The overall objective of the project is to develop, validate and demonstrate step changes in term of cycle time, manufacturing cost, yield and reliability in two critical steps in the production PEMFC systems, i.e. the production of the MEAs and the assembly of the stacks.
Fit-4-AMandA focuses on the development and implementation of established automotive industry best practices on production and quality to the manufacturing of MEAs and PEMFC stacks. The ambition is to bring the manufacturing technology for the MEA production and the stack assembly from MRL5 to MRL7. Further, Fit-4-AMandA will proof the potential to reach the KPIs, CAPEX and efficiency targets as reported in the FCH2 Multi Annual Work Plan at a realistic production scale and volume. The assessment of potential cost reductions in the stack components and the stack assembly at increasing production volumes is also a significant part of the project. The resulting MEA production – and stack assembly technology will be validated by proving the capability to produce MEAs and stack systems in a production environment. This will allow to build-up a proper techno-economic model. The project will be concluded with the drafting of a credible exploitation plan (technology roadmap, overview of product-market combinations and market introduction scheme) for the exploitation of the results.
The scientific and technical objectives and key innovations are presented below:
- Assessment of the current production processes for stacks and stack components in order to establish the technological roadmap to scale up from less than hundred stacks/year to 50,000 stacks per year in 2020 and beyond.
- Redesign (adaptation) of current MEA and stack design to optimise the designs for manufacturability.
- Development of an alternative concept to graphitic BPP based on a metallic BPP technology.
- Development of fast inline non-destructive quality assurance (NDT-QA) test methods for automated production of MEAs and stack assembly.
- Design and development of an automated processing unit/system for the manufacturing of key/critical stack components, i.e. MEAs.
- Development, manufacturing and testing of technology and machine system for the automatic assembly of PEMFC stacks.
- Validation of the developed designs, hardware, tools and software for the automated production of MEAs and automated stack assembly and the fast inline NDT-QA test methods.
- Integration and field testing using one of the first prototype stacks manufactured by the automated processes into a light commercial vehicle provided by UPS.