The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) in Ulm, Germany has hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for building Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Research Factory (HyFaB) on 10th February. The commissioning is set for the first quarter of 2022. The ZSW is a non-profit organisation under the civil code and was established in 1988 by the German state of Baden-Württemberg.
The HyFaB factory is an open industrial platform with a focus on fuel cell stack. It will explore manufacturing and quality assurance processes and commissioning of fuel cell stacks. It also plans to partner with automotive and fuel cell producers and other engineering companies.
In addition to the ZSW, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg is also a scientific partner in the HyFaB project.
The HyFaB research factory aims to accelerate the fuel cell production process and help it transit towards industrial mass production. The focus is on scalable and series-ready processes for component production and manufacturing processes for the batch process. Currently, fuel cells are still primarily made by hand instead of on industrial assembly lines.
“Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are one of the key technologies of the 21st century and offer great potential for Baden-Württemberg as a business location. We support the construction of the HyFaB research factory at the ZSW in Ulm with € 10.5 million [US$ 12.7 million] and thus contribute significantly to the market ramp-up of the technology,” says Dr Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Minister of Economic Affairs of the state of Baden-Württemberg.
“The HyFaB research factory is creating a very important building block on the way to Baden-Württemberg becoming a leading location for hydrogen and fuel cell technology,” said Franz Untersteller, Minister of the Environment and Energy of the State.
“The ZSW has been synonymous with first-class fuel cell research for more than 30 years,” adds Ulm’s mayor Gunther Czisch.
Prof. Dr Markus Hölzle, ZSW board member and head of the Electrochemical Energy Technologies division in Ulm, said: “We are already actively working with leading fuel cell manufacturers in Germany and are aware of the urgent needs of the industry. With the new HyFaB research factory, we will be able to prepare even better for the industrial production of fuel cells in the future.”