ElringKlinger AG

Germany

ElringKlinger AG

Germany
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Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2017-02-01

The invention relates to an electrochemical device, comprising a stack consisting of a plurality of electrochemical units which succeed one another in a stacking direction and which in each case comprise an electrochemically active membrane-electrode arrangement, a bipolar plate, and at least one sealing element, at least one medium channel which extends in the stacking direction through a plurality of the electrochemical units, at least one flow field through which a medium can flow out of the medium channel transversely with respect to the stacking direction from the medium channel to another medium channel, and at least one connection channel, through which the flow field and the medium channel are in fluid communication with one another. Said device enables an overlap of sealing elements which succeed one another in the stacking direction even in the region of a connection channel and requires no complex structural solution for supporting or reinforcing the sealing element. According to the invention, the sealing arrangement comprises a connection channel region, in which the sealing arrangement traverses the at least one connection channel, and at least one neighbouring region lying in front of or behind the connection channel region in the longitudinal direction, wherein in the connection channel region the sealing arrangement has a lower average height than in the neighbouring region.


Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2017-02-01

The invention relates to a sealing arrangement for an electrochemical device, comprising a support element and a sealing element which comprises an elastomer material. In order to produce said type of arrangement with reduced material and assembly complexity, thus making it suitable for mass production, at the same time having an excellent sealing effect whilst said electrochemical device is in operation for a long period of time, the support element and/or the sealing element have a height H which varies in a longitudinal direction of the sealing arrangement and/or a width which varies in a longitudinal direction of the sealing arrangement


The invention aims to provide a cell contacting system for an electrochemical device, which electrochemical device comprises a plurality of electrochemical cells and a current line system, wherein the cell contacting system comprises a signal line system having one or more signal lines for electrically connecting one signal source each to a signal line connection or to a monitoring device of the cell contacting system and comprises a supporting element, which supports the signal line system, in which cell contacting system an electrically conductive connection can be established between the signal line system and the cell connectors and/or current connections of the current line system in a particularly simple and reliable manner and, to the extent possible, without monitoring and correcting processes after a positioning process. In order to achieve said aim, according to the invention the cell contacting system comprises at least one signal-line-system-side positioning element, which is fastened to a signal line of the signal line system, and at least one supporting-element-side positioning element, which is fastened to the supporting element at least at times, wherein the signal-line-system-side positioning element is connected to the supporting-element-side positioning element at least at times in such a way that the signal-line-system-side positioning element is positioned in a desired position in relation to a cell connector or a current connection of the current line system.


Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2017-05-24

The invention relates to an intermediate plate for the sealing of sealing faces, which lie opposite each other, of housing parts of a control unit for fluid operated consumers, said intermediate plate comprising two sealing surface regions of at least one sealing layer, which sealing surface regions face their respective sealing faces and which can be placed on said sealing faces in a sealing manner. The aim of the invention is to improve an intermediate plate of the above type in such a way that a durable and reliable seal is ensured between the sealing surface regions and the sealing faces. To achieve this aim, at least one of the sealing surface regions is formed by an exposed metal coating that is slideable relative to the sealing faces, in order to lie directly against the sealing faces.


A cell contacting system for an electro-chemical device includes a plurality of electro-chemical cells and a current line system, wherein the cell contacting system includes a signal line system having signal lines for connecting a respective signal source to a signal line termination or to a monitoring device of the cell contacting system and a carrier element which carries the signal line system. The cell contacting system further includes at least one signal-line-system-side positioning element which is fixed to a signal line of the signal line system and at least one carrier-element-side positioning element which is fixed at least temporarily to the carrier element, wherein the signal-line-system-side positioning element is connected to the carrier-element-side positioning element at least temporarily in such a way that the signal-line-system-side positioning element is positioned in a desired position relative to a cell connector or a current termination of the current line system.


In order to improve an intermediate plate for the sealing of mutually opposed sealing faces of housing parts of a control unit for fluid-operated consuming devices, comprising two seal surface regions of at least one seal layer which face toward the respective sealing faces and are placeable sealingly thereon, so that a lasting and reliable sealing between the seal surface regions and the sealing faces is ensured, it is proposed that at least one of the seal surface regions is formed by an exposed metal coating which is capable of sliding relative to the sealing faces, for direct contact with the sealing faces.


Patent
ElringKlinger AG | Date: 2017-03-01

A method for producing a functional element (10), in particular for flat seals, in which method a functional layer (12) with at least one screen region (14) is formed, in which screen region passage openings (52) for the throughflow of a fluid are left free between strands (46, 48) of a fabric or mesh (42), in which method the functional layer is equipped with at least one sealing region (22) which surrounds the screen region and in which sealing material layers (62, 64) are applied to the fabric or mesh on both sides thereof, which sealing material layers, together with the fabric or mesh, form a cross-sectionally sealed layer assembly at least in the presence of an areal loading of 5 MPa or greater.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | 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: European Commission | 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: European Commission | 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.

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