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Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2016-10-24

Method for producing a functional element, in particular for flat seals, wherein a functional layer with at least one screen region is formed in which through openings for the passage of a fluid lie exposed between threads of a woven or braided fabric, wherein the functional layer is provided with at least one sealing region surrounding at least the screen region, in which sealing region sealing material layers are applied thereon to both sides of the woven or braided fabric, said sealing material layers forming a cross-sectionally impermeable layer assembly with the woven or braided fabric at least with an areal application of 5 MPa or more.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-02-6-2016 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2017

qSOFC project combines leading European companies and research centres in stack manufacturing value-chain with two companies specialized in production automation and quality assurance to optimize the current stack manufacturing processes for mass production. Currently the state-of-the-art SOFC system capital expenditure (capex) is 70008000 /kW of which stack is the single most expensive component. This proposal focuses on SOFC stack cost reduction and quality improvement by replacing manual labour in all key parts of the stack manufacturing process with automated manufacturing and quality control. This will lead to stack cost of 1000 /kW and create a further cost reduction potential down to 500 /kW at mass production (2000 MW/year). During the qSOFC project, key steps in cell and interconnect manufacturing and quality assurance will be optimized to enable mass-manufacturing. This will include development and validation of high-speed cell-manufacturing process, automated 3D machine vision inspection method to detect defects in cell manufacturing and automated leak-tightness detection of laser-welded/brazed interconnect-assemblies. The project is based on the products of its industrial partners in stack-manufacturing value-chain (ElringKlinger, Elcogen AS, Elcogen Oy, Sandvik) and motivated by their interest to further ready their products into mass-manufacturing market. Two companies specialized in production automation and quality control (Mko, HaikuTech) provide their expertise to the project. The two research centres (VTT, ENEA) support these companies with their scientific background and validate the produced cells, interconnects and stacks. Effective exploitation and dissemination of resulting improved products, services, and know-how is a natural purpose of each partner and these actions are boosted by this project. This makes project results available also for other parties and increases competitiveness of the European fuel cell industry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-01.2-2014 | Award Amount: 4.99M | Year: 2015

The principal aim of the project is to develop an EU-centric supply base for key automotive PEM fuel cell components that achieve high power density and with volume production capability along with embedded quality control as a key focus - to enable the establishment of a mature Automotive PEM fuel cell manufacturing capability in Europe. It will exploit existing EU value adding competencies and skill sets to enhance EU employment opportunities and competitiveness while supporting CO2 reduction and emissions reduction targets across the Transport sector with increased security of fuel supply (by utilising locally produced Hydrogen).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-02.5-2014 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2015

INNO-SOFC project combines leading European SOFC technology companies and research centres to collaborate and form required phases in the SOFC value chain. Within this project a next generation 50 kW SOFC system together with its key components will be developed, manufactured, and validated. This system includes many significant improvements compared to current State of the Art, leading to 30000 hours operating time, 4000 /kW system costs, 60% electrical efficiency, and 85% total efficiency, which are required for large-scale commercialization of stationary fuel cells. Efficiency, performance, and life-time of the system and its key components will be validated according to IEC standards in conditions that are relevant for end-users. Proof of reliability and durability of the system will be achieved in 3000 hours demonstration together with 10000 hours stack validation runs. The project is based on the products of industrial partners (Convion, EnergyMatters, Elcogen, and ElringKlinger) and motivated by their interest to further improve their products and consolidate an efficient value chain by collaboration. Industrial partners are operating at different phases of the value chain and are not therefore competing against each other, which enables an efficient collaboration and knowledge sharing within the project. Within this approach, whole system and its components will be optimized comprehensively to fulfil and exceed end-users requirements. Research centres (VTT, Jlich, and ENEA) support these companies to develop, experimentally validate and demonstrate their products. Effective exploitation and dissemination of resulting improved products, services, and know-how is a natural purpose of each partner and these actions are boosted by this project. This makes project results available also for other parties and increases competitiveness of European fuel cell industry.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-01-3-2016 | Award Amount: 3.29M | Year: 2017

