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Energy converters of the future.

Climate change and public debate surrounding CO2-emissions are finally beginning to have an impact: the world of power generation and mobility is evolving. The concept of centralized energy supply is giving way to a more decentralized approach that has also seen the emergence of so-called smart grids. Conventional large-scale power stations are being replaced by small, highly efficient combined heat and power generation units (CHP) in combination with renewable sources of energy. Service stations will soon also include battery recharging bays and hydrogen dispensers.

ElringKlinger has been avidly embracing this culture of change. Alongside components for lithium-ion batteries, we also develop and produce fuel cells for a wide range of applications. The focus for ElringKlinger is on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs).

SOFCs are capable of running on logistically available fuels that are based on hydrocarbons, such as biogas. PEMFC, meanwhile, is perfect where hydrogen is available as an energy source.

In combination, these two technologies cover the largest possible field of applications.

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.

We are a fully fledged partner to our customers, covering every aspect from prototyping through to serial production.

Our expertise in this field:

  • Interconnectors and metallic bipolar plates
  • End and media modules for SOFCs and PEMFCs
  • Casings and thermal insulation for SOFCs and PEMFC
  • SOFC and PEMFC stacks
  • SOFC systems supplied by our subsidiary new enerday GmbH 
     

Interconnectors

Interconnectors for SOFCs

ElringKlinger manufactures interconnectors for SOFCs with the help of high-precision, volume-production-capable tools and by applying closely intermeshed production processes. Given its long-standing experience in the development, optimization and production of interconnectors, ElringKlinger is well equipped to tackle the challenges of the future.

Interconnectors supply the cell with the requisite media, help to transfer the electricity and separate the individual media-carrying compartments. In PEMFCs, these tasks are performed by bipolar plates.

Metal bipolar plates

Metal bipolar plates for PEMFCs

Metallic bipolar plates for PEMFCs are inexpensive and offer high power density, an aspect that is of particular importance to mobile applications. Additionally, they help to ensure the cold-start capability of fuel cells. 

Casing, end and media modules – key stack components

Casing, 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 SOFCs consist of deep-drawn, formed sheet metal, while end modules used in PEMFCs are made of high-performance plastics. Combining low weight with excellent dimensional stability, these components meet the full range of requirements.

They offer the benefits of mechanical stability, chemical resistance and lightweight design. Using stable processes, ElringKlinger is able to produce highly complex end modules that integrate a range of system assemblies.

PEMFC casings protect the fuel cell stack and its components from
external influences. Special plastics are used in the production of PEMFC casings. In addition to saving weight, this helps to reduce the overall cost of components.

As thermal insulation is of essential importance to SOFC high-temperature stacks, ElringKlinger-developed casings incorporate sandwich materials with as high as possible insulation performance for light, thin-walled casings offering high mechanical stability.

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

  • Multifunctionality
  • High thermal stability and good insulation properties
  • Low weight
  • Flexibility in design
  • Easy assembly

SOFC stacks

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are categorized as high-temperature fuel cells and can therefore be run on standard fuels such as natural gas or diesel. Wherever hydrocarbon-based fuels are available, this fuel cell technology can be deployed effectively in all those areas of application in which low consumption, noise and emission levels are an essential requirement. ElringKlinger supplies lightweight SOFC stacks as a central component for these applications; they can be easily integrated into customer systems (electrical output: 0.2 - 5 kW).

Committed to excellence, we continuously refine and optimize stacks for applications with long service lives in cyclical operation. To keep costs as low as possible, we use one type of stack for all areas of application and integrate system functions within a stack module. Drawing on our experience as a high-caliber development partner, we look forward to tackling any customer-specific challenge.

Our stacks are trialled and approved at our own test facilities in accordance with customer specifications and simulating system conditions. Thanks to in-house development and component/stack production facilities, ElringKlinger can respond flexibly to customer requests. We can supply the best possible fuel cell stack for a wide range of applications. 

Committed to refining and evolving fuel cell technology, we deploy state-of-the-art simulation tools and draw on our extensive knowledge in the area of material and process development.
This provides a solid basis for the continuous optimization of design, materials and operating strategy.

Excellent opportunities for SOFC Systems
In addition to a proven track record in developing and manufacturing SOFC stacks, ElringKlinger has amassed extensive expertise in the field of system integration. This covers everything from stack bracing devices and media distribution to protective systems against external influences, including full integration, and thermal shielding of the entire SOFC system.

New enerday GmbH, a subsidiary of ElringKlinger, develops power generators using fuel cell technology. These are based on solid oxide fuel cells. For further information, please visit the
new enerday website.

SOFC fuel cell technology is used primarily for the supply of heat and electricity in holiday homes, trucks, boats and recreational vehicles. Running on readily available fuel, SOFCs offer the advantages of low consumption and minimal noise emissions. Thanks to the high temperature level, a simple cogeneration process can take place to re-use the heat, e.g. for domestic hot water generation. SOFCs can also be integrated into mobile power supply solutions or used at off-grid sites that still rely on diesel-powered generators. It is here in particular that fuel cells excel when it comes to reducing emissions and noise levels.

PEM fuel cell stacks

Industry experts are unanimous in their verdict that alongside battery technology the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) marks a breakthrough in e-mobility. Wherever pure hydrogen is available as a fuel, PEM fuel cell technology can be deployed effectively in all those areas of application in which high electrical efficiency is an essential requirement.

Key benefits
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.

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.

Our PEMFC stacks are trialled and approved at our own test facilities in accordance with customer specifications and simulating system conditions.

We can supply the best possible fuel cell stack for a wide range of applications. Our PEM fuel cell stacks are used in mobile applications within the industrial sector, e.g. small utility vehicles and material-handling equipment.

Possible fields of application



Prototyping and production. Expertise and experience.

As an innovative, high-caliber development partner and series supplier to the automotive industry, we are ideally equipped for the next generation of power and drive technologies. We produce initial samples and small batches at our own superbly appointed prototype shop – quickly and in the best possible quality. ElringKlinger is confident that the multitalented fuel cell will make its mark in a range of applications. We look forward to supporting you and your development projects as the industry continues to evolve.

In 2014, we acquired a 75% stake in new enerday GmbH, a system specialist in the field of fuel cell technology. For further information, please visit the new enerday website