ElringKlinger AG
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Highly efficient solutions for tomorrow's mobility needs.

Industry experts are unanimous in their verdict that alongside battery technology the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) marks a breakthrough in e-mobility. Provided that pure hydrogen is available, PEM fuel cell technology can be deployed effectively in all those areas of application in which low consumption and zero emission levels are an essential requirement. Boasting a range of company-developed fuel cell products, ElringKlinger offers innovative solutions tailored specifically to the challenges associated with stricter emission standards for conventional combustion engines and limited driving range in battery-powered vehicles.

Drawing on many years of experience as a supplier to the automotive industry, underpinned by fully automated processes in the areas of metalworking, plastic injection molding and joining/coating technology as well as automated assembly processes and in-house tool and mold making capabilities, ElringKlinger has established itself as a preferred partner for the cost-effective manufacture of fuel cell products in large quantities. At present, we are focusing on applications that are not dependent on the widespread supply of hydrogen. The emphasis here is on parts commonality and the integration of specific functions to deliver a thoroughly streamlined total cost of ownership. When it comes to production, we rely on tried and true processes, readily available technical solutions and partners/suppliers with a proven background in the industrial sector. We are able to supply automotive OEMs with an extensive range of components as well as premium-quality PEM fuel cell stacks – on request even with fully integrated system functionality. By providing innovative end-to-end solutions that encompass everything from in-house development through to manufacture, we aim to assist our customers in their pursuit of business excellence. 

Metallic bipolar plates

Metallic bipolar plates

ElringKlinger develops and produces metallic bipolar plates for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) by means of a fully automated manufacturing process that includes high-precision progressive tools suitable for large-scale serial production. Metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs offer tangible advantages with regard to costs and – an aspect that is particularly important for mobile applications – power density. In addition, they help to ensure the cold-start capability of fuel cells. Given its long-standing experience in the development, optimization and automated production of components for PEMFCs, ElringKlinger is well equipped to tackle the challenges of the future.

Casings, end and media modules

Casings, end and media modules – key stack components

As central components of the fuel cell stack, intelligently stacked bipolar plates have to be permanently braced with a uniform contact pressure over the entire surface of the cell. This is achieved by means of end modules that comprise the clamping system and, where necessary, media modules for the best possible supply of the functional units. Production-ready end modules for PEMFCs consist of high-performance plastics that meet all requirements while also offering the benefits of low weight and excellent dimensional stability. They offer the benefits of mechanical stability, chemical resistance and lightweight design. Using process-consistent injection molding, ElringKlinger is able to produce highly complex end modules that incorporate a range of system assemblies. Casings protect the fuel cell stack and its components from external influences.

Depending on the area of application, the key benefits of the materials used by ElringKlinger are as follows:

  • Multifunctionality
  • High thermal stability
  • Low weight
  • Flexibility in design
  • Easy assembly

Plastics are used in the production of PEMFC housings. In addition to saving weight, this helps to reduce the overall cost of components.

PEM fuel cell stacks

PEM fuel cell stacks

Ready for use in vehicles, our stack is the perfect choice for mobile applications and offers tangible economic advantages. Key benefits:

  • High power density
  • Highly dynamic power provision
  • Market-ready technology

Committed to excellence, we continuously refine and optimize stacks featuring metallic bipolar plates for applications with long service lives in cyclical operation. Both the stack and its components have consistently withstood extreme conditions as part of endurance testing. Thanks to the strategy of parts commonality together with the integration of system functions and the consistent approach of developing application-specific solutions, ElringKlinger products combine top-level performance with cost-effective design. Drawing on our experience as a high-caliber development partner, we look forward to tackling any customer-specific challenge.

Our PEMFC stacks are trialled and approved at our own test facilities, which are capable of simulating system conditions. Our PEM fuel cell stacks are used in mobile applications within the industrial sector, e.g. small utility vehicles and material-handling equipment. 

ElringKlinger fuel cell stacks have been certified by renowned independent testing bodies and are thus equal to all the demands of modern vehicles. As part of this process, for example, vibration and impact tests are carried out to simulate stress to which vehicles are generally exposed. ElringKlinger is able to draw on existing process and quality management that meets the stringent requirements imposed on suppliers to the automotive industry.

Our PEM fuel cell stack has undergone safety-specific assessments in accordance with relevant standards (e.g. DIN EN 62282-2; VDE 0130-2:2013-01) and has been successfully tested with regard to all requirements. On this basis, our NG3 stack has been awarded the TÜV-SÜD (German Technical Inspectorate) certificate.

Current funding projects

VolumetriQ

VOLUMETRIQ is a Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Undertaking project funded under the call FCH-01.2-2014 on “Cell and stack components, stack and system manufacturing technologies and quality assurance”. It will demonstrate operational OEM stack performance requirements for ElringKlinger’s automotive PEM fuel cell platform, with production readiness via validated volume capable manufacturing processes and quality control systems for both automotive fuel cell stack platform, and for major constituent cell components.  Stack components will be manufactured, involving improvement of existing methods and enhancement through automated manufacturing processes and tests to achieve robust volume yield and cost delivery.
The project will validate a complete “at scale” stack production package which will be overseen by the automotive OEMs, BMW and Daimler.

Grantor: FCHJU-EU

More information: http://www.volumetriq.eu/

GiantLeap

The Giantleap project is an European project funded by the European Commission’s Fuel Cell and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking, with the objective of improving the lifetime and reliability of fuel-cell systems in city buses.

Giantleap is a recursive acronym for Giantleap Improves Automation of Non-polluting Transportation with Lifetime Extension of Pem fuel cells; the objective of the project is to realise a control system that can increase the lifetime and reliability of fuel-cell systems installed in buses by means of novel diagnostic and prognostic approaches.

Grantor: FCHJU-EU

More information: http://www.giantleap.eu

Inline

The project aims at the development of a design of a flexible, scalable, high quality production line (process steps) for the manufacturing of PEMFC’s (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells).
The spectrum of automation in fuel cell manufacturing tasks investigated in the project includes tasks that require:
• The design of a flexible production process that allows a scale-up to 50.000 parts per year.
• The definition of automatic quality control strategies and processes to ensure quality on high-volume production, including the organization of necessary re-work.
• The development of flexible assembly stations that allow a gradual transition from manual operation to fully automatic processes.
• Data collection, documentation and tracking methods that fulfill traceability requirements.

The design that will be considered in the project include the manufacturing of parts of smaller quantity as well as very large quantities of PEMFC’s.

Grantor: FCHJU-EU

More information: http://www.inline-project.eu/