SOSLeM, a project accelopment was supporting in project management and dissemination, wan the FCH JU Awards 2019 in the category Best Innovation. The awards are organised by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) and are meant to display the best innovations within the undertaking.
SOSLeM was nominated for a novel testing device enabling fuel cell manufacturers to scale-up production volumes. They were eleven projects in the category.
AVL was the partner leading this innovation and received the award. Find below the reasons why people voted for SOSLeM.
SOSLeM - Solid Oxide Stack Lean Manufacturing
The overarching goal of SOSLeM was to reduce the cost of manufacturing fuel cells stacks while at the same time making production more resource efficient and realising environmental benefits. Overall, a cost reduction of about 70% as achieved during the project’s lifecycle. On a technical level, this was achieved by developing new and optimising existing processes for the production of fuel cell cassettes by lean manufacturing processes, e.g. introducing automated laser welding. Production tiem and costs have also been reduced by a large furnace arrangement and introducing a multi-stack production station. In addition, environmental benefits have been realised by improved cleaning of the waste water and hot gas exhaust and the implementation improved protective coatings for the steel in the fuel cell stack. Results from the SOSLeM project are already taking effect in the real world at various project partners:
- The resulting overall stack cost reduction is expected to give SOLIDpower an edge over other competitors. It was a key factor contributing to the new production plant currently under construction in Italy, which will increase production capacity to 25MW/y initially and potentially up to 50MW/y, creating many new high quality employment opportunities.
- The project partners Athena and Greenlight, suppliers of SOLIDpower, will potentially be able to significantly increase their sales towards SOLIDpower.
- Greenlight will also be able to market their upgraded stack qualification stations to other manufacturers.
- AVL plans to commercialise the generated know-how by marketing of new end-of-line test equipment that can currently be purchased on a commercial basis in the frame of joint projects.
- The research performed in SOSLeM has resulted in two PhD theses and was also disseminated to scientific audiences in two peer-reviewed publications.
Overall the SOSLeM project has been a success for all of its partners and thus the nomination is surely well deserved.
About the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)
The FCH JU aim is to accelerate the market introduction of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-clean energy system. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Hydrogen Europe Research. We have a previous post containing more detailed information on the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking.
Deadline to vote was November 19.