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Development of cost effective manufacturing technologies for key components or fuel cell systems for industrial applications
Date de clôture : 3 mai 2016  

 Matières premières
 Horizon Europe

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Most fuel cell systems, key components like stacks, and BOP components like inverters, heat exchangers, etc., are produced in small quantities with considerable manual input. In order for mass deployment, stationary fuel cells must now achieve significant cost reductions underpinned by robust/high yield manufacturing processes at the cell, stack and system level. To reduce costs and increase quality, cost effective manufacturing technologies are required, and there is a high demand within the European stationary fuel cell sector for this type of activity to secure EU fuel cell competitiveness. This topic focuses on fundamental actions to improve production processes and scaled production for stacks, stack components, key components like BOP components, system integration, and whole systems. The aim is to develop/apply novel manufacturing technologies for industry, including for example: laser welding, coating, 3D printing, molding and casting of materials for fuel cell system components and/or stacks.


Proposals should support development and use best in class manufacturing technologies, production processes, equipment and tooling with cost impact on, for example, stacks or key BOP components for the industrial segment. Optimised mass manufacturing processes can include automated assembly, shortened cycle times, continuous production and lean manufacturing, compatible with environmental and health standards. Thus development of production processes with fewer steps, tolerant to varying quality of raw materials, and with lower-cost materials or materials with reduced environmental or health impacts are important, as well as advanced quality control methods. Innovative technologies could also be considered to provide complex design solutions with increased performance while allowing for lower costs compared to conventional production technologies. Pilot plants are excluded.

To achieve cost reduction the project may also aim at developing industry-wide agreements for standard BoP components for FCs, including heat exchangers, reformers, converters, inverters, post-combustors, actuators and sensors. To reach this target it is necessary to establish a resilient supply chain with respect of REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006, OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p.1 and other regulations impacting on manufacturing.

TRL at start: 4

TRL at end: 6

Consortium should include at least two manufacturers along the considered value chain, a partner specialized in manufacturing automation and/or production systems and a research institution.

The FCH 2 JU considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2 million would allow the specific challenges to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

A maximum of 1 project may be funded under this topic.

Expected Impact:

Projects should demonstrate how players in the fuel cell industry will enable the step-up from high cost small scale production towards lower cost higher volumes. Increased manufacturing capacity by elimination of slow processes and automation of highly manual intensive processing steps will lead to lower manufacturing costs which are the most critical factor towards real market competiveness. Innovative manufacturing technologies could also contribute for cost reduction and reduced time to market.

The project should have the following impacts:

  • Confirmation of KPI of the MAWP of at least 97% availability due to implemented quality systems in established production lines, availability shown in relevant environment
  • Potential cost reduction of key components to achieve overall system CAPEX of Less than 3,000 €/kW for the industrial segment.
  • Demonstrate manufacturing flexibility, by allowing reduction of time to market for new concepts by 20-30%, compared to traditional manufacturing lines and possibly address in addition to that also:
    • Demonstrate potential for cost reduction of at least 50%, compared to state of the art, once mass production is achieved

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