News Article | December 1, 2016
« Toyota approves Mentor Graphics Volcano VSTAR AUTOSAR stack for ECU deployment in next-gen Toyota vehicles | Main | ORNL study finds even low penetration of CAVs delivers significant fuel economy benefits, but increases travel time slightly » Carbon specialist SGL Group is a development partner in the European joint development project INSPIRE (Integration of Novel Stack Components for Performance, Improved DuRability and LowEr Cost), which has been funded with a €7-million (US$7.4-million) award from Europe’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and will run for three years. (Earlier post.) The aim of INSPIRE is to develop a new generation of fuel cells with higher performance and longer lifetime. SGL Group brings its long-established expertise as a component developer to the project, and is responsible for the development of the gas diffusion layers (GDL), which will be manufactured based on carbon fibers. The GDL in polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell provides a steady supply of gas to the catalyst layers, which are located on both sides of the ion exchange membrane and which convert hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy and water. The GDLs also aid water vapor reaching the membrane (thereby increasing ionic conductivity) and also facilitate the removal of produced water. The reactants diffuse from the gas channels to the catalyst layer; the generated water must travel from the catalyst layer to the gas channels. GDLs are positioned between the catalyst layer in the cell and the gas flow channel; its structure controls catalyst utilization and overall fuel cell performance. In a 2012 review of GDL materials and designs, a team from the University of South Carolina noted that: The INSPIRE project, which kicked-off in May 2016, is being carried out under the coordination of Johnson Matthey, a leading manufacturer of catalyst coated membrane units, as well as other companies such as the BMW Group and Dana Holding Corporation (Neu-Ulm), along with several scientific research organizations (CNRS Montpellier, TU Berlin, TU Munich, University of Freiburg, VTT Espoo) and the SME Pretexo. Dana is developing an optimized design of metallic bipolar plate that delivers the hydrogen and air to the MEA and transmits the electricity generated to power the vehicle. BMW Group is setting out the requirements for the stack and will assemble the MEAs and bipolar plates into new stack designs aimed at achieving the cost, durability and volumetric power density targets required for mass market exploitation. CNRS Montpellier, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., Technical University of Munich, Technical University of Berlin and the University of Freiburg are working on next-generation catalysts, electrodes and membranes. Project management support is being provided by Pretexo. In addition to the focus on development, the partners will also be concentrating on establishing a common European supply chain for these critical components; namely the membrane, catalyst, gas diffusion layers and bipolar plates. With this step the capability of serial production will also be demonstrated. INSPIRE, with high-profile partners from the fields of science and industry, offers an excellent platform to accelerate the utilization of fuel cell technology with its innovative materials and components. For SGL Group, it highlights our entrepreneurial claim to play a key role in shaping developments in the megatrends of mobility and energy supply. These include not only graphite anode material for lithium ion batteries and carbon fiber composites for lightweight-construction passenger compartments, but also our gas diffusion layers for alternative drive technologies based on hydrogen. INSPIRE will make an invited presentation during the European Fuel Cell Car Workshop (EFCW2017), 1-3 March 2017, Orléans, France, organized by the FCH JU SMARTCat Project.
Bottomley P.D.W.,ITU Karlsruhe Postfach 2340 |
Knebel K.,ITU Karlsruhe Postfach 2340 |
Van Winckel S.,ITU Karlsruhe Postfach 2340 |
Haste T.,British Petroleum |
And 4 more authors.
Annals of Nuclear Energy | Year: 2014
Chemical revaporisation or physical resuspension of fission product deposits from the primary circuit is now recognised to be a major source term in the late phase of fuel degradation in a severe nuclear accident. These results come from tests carried out under different experimental projects in the European Commission (EC) Framework Programmes. These include the revaporisation tests carried out at the Transuranium Institute (ITU), Karlsruhe under the Fourth Framework Programme, the Phébus FP post-test analysis programme that examined FPT1, FPT3 and FPT4 deposits in separate-effect tests as well as EXSI-PC tests carried out at VTT, Espoo. The first tests at ITU and VTT concentrated on the behaviour of caesium as a very important fission product; this has helped detailed interpretation of the integral Phébus FP tests and has clarified some puzzling observations. Testing with Phébus FPT1 and FPT4 deposits at ITU demonstrated that revaporisation is a likely, rather than a possible, phenomenon with a severely degrading bundle. They have also shown that any changes in temperature (substrate or gas), flow rate or atmosphere composition or pressure can lead to the volatilisation or removal of the deposited caesium. Cs was particularly easy to follow given the high activity levels of Cs in the deposit. However further analysis of the deposits shows that other fission products are also subject to revaporisation. In the most recent FPT3 test, the chemical analysis of the filters has enabled examination of other fission products and demonstrated that these can be equally active in such conditions. Further separate effect tests in the EXSI-PC facility at VTT, Espoo have also given further insight as to the chemical reactions that major fission products (e.g. Cs, I) undergo under steam flows. One important result is the significant fraction of iodine that was released and transported in gaseous form at rather low circuit temperatures. In support of the experimental data, 'ab initio' theoretical approaches are being used at IRSN to demonstrate the interaction mechanisms of iodine and caesium vapours with typical primary circuit substrates under severe accident conditions. These approaches are expected to help interpret the Phébus FP experiments and VERCORS fission product tests as well as the CEA's on-going ISTP-VERDON tests under mixed air and steam conditions. The combination of the three different research approaches will enable a much improved understanding of major chemical interactions in the primary circuit and so permit a more accurate simulation of a severe accident in primary circuits of water-cooled reactors with the ASTEC integral code, using improved thermodynamic data in the SOPHEAROS module. This, in turn will help to reduce the uncertainties in the anticipated source term to the environment. © 2014 The Authors.