WMG announce partnership with clean energy solution company Intelligent Energy
WMG at the University of Warwick are partnering with clean energy solution company Intelligent Energy to help develop manufacturing technologies via an advanced proof of process assembly line to significantly reduce the time to manufacture Intelligent Energy’s latest advanced air cooled fuel cell design, leading to a blueprint for a future fully integrated assembly and test line.
The 3 year, €3.5 million EU funded DIGIMAN programme brings together WMG at the University of Warwick, Intelligent Energy, Freudenberg, Pretexo, CEA Tech, and Toyota Motor Europe in a project pulling together the latest techniques in digital manufacture and automation in stack production processes to create a state of the art fuel cell manufacturing process for zero emission vehicles. The fuel cell’s use of air cooling gives the fuel cell significant efficiencies – particularly by reducing the weight of the device.
Robert Harrison, Professor of Automation Systems at WMG at the University of Warwick said:
“The project partners bring unparalleled levels of hydrogen know-how from automotive OEMs and recognised leaders in fuel cell and component development and manufacture.”
“WMG will apply its assembly automation research and knowledge to significantly reduce the projected cell assembly cycle times for the new fuel cell by over 75%.
“We will also assist in the implementation of digital manufacturing techniques that will play a crucial quality control role in the fuel cell manufacturing process.”
The project will help develop technologies for large-scale production capability in order to meet expected future requirements of more than 50,000 fuel cell stacks by 2020.
Intelligent Energy's Head of Manufacturing, Richard Peart said:
“Hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are available now, but to continue to drive customer adoption, we need to ensure future fuel cell stacks are robustly industrialised and remain cost competitive in the future. The programme will bring significant opportunity to further develop Intelligent Energy’s proprietary Air Cooled fuel cell architecture. Additionally, as Intelligent Energy’s Air Cooled fuel cell stack technology operates across multiple products and applications, the project will benefit commercialisation within multiple market sectors, including stationary power and drones.”
Funding for the project is being provided by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) which is a unique public private partnership supporting research, technological development and demonstration activities in fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe. Its aim is to accelerate the market introduction of these technologies, realising their potential as an instrument in achieving a carbon-lean energy system. The three members of the FCH JU are the European Commission, the fuel cell and hydrogen industries represented by Hydrogen Europe and the research community represented by Research Grouping N.ERGHY.