Fuel cell manufacturing technology continues to advance

Optima Life Science is developing a test converter specifically for the development and testing of innovative manufacturing processes for fuel cells. To exploit the full potential of production methods, the company has received funding from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.

A specialist in the field of web-processing technologies, Optima Life Science already offers production systems for fuel cells with a high output. Building on this experience, the company is currently developing a modular test converter whereby innovative ideas, process optimizations, and product developments can be implemented quickly and easily. In the future, production processes for fuel cells will first be verified in a development environment before being transferred to high-performance systems.

Further developments in fuel cell technology will require new structures and dimensions of the fuel cells and thus also of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA). The need for the development and refinement of manufacturing processes is therefore in high demand. The OPTIMA MTC (Modular Test Converter) has been designed specifically for this purpose. With it, the adaptable arrangement of the different processes, the reconfiguration and the addition and removal of process steps become reality, and individual processes and complex process sequences – up to the finished MEA for the fuel cell – can be tested. Other benefits of the OPTIMA MTC include sampling, small series production, and the possibility to combine product development and manufacturing process development, which reduces economic risk.

The heart of the fuel cell is the MEA. The individual components such as membranes, frame material and gas diffusion layers are each fed from the roll in Optima systems. Individual parts are cut to size and assembled into the MEA in the complex, continuous web process. In order for the fuel cells to achieve the desired level of efficiency, all process steps require maximum precision. In addition to the manufacturing technologies required for MEA production, Optima offers the traceability of each individual MEA with its digital solutions.

HTW Editorial Team

HTW Editorial Team

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