Smart TestSolutions to co-develop fuel cell test stands for heavy-duty applications

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Under the FullStack TS fuel cell test bench funding project, a new generation of test benches is currently under development that utilize high-quality electrochemical measurement methods and cover full stacks of fuel cells up to 200kW.

For the project, Smart TestSolutions will monitor cell voltage and the contacting of individual cells. The company will also be responsible for developing a multi-channel impedance spectroscopy measuring device.

Funded by the framework of the Baden-Württemberg program ‘Lebens-grundlage Umwelt und ihre Sicherung’ (BWPLUS), the project includes several partners including MS2 Engineering and Anlagenbau and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.

At present, fuel cell test benches can only accommodate up to 150kW of power, which for certain applications is insufficient. With the Baden-Württemberg’s existing test bench capacity being too small, the project seeks to develop and operate a heavy-duty test stand. Fraunhofer ISE will develop a test environment, while MS2 will be responsible for developing and constructing the test stand.

Additionally, and as part of the project, Smart TestSolutions will expand the performance of its Cell Voltage Monitoring (CVM) systems for fuel cell monitoring, from a maximum of 500 to a maximum of 600 measuring channels with 1,000 measured values per second per measuring channel.

Furthermore, the company seeks to develop a multi-channel impedance spectroscopy in order to be able to determine specific ageing parameters of the fuel cells. At present, impedance spectroscopy devices are limited to few channels, meaning time-synchronous measurements are not possible for fuel cell stacks with several hundred cells. By increasing parallelization, more precise statements can be made about the electro-chemical condition of the stack. As a result, corresponding measurements are accelerated, and costs can be kept down.

“With the funding project, we want to contribute to shortening the development times of fuel cells and systems,” said Wolfgang Neu, managing director Smart TestSolutions and project manager. “This is to be achieved by reducing conditioning times, streamlining ageing tests and extending the temperature range.”

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKi Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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