Brussels / Heinsberg, November 2019 – The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) has awarded the winners of the 2019 FCH JU Awards in a ceremony attended by 300 industry, research and EU representatives at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels. Prizes went to particularly successful and innovative projects in the fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies field in Europe. The “SOSLeM - Solid Oxide Stack LEan Manufacturing” project was awarded the top prize in the “Best Project Innovation”category.
The aim of the project, which was financed among others by the EU Commission, was to develop cost-effective production technologies for key components in fuel-cell systems. SOSLeM sought to facilitate the market penetration of fuel cells by reducing the production costs of SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) stacks and by optimising the production process. SOLIDpower’s fuel-cell technology provided the basis for developing the new test device.
“A monitoring device for fuel-cell cars has been transferred to the stack manufacture for micro CHP systems. It can look inside the stack in the conditioning phase and see if it doesn’t work, saving time and resources for manufacturers,” explained Richard Schauperl from the automotive supply company AVL LIST GmbH.
“The project has reduced the cost of a core component, the stack, by 70% and the stack conditioning time to one day. We must convince consumers to switch now to highly efficient and decentralised power generation using fuel cells. This is currently still based on natural gas as the raw material and, in the medium term, on hydrogen. With market-ready and attractively priced fuel cell devices and an electrical output of up to 1.5 kW, we can make rapid progress,” emphasised Olivier Bucheli, Chief Business Development Officer at SOLIDpower.
The award was presented by Patrick Child, the EU Commission’s Deputy Director-General for Research and Innovation: “The Commission is delighted to see the innovation prize going to a project on manufacturing and lowering production costs of fuel cells. Much more should be done in this area to achieve higher market uptake of hydrogen technologies and products,” demanded the EU politician.