With the fuel cell value chain meta-study (Wertschöpfungskette Brennstoffzelle), NOW has published a comprehensive study with the participation of the VDMA AG Brennstoffzellen (Fuel Cells Working Group), the aim of which is to explore the value creation potentials and cost structures of fuel cells.

In addition to the systemic meta-study, further deep dives were provided by the study authors umlaut SE and the Fraunhofer IPT. In the first two deep dives, the 7-layer membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and the bipolar plate (BPP), the largest cost drivers of the PEM fuel cell stack, are addressed. Different materials, process flows and the resulting cost structures are explained, thereby providing an overview of the complex components.

The following was presented in detail:

  • Component function
  • Material selection
  • Manufacturing process
  • Value chain
  • Component costs

Both the meta-study and the deep dives are intended to serve as a basis for discussion within the industry and to provide a general overview of fuel cell technology. In addition to the configurations and manufacturing alternatives shown, other features and product characteristics are conceivable.

Download the deep dive presentations (in German):

The bipolar plate of the PEM fuel cell – Die Bipolarplatte der PEM-Brennstoffzelle (PDF)

The membrane electrode unit of the PEM fuel cell – Die Membran-Elektroden-Einheit der PEM Brennstoffzelle (PDF)