Dana Incorporated announced the development of metallic bipolar plates specifically engineered to maximize the performance and accelerate the commercialization of proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers used to produce hydrogen fuel.
Debuting at Hannover Messe, the bipolar plates will leverage Dana’s more than two decades of design-to-manufacturing experience with similar components for fuel cell stacks used in mobile applications.
Dana’s integrated bipolar plates are made of steel or titanium with various coating options used as surface treatment of the active area. They also improve stack efficiency through better flow field design and reduced electrical losses, and they feature integrated molded sealing to prevent permeability at operating pressures of up to 50 bar.
Currently in prototype testing with global manufacturers of electrolyzers and electrolysis stacks, the bipolar plates will be ready for commercial production by the end of 2023.
“Dana is committed to developing innovations that are helping to propel the energy transition,” said Antonio Valencia. “These new bipolar plate designs for hydrogen electrolyzers demonstrate how we can readily adapt our portfolio of advanced technologies to serve new markets and applications.”
In addition to introducing the company’s latest innovations for electrolyzers at Hannover Messe, Dana will showcase its end-to-end capabilities for designing, engineering, testing and producing metallic bipolar plates and graphite fuel cell plates for mobile and stationary applications.
As the only supplier offering capabilities for both metallic and composite designs, Dana will supply nearly 2 million bipolar plates this year with integrated seals and coatings that offer reliable, cost-effective product solutions for a wide range of advanced fuel-cell engine configurations.
Dana delivers improved performance and reliability at a lower system cost through its expertise in precision stamping, laser welding, composite molding, integrated seals, and in-line coating technologies.
To support growing global demand, Dana is installing the largest production line for metallic bipolar plates in Europe at the company’s existing facility in Neu-Ulm, Germany. Scheduled to commence high-volume production later this year, the plant will be capable of producing up to eight million metallic bipolar plates annually.
In 2022, Dana’s metallic bipolar plate for fuel-cell stacks was named a finalist in the Automotive News PACE Awards program, which recognizes suppliers for game-changing technologies that deliver superior innovation, technological advancement, and business performance.
It was also recognized by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) with a 2019 FCH Award in the Best Success Story category as part of the INSPIRE Project. The FCH Award recognizes outstanding projects and developments in the field of fuel cells that reduce production costs, speed up manufacturing, develop new materials, increase performance, and demonstrate the reliability of hydrogen energy.
Additionally, Dana has a long-term cooperation agreement with Robert Bosch GmbH to mass-produce metallic bipolar plates for fuel-cell stacks. Dana’s licensed intellectual property serves as the foundation for the cooperative development and production of next-generation metallic bipolar plates.