In the PRECOIL project, start-up Precors is developing an innovative and scalable coating process for metallic bipolar plates for use in PEM fuel cells. This enables the production of lightweight and compact fuel cells while simultaneously reducing costs. The BMVI is supporting the project as part of the NIP II programme, with approximately 470,000 euros in funding.

As part of the PRECOIL project, Precors is developing an automated process to allow for a roll-to-roll production process of coated metal foils for the manufacture of current collector plates (so-called bipolar plates) for fuel cells. This results in major advantages in terms of series production, added-value potential and cost reductions compared to the existing process of subsequent coating of individual bipolar plates.

The project is supported by the National Innovation Programme Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI – Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur) with funds of approximately 470,000 euros. The implementation of the funding guideline is coordinated by NOW GmbH.

The carbon-based coating material developed by Precors provides effective corrosion protection and high electrical conductivity, thereby significantly increasing the service life and power density of fuel cells. Since a fuel cell stack in the automotive sector contains around 350 bipolar plates, lightweight and compact material concepts and a scalable, ecological and economically viable coating concept are of vital importance. The use of metallic bipolar plates opens up innovative, scalable and cost-efficient possibilities in terms of design and production, on the one hand, and significant reductions in weight and the installation space required, on the other, which together increase the market attractiveness of fuel cells.

Both the production of the carbon-based starting material and the coating process represent the core expertise and thus a major step towards the marketability of fuel cell technology.

Precors GmbH (a spin-off from Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH / IEK-3), develops and manufactures functional materials and coating solutions for the next generation of PEM fuel cells.