The INLINE project aims at the solution of key challenges to enable the implementation of a scalable manufacturing process for fuel cell systems. Current manufacturing processes rely on manual work that has substantial limits in terms of cycle times, costs and scalability. Developments will start with the re-design and optimization of two key components: the media supply unit and the tank valve regulator. Both are components that are currently difficult to manufacture and are perceived as bottlenecks in the production process. Based on these new designs, an integrated production line will be planned using simulation tools. These tools will enable the evaluation of different layouts, part flow strategies and for different production scenarios. In terms of manufacturing tools, the end of line test will be improved to reduce cycle times by a factor of 3 and assistance systems for assembly stations will be developed that will enable scalability by reducing the need for training of workers. The overall target is to reduce the cycle time for production of a whole fuel cell system from 15 hours to less than 2.5 hours. Data gathering and analysis methods will be developed to enable the tracking of parts through the production line and - through a correlation of process and quality data - the continuous improvement of the production process. Demonstration of the end of line test and the assistance system will be done in hardware. The whole production line will be evaluated using a simulation tool that has been verified on the current production process. A set of engineering samples of the re-designed tank valve regulator and the media supply unit will be produced and used for tests of the integrated fuel cells and for assessment of the whole production process.A potential of 250 new jobs in manufacturing of fuel cells and for production of the key components will be generated by the project.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-01.2-2015 | Award Amount: 3.26M | Year: 2016

Fuel-Cell Electric Buses (FCEBs) have been deployed in multiple demonstrations in Europe, Canada and the USA, but they still suffer from high costs and low availability. Oddly enough, the low availability has almost always been due to control issues and hybridisation strategies rather than problems in the fuel cells themselves. Giantleap aims to increase the availability and reduce the total cost of ownership of FCEBs by increasing the lifetime and reliability of the fuel cell system; this will be achieved with advanced online diagnostics of the fuel cells and the balance-of-plant components of the system, coupled with prognostics methods to calculate the systems residual useful life, and advanced control algorithms able to exploit this information to maximise the systems life. The same control system will also be engineered for robustness, in order to increase availability to the level of diesel buses or better. Giantleap will improve the understanding of degradation in fuel-cell systems with extensive experimentation and analysis; diagnostic and prognostic methods will focus on exploitation of current sensors to make the novel control approach cost-effective. Giantleap includes the demonstration of a prototype in relevant environment, allowing the project to reach technology readiness level 6. The prototype will be a trailer-mounted fuel-cell based range extender meant for battery city buses. The ability to swap out the range extender in case of malfunctions greatly increases the availability of the bus, while the large battery capacity allows the bus to complete its route should malfunctions occur during usage. Furthermore, the large battery capacity will give the control system ample opportunity to optimise fuel-cell usage via hybridisation management strategies.


In order to provide a method for establishing an electrically conductive connection between an electrical line which includes a plurality of individual conductors and an electrically conductive component which is easily realizable but nevertheless leads to a corrosion resistant connection between the individual conductors of the electrical line and the electrically conductive component, it is proposed that the method includes producing a crimping element that surrounds the individual conductors sectionally from a crimping element preform by means of a crimping tool, and connecting at least a portion of the individual conductors to the electrically conductive component by an ultrasonic welding process by means of a sonotrode.


Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2016-03-23

In order to improve an intermediate plate for mounting between housing parts of a fluid-operated control unit, in particular a transmission unit, comprising a central unit of plate-shaped configuration and, on both sides of the central unit, a sealing system for sealing between the central unit and the housing part opposite thereto in each case, said sealing system comprising sealing elements arranged on the respective side of the central unit and extending around cutouts, in such a way that said intermediate plate allows complex fluid routing, it is proposed that the central unit comprise a fluid routing plate extending in a plate plane and having at least one fluid routing channel extending in the plate plane and comprise cover plates arranged on both sides of the fluid routing plate and having cutouts as accesses to the at least one fluid routing channel, that an intermediate sealing system sealing the at least one fluid routing channel be provided between the respective cover plate and the fluid routing plate and that the respective cover plate carry the respective sealing system for sealing between the central unit and the respective housing part.


Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2016-03-23

In order, in the case of an intermediate plate for mounting between housing parts of a fluid-operated control unit, in particular a gear unit, including a central unit that is constructed in the shape of a plate and, on either side of the central unit, a respective sealing system for sealing between the central unit and the housing part opposed thereto, this sealing system including sealing elements which are arranged on the respective side of the central unit and provide sealing around passages, to achieve the best possible seal between the central unit and the respective housing part, it is proposed that the respective sealing system should include as the sealing element at least one layer of an elastomer material that is resilient and is appliable adhesively to stick to the respective housing part.


In order to improve a method for producing a functional element, in particular, for flat seals, wherein a functional material layer is provided with a sieve region in which through openings for the passage of a fluid lie exposed between threads of a woven or plaited fabric such that a best possible sealing round the sieve regions is enabled, it is proposed that the functional material layer is provided with a sealing region which is formed to be cross-sectionally impermeable, in which the through openings of the woven or plaited fabric are closed by the softening and compressing of a filling material filling the through openings.

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