FUEL CELLS | Planning Group 7 »Fuel Cells«

Due to the Paris Agreement, the German federal government has developed a Climate Action Plan that calls for mobility to be largely greenhouse gas-neutral by 2050. In line with current knowledge, it will not be possible to achieve this objective through battery electric powertrains alone, as the energy density of current and even future battery generations is not sufficient for long-distance mobility and goods transport.

In order to achieve independence from fossil energy carriers and the associated release of CO2 despite this, energy carriers generated from electricity from renewable sources such as wind or solar energy are a prudent solution. As the currently discussed energy conversion paths predominantly envisage the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis as a first step, it is sensible to research energy converters that are capable of directly transforming hydrogen into forms of energy that can be used in the vehicle – such as the hydrogen-powered combustion engine or the fuel cell.

» Development tools for fuel cells are only partially available, also because interdependencies have not yet been sufficiently researched, which is why the planning group will also focus its efforts on simulation. «

Dr. Volker Formanski (BMW)

Onboard electricity generation through a fuel cell has various advantages over a battery electric powertrain, from quick refuelling or the high energy density, all the way up to operation independent of the outside temperature. However, the costs for low-temperature fuel cells suitable for use in vehicles are currently so high that profitable large-scale production still does not seem possible.

The highly application-oriented collective research into fuel cells initiated by the FVV therefore has the objective of considerably lowering the costs of future generations of fuel cells through innovative solutions. This focuses on various technical approaches such as the use of control engineering to optimise the behaviour of the entire system and of subsystems, e.g. thermal management, the optimisation of peripheral systems for the hydrogen and air supplies and the development of suitable simulation models that enable new ideas to be assessed quickly.

PG7 »Fuel Cells« is dedicated to the following topics:

  • System integration of fuel cells in mobile/stationary applications
  • Reduction of costs through innovative solutions
  • Hydrogen compatibility

And tackles the following lines of research / focuses:

  • Operating types and conditions of fuel cells
  • Hydrogen compatibility, handling, material properties of hydrogen-carrying components
  • Air path and filtering
  • Thermal management
  • Interfaces to the fuel cell and related components/units, e.g. compressors, expanders
Fuel Cell Technologie
Development tools
Synthetic fuels

People & Technology

Developing a generic fuel cell stack

One for all

Research on fuel cells has made giant leaps over the last few years and the first commercial applications are now available. To reduce costs further, the entire system must now be even more in tune. One of the development tools required for this is currently being created in a research project at the ZSW in Ulm, sponsored by FVV.

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MTZ worldwide 09/2017

Industrial collective research on fuel cells

Late last year, the Research Association for Combustion Engines (FVV) launched its new Fuel Cell Planning Group with the primary objective of making carbon-neutral long haul and cargo mobility affordable through industrial collective research. The research projects initiated so far have revealed considerable potential for cost reductions in the field of fuel cells.

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Cooling Fuel Cells

Development of a fuel cell stack emulator for testing and evaluation of components, materials and fluids for use in cooling systems of fuel cells


Innovative FC Air Supply

Innovative air supply with integrated air humidification for automotive fuel cell applications


Corrosion Products / Contaminations in the Fuel Cell Hydrogen System

Recherche and evaluation of corrosion products and contaminants in the hydrogen path of automotiv fuel cell systems


Simulation/Vehicle Hybridisation

Classification methology for fuel cell hybrid architectures in application

PG7 »Fuel Cells«

Dr. Volker Formanski

Deputy Managing Director

Martin Nitsche

+49 (0) 69 6603 1345
+49 (0) 69 6603 2345

Project & Team Assistance

Daniela Abdalla

+49 (0) 69 6603 1345
+49 (0) 69 6603 2345

Research Association for Combustion Engines eV

Lyoner Strasse 18
60528 Frankfurt am Main
T +49 69 6603 1345