The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action are strengthening Chemnitz as a hydrogen location and funding the further development of fuel cell technology.
As part of two research and development projects (R&D) for the further development of hydrogen fuel cells, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) are funding Chemnitz University of Technology and its partners with a total of approximately ten million euros. Of this amount, 2.5 million euros will be allocated to Chemnitz University of Technology.
The Department of Advance Powertrains (Head: Prof. Dr. Thomas von Unwerth) at Chemnitz University of Technology is in charge of the BMDV-funded project Stack and System Components of PEM Fuel Cells for Mobility Applications (HZwo: SuSyMobil) and will receive more than one million euros for the further development of its Open Source Stack (OSS) research platform.
The Department of Advanced Powertrains (ALF) is involved as a research partner in the ‘BZ_Turbocharger’ project funded by the BMWK to develop a turbo compressor for fuel cell vehicles and is funded with around 1.5 million euros.
“I sincerely congratulate our colleague Thomas von Unwerth and his team on this great success. This is an extremely valuable contribution both to the mobility of the future and to the further development and expansion of Chemnitz as a ‘hydrogen location’ with national and international appeal,” says the Rector of Chemnitz University of Technology, Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier.
“Both projects aim to advance research on hydrogen technologies for the mobility of tomorrow. The strong involvement of Chemnitz University of Technology once again underscores the expertise available in this field at the Chemnitz location and the future direction of ‘Ready for Hydrogen’,” says Prof. Dr. Thomas von Unwerth.
Open source research platform developed by Chemnitz University of Technology to be prepared for transfer to industry
Chemnitz University of Technology coordinates the R&D project HZwo: SuSyMobil. The project coordinator is René Schmiedel, research assistant at the ALF department . Seven partners are also involved in the project. These include ESKA Automotive GmbH, Handtmann Leichtmetallgießerei Annaberg GmbH, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, WätaS Wärmetauscher Sachsen GmbH, Bernd Flach Präzisionstechnik GmbH & Co. KG and FES GmbH Fahrzeug-Entwicklung Sachsen.
The funding period begins retroactively on December 1, 2021. The total funding volume is around 3.5 million euros. The aim of the project is, among other things, to further develop the Open Source Stack (OSS) research function platform developed at the ALF department into a complete system for testing hydrogen fuel cells under real conditions in the mobility sector. Production processes close to series production, for example, can be investigated and optimized using the standardized test platform. The test platform will also benefit students and researchers at Chemnitz University of Technology as well as those involved in the project in teaching and further education. “The project makes an important contribution to the further development of a value chain for fuel cell development in Saxony. The research function platform Open Source Stack offers an excellent opportunity for the efficient transfer of research results to industry and thus directly to application,” says project coordinator René Schmiedel.
Reduce life cycle costs of fuel cells
As a project partner, Chemnitz University of Technology is involved in the BZ_Turbocharger project together with IHI Charging Systems International GmbH and Silver Atena GmbH. The project is funded by the BMWK in the funding program New Vehicle and System Technologies with a total of about seven million euros. On the university side, Erik Pohl, research assistant at the ALF department, is in charge of project coordination. The duration of the project is set at 33 months – retroactive to January 1, 2022.
The aim of the project is to reduce the system costs of a fuel cell system and to develop a turbo compressor. In this way, the economic attractiveness of fuel cell technology is to be increased in the future and hydrogen-based electric mobility is to be promoted in the long term. “The air compressor is an essential component of the fuel cell drive system. By coupling it with a turbine, its efficiency can be significantly increased. At the same time, system efficiency can be improved by optimally matching the components to the application,” says project manager Erik Pohl.
The HZwo: SuSyMobil project is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the National Innovation Program for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology with a total of 3.5 million euros. The funding directive is coordinated by NOW GmbH and implemented by Project Management Jülich (PtJ).
The BZ_Turbocharger project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action with around seven million euros as part of the New Vehicle and System Technologies funding program. The funding directive is coordinated and implemented by TÜV Rheinland.
Picture: Prof. Dr. Thomas von Unwerth and his team at Chemnitz University of Technology are further developing the hydrogen fuel cell. For this purpose, his department is receiving several million euros in federal funding. Photo: Jacob Müller