The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW – Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg) in Ulm has taken a decisive step towards production research for fuel cells with the ground-breaking ceremony for the Research Factory for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells (HyFaB – Forschungsfabrik für Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellen) on 10 February 2021.

Fuel cells technology is an area of great hope – especially in the transport sector. But mass production of these energy converters is not yet in place. Fuel cell vehicles powered by green hydrogen are among the most environmentally friendly means of transport, especially when long distances and short refueling times are required. In order to make this technology suitable for the mass market, costs must be brought down while simultaneously significantly expanding production capacities.

With the HyFaB factory, the ZSW is establishing an open industry platform for automated production and quality assurance processes, factory acceptance tests and commissioning of fuel cell stacks. In addition, skilled workers are to be trained up, and industry knowledge is to be acquired. The HyFaB is open to partners from the automotive and fuel cell supplier industry as well as to enterprises from the mechanical and plant engineering sector. The project, which is unique in Germany, is scheduled to come on stream at the beginning of 2022. In addition to the ZSW, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg is involved in the HyFaB project as a scientific partner.