INNovative Cost Improvements for
BALANCE of Plant Components
of Automotive PEMFC Systems

31st May – 1st June: INN-BALANCE partners met in Gothenburg (Sweden)

After the first 6 months of work, the partners of the European project INN-BALANCE met in Gothenburg for two days of intensive collaboration. Discussions focused on the automotive requirements which will guide the development of the fuel cell components. The partners also concluded on first steps towards a common vision for the future exploitation of the project’s results.

photo of the partners at the headquarters of PowerCell

The second partners’ meeting of the project INN-BALANCE took place May 31st and June 1st on the premises of PowerCell Sweden AB in Gothenburg. All 9 partners from industry and research joint the meeting in order to share preliminary results and to set the basis of the upcoming work steps. The challenge in this first phase of the project was to define precisely common technical settings. Those are needed to ensure the smooth integration of the numerous developments, targeting different Balance of Plant (BoP) components within the fuel cell system, which will be tested in an automotive powertrain at the end of the project.

After a general presentation of the status of INN-BALANCE by the coordinator Alicia Arce Rubio from Fundación Ayesa (Sevilla, Spain), the discussion focused on requirements and specifications that the overall system and the BoP components need to meet for automotive applications. To this end, Stefan Bohatsch from Volvo Cars (Gothenburg, Sweden) presented a detailed list of requirements, including technical standards and performance targets as well as safety, legal and environmental constrains. The ambition of INN-BALANCE is to set and reach targets for performance which are already standard in conventional cars today. At the end, costumers’ expectations have to be fulfilled, especially in terms of passenger comfort! All supporting systems to be designed and developed within INN-BALANCE will take account of these requirements.

The partners also addressed a range of technical issues regarding choices to be made by the consortium to ensure efficiency at the level of the fuel cell system. Subjects of discussion were continuous and peak power needed for the different components, cooling loops and sensors.

The meeting was also the opportunity to initiate a joint reflection within the consortium on results’ exploitation. During a workshop of 2 hours the partners identified the backgrounds they bring to the project (in terms of knowledge, methods, software,..) and defined together the expected results and related possible exploitations. They were also introduced into Intellectual Property considerations for H2020 projects by Steinbeis 2i. Those should be considered all along the project to ensure a suitable protection of results during each stage of development, dissemination and exploitation.  

As the meeting took place at the headquarters of PowerCell Sweden AB, the consortium was invited to visit the lab facilities of the SME which is strongly committed to research and development in the field of hydrogen technologies. Felix Haberl, development engineer and project manager at PowerCell, presented the different products commercialized by his company, among which the 100kW fuel cell stack which will be adapted and modified by INN-BALANCE . It was also the occasion to discover the impressive high tech testing devices used by PowerCell to develop and optimize their products.