How must fuel cell systems be designed if they are to be used as a source of energy for the drive concept of the future, such as in road transportation? This question is the basis of the collaborative project ARIEL (Aufladung für Brennstoffzellensysteme durch interdisziplinär entwickelte Elektrische Luftverdichter – Charging for fuel cell systems by interdisciplinarilly developed electric air compressors).

To achieve this, the interdisciplinary partners are researching the optimisation of the electric charging system, a core component of the fuel cell system. The Institute of Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics at Leibniz Universität Hannover is also contributing its part to primary research.

Fuel cells are attracting increasing public attention. They are regarded as the basis for future mobility, especially in the area of drive systems. To make this possible, it is particularly important to optimise the supply of oxygen to the fuel cell. The project team, a consortium consisting of Leibniz University Hannover, Technical University Braunschweig and Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences, is conducting detailed research into the entire fuel cell charging system in cooperation with Volkswagen AG.

The Institute of Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics at LUH has been commissioned with the development and testing of an electric fuel cell charging system for use in a vehicle as part of this project. The project team anticipates to gain deeper insights during the research phase of more than three years, from tests that will be conducted on the test bench for turbocharging and fuel cell systems of the Institute for Turbomachinery and Fluid Dynamics at the Energy Research Centre of Lower Saxony in Goslar. The project is scheduled for completion in October 2021. All research findings will then be presented in a fully tested and optimised charging system that can be used as the basis for series production.

Project funding:

The ongoing ARIEL project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) within the framework of the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology with a total funding volume of approximately 6.4 million euros. The implementation of the funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH.