Current PEMFC stack technologies for automotive applications show limitations in performance, durability and production cost which are primary challenges to reach mass production and fuel cell commercialization. It is obvious that filling the gap between present State Of the Art performances and expected targets will not be possible by an incremental evolution of the present PEMFC technology as deployed today in first commercial cars. Thus, it is necessary to identify, develop and validate a more innovative, disruptive approach including new materials and processes to have a chance to reach these ambitious challenges.
In this perspective, the DOLPHIN project is exploring an unconventional, highly innovative route towards a newly designed cell architecture featuring a Dual-Core Single Repeat Unit (DC-SRU).
Thanks to smart approaches in the fields of ‘Process Integration’, ‘Interfaces Quality’ and ‘Materials Efficiency’, DOLPHIN will deliver a light-weight & compact fuel cell and stack architecture with low (mass/charge) transport resistances inside the fuel cell core. Mechanically strong and corrosion resistant structures with redesigned and more coherent cell-internal interfaces will delay the activation of major ageing mechanisms and failures occurrence hence increasing system reliability to a level compatible with automotive durability targets.
Finally, by triggering an original concept relying on two integrated multi-functional cores and two architectures (w/o GDM) of increasing level of disruptiveness, DOLPHIN will finally deliver a reinvented process scheme with projected stack production costs less than 20 €/kW.
DOLPHIN will in that sense address drastic fuel cell stack requirements for the automotive industry and beyond. It consists in another step forward toward the large-scale deployment of environmentally friendly vehicles, while also participating to the increase in European competitiveness, industrialisation and self-sufficiency in energy.