EURECA develops the next generation of µ-CHP systems based on advanced PEM stack technology. The idea is to overcome the disadvantages of complex gas purification, gas humidification and the low temperature gradient for the heat exchangers in a heating system. EURECA will develop a new stack generation based on PEM technology with operating temperatures of 90°C to 120°C. Thus results in a less complicated and therefore in a more robust µ-CHP system with reduced costs. The development of a new stack generation includes various parallel working tasks. EURECA will optimize materials to operate in that temperature range – including membrane and bipolar plate materials. Also the catalyst will be improved with a lower platinum loading – design target < 0.2g/kW. The stack design and the flow field of the bipolar plates will be optimized for the operating conditions. All development steps will be supported by state-of-the-art modeling. As the final step the developed stack will be integrated in an adapted µ-CHP system to achieve proof-of-concept in the target application. Important part of the project is the validation of the design targets. The µ-CHP system – including the reformer – is expected to operate at an electrical efficiency of 40%. Lifetime tests with defined test procedures on single cells and short stacks will indicate a stack lifetime of approx. 12.000 h. In all development processes the partners have agreed to a design-to-cost approach. This includes the producibility in series production processes. A cost assessment will indicate the cost savings by the less complicated system. The consortium is well balanced along the supply chain. Component suppliers and system designers are backed by research institutions. High quality of the development process is of top priority to all partners. Therefore the consortium will agree at the beginning of EURECA on specific quality and management procedures – including contingency planning measurements.

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An overview of the project consortium

  • CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation. A leader in research, development and innovation, the CEA mission statement has two main objectives: To become the leading technological research organization in Europe and to ensure that the nuclear deterrent remains effective in the future.
  • CEGASA is a business group in battery manufacturing
  • The IK4-CIDETEC Technological Centre is an expert in generating and transferring knowledge and technology in the areas of materials, surfaces and energy.
  • Eisenhuth GmbH & Co. KG is one of the top manufacturers of moulds for rubber, silicon and plastics.
  • The Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (ICE-HT) became one of the founding Institutes of FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas)
  • The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE is the largest institute in Europe for applied research and development in the field of solar energy conversion
  • Inhouse Engineering is a small and medium sized enterprise in the field of “Efficient Energy Systems” and “Fuel Cell Systems”
  • NEXT ENERGY - EWE Research Centre for Energy Technology is an independent research institute, which is organized under the umbrella of the non-profit association
  • At the University of Belgrad the Institute of Nuclear Sciences Vinca – Hydrogen Eenergy Division and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering - Combustion and Fuels Division will be engaged