Parameters For Stack ComponentsIn order to establish a robust and consistent volume manufacturing process, it is necessary to build and deliver stacks with little standard deviation concerning performance and lifetime. Therefore, it is crucial to identify the most significant key component characteristics and to define them in a way that process capability targets of the stack are met.
Potentially significant parameters were identified. They were then evaluated using sensitivity analysis and design iteration to identify critical quality control parameters for each component including tolerances and mean values. The impact of component misalignment on cell-to-cell balance was also evaluated.
D.6.3 – Formalised product production specification for optimised key stack components Confidential
D6.4: Stack QC test procedureThe post assembly stack quality control procedures are presented in this report. The End of Line (EOL) tests Are described which include also the Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT). All these procedures have been standardised during the project period and optimised in order to be suitable for high volume production processes. Part of the report is also the description of the optimisation steps for the cell conditioning.Confidential
D6.5: D.6.5 – Report summarising the results from the 90 kW stack buildIn this report, the verification of the stack assembly process is shown and the progress made for the at-rate production of components. The improvements on the component level of the stack compared to the baseline status in the beginning of the project are also reported as well as their impact on the performance. Additionally the progress on the assembly process of the stacks is shown, using production intent arts and following the optimised processes developed during the project.Confidential
D7.1 Project WebsiteThe VOLUMETRIQ project website is designed to fulfil project communication and dissemination needs in the direction of the whole scientific community and the public through relevant information including:
  • project overall objectives, partners & structure information
  • project activities: news, meetings, publications …
  • project resources: links, related events …
  • project contact information

All the partners will collectively participate in the dissemination objective of the website by providing up-to-date information

D7.2: Dissemination and knowledge management protocol To protect the intellectual property rights, confidentiality and the legitimate interests of the partners, a Dissemination Protocol is necessary so, information to be communicated or disseminated will be managed and receive the agreement of the Project Steering Committee before the information is deemed publishable.D7.2

D7.3: Dissemination and communication bundle

During the first 24M of the VOLUMETRIQ project, various dissemination and communication measures have been undertaken by the consortium. Target groups include industry, academia, government bodies and the public.D7.3

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