Germany launches fuel cell fabrication lab

Fuel cell bus. (Reference image by Hydrogen99, Wikimedia Commons).

Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) announced the launching of HyFaB – a research fabrication laboratory or ‘fab’ for hydrogen and fuel cells.

According to ZSW, the idea is to establish an open industry platform to look into automated production and quality assurance processes, factory acceptance testing and the commissioning of fuel-cell stacks at the 3,600-square-metre facility that will be built in the city of Ulm.

HyFab is to be an open industry platform to look into automated production and quality assurance processes, factory acceptance testing and the commissioning of fuel-cell stacks

The HyFaB is the only facility of its kind in Germany and it is expected to be up and running in early 2022. It was also conceived as a training centre to qualify skilled workers and learn more about industrial applications. 

“HyFaB is open to partners. The automotive industry, fuel-cell vendors, and mechanical and plant engineering companies are very welcome,” ZSW said in a media release.

“Fuel cells are still made largely by hand rather on industrial assembly lines. The HyFaB research factory is going to steer and accelerate the transition from small-scale to mass manufacturing.” 

The facility will focus on scalable component production processes that are suitable for assembly lines and on fuel-cell stack manufacturing processes. 

Besides having the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg as a partner in science, the HyFaB received €10.5 million in funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg, where Ulm is located.  

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