One of the major obstacles standing in the way of a break-through in fuel cell technology is its relatively high costs compared to well established fossil-based technologies. The reasons for these high costs predominantly lie in the use of non-standardized components, complex system components, and non-automated production of fuel cells. This problem can be identified at multiple levels, for example, the electrochemically active components of the fuel cell stack, peripheral components of the fuel cell system, and eventually on the level of stack and system assembly. This article focused on the industrialization of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) stack components and assembly. To achieve this, the first step is the formulation of the requirement specifications for the automated PEMFC stack production. The developed mass manufacturing machine (MMM) enables a reduction of the assembly time of a cell fuel cell stack to 15 minutes. Furthermore the targeted automation level is theoretically capable of producing up to 10,000 fuel cell stacks per year. This will result in a ~50% stack cost reduction through economies of scale and increased automation. The modular concept is scalable to meet increasing future demand which is essential for the market ramp-up and success of this technology.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited