Introduction

Fluid Management component improvement for Back up fuel cell systems

Requirement for sustainable and environmentally acceptable energy sources initiated rapid development of various energy production technologies, mostly employing renewable energy sources. But in the shade of the new technologies remain already well established tehnologies that are no less important for reliable and efficient operation of energy plants as well as the costs of the produced energy. The so called balance of plant (BoP) components are therefore the main scope of the FluMaBack project, focusing mainly on BoP components for fuel cell systems.

The project brought together ten partners both enterprises and research institutions from four EU countries in quest for improved design and operation of various BoP components in terms of improved reliability and efficiency, extended lifetime, simplifying production and reducing overall cost of an entire fuel cell system.

Flumaback

FluMaBack project scope and goals 

The FluMaBack (Abbreviation for Fluid Management component improvement for Back up fuel cell systems) project aims to improve the performance, life time and cost of BoP (balance of plant) components of back up fuel cell systems specifically developed for emerging countries where long black-outs occur (8-9 hours per day) and very hard operative conditions are present (high temperature, high degree of humidity). Due to this requirement for long time operation the improvement of sub-system components addressed in the present project will benefit both back-up and CHP applications. The project focuses on new design and improvement of BoP components, aimed at:

  • improving BoP components performance, in terms of reliability;
  • improving the lifetime of BoP component both at component and at a system level;
  • reducing cost in a mass production perspective;
  • simplifying the manufacturing/assembly process of the entire fuel cell system.

The project is focused on the most critical BoP components with the largest potential for performance improvement and cost reductions:

  • Air and fluid flow equipments, including subcomponents and more specifically blower and recirculation pumps
  • Humidifier
  • Heat exchanger

Project consortium consist of both industrial and academic partners. Relevant research institutes and universities support the industries in the development and evaluation of BoP components. As the industrial partners are actively supplying the fuel cell business, the project results can be implemented rapidly, enhancing the impact of the project.