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Continental and TU Chemnitz Accelerate Fuel Cell Research

By March 7, 2019

March 7, 2019

  • New hydrogen tank opens longer test series and new findings for fuel cell research in Chemnitz

The research cooperation for fuel cell systems between the technology company Continental and the Chair of Alternative Vehicle Drives (ALF) at Chemnitz University of Technology continues to gain momentum. On February 27, 2019, an 18-meter-high and 3.5-meter-wide hydrogen tank was installed on the campus of the TU on Reichenhainer Straße.

The tank will be on the TU campus for at least the duration of the cooperation between the ALF and Continental professorships. According to current status until at least 2023. The hydrogen tank is used, among other things, in the project “Mass Manufacture of MEA’s Using High Deposition Processes” (MAMA MEA), funded by the European Union. He is also involved in the innovation cluster “HZwo – Drive for Saxony” initiated by the ALF Professorship and funded by the Saxon State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport (SMWA). The provision of the hydrogen tank by Continental is part of a co-operation between Continental Powertrain and the TU Chemnitz in 2016 and an important prerequisite for fuel cell research.

“In just a few days, the tank is ready for use and we can conduct more intensive research on the test bench,” says Andreas Heinrich, Powertrain Technology & Innovation, who oversees the research project on the Continental side. “Through this cooperation, we hope for innovative approaches to the future use of fuel cells in the automotive industry as a building block for the diversity of future mobility,” he adds.

“At the moment, we only have four kilograms of hydrogen storage capacity in the lab. The new tank has 300 kilograms of storage capacity, “says Vladimir Buday, project manager at the Chair of Alternative Vehicle Drives at TU Chemnitz. “This enables us to provide hydrogen for the test bench for three days at full load. Under the previous conditions, it was only half an hour. “The state-of-the-art pressure accumulator is also much safer than conventional storage tanks in which the hydrogen is stored in liquid form.

Safety was also very important in the delivery of the tank: parts of the A4 motorway had to be temporarily closed for transport and some masts and street lights had to be temporarily removed. The installation on the grounds of the TU Chemnitz takes place in cooperation with TÜV Süd and PRAXAIR, a company for industrial gases.

Background:

Continental develops pioneering technologies and services for the sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods. Founded in 1871, the technology company provides secure, efficient, intelligent and affordable solutions for vehicles, machinery, transportation and transportation. Continental achieved preliminary sales of approximately € 44.4 billion in 2018 and currently employs approximately 244,000 people in 61 countries and markets.

Powertrain develops and produces efficient system solutions for the powertrain to optimize fuel consumption. The product portfolio ranges from gasoline and diesel injection systems to engine and transmission controls including sensors and actuators, exhaust aftertreatment technologies as well as fuel delivery systems to components and systems for hybrid and electric drives. Powertrain employs more than 40,490 people worldwide and achieved sales of around 7.7 billion euros in 2017.

Professorship Alternative Vehicle Drives
At the Professorship Alternative Vehicle Drives of the Chemnitz University of Technology, which has been headed by Professor Thomas von Unwerth since July 2010, 25 employees are currently employed in twelve research projects. Research focuses on innovative drive concepts based on fuel cell technology that meet the requirements for maximum efficiency and performance as well as lowest emissions.

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