14 June 2022
Flying Fuel Cells and the challenges for bipolar plate forming
Poster presented at Aachen Hydrogen Colloquium 2022, May 03 - 04, 2022, Aachen
The influence of increasing resource scarcity and climate change has a significant impact on aviation. Therefore, the European Commission has set ambitious goals with a 75% reduction in CO2 and a 90% reduction in NOx as part of the Flightpath 2050 vision. Achieving these goals requires the use of disruptive technologies in aviation, especially in propulsion. In addition to the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), the direct use of hydrogen is a promising alternative. There is the possibility of the direct use of liquid hydrogen in gas turbines as well as the use of fuel cells. In the last-mentioned application, the fuel cell acts as an energy converter and powers the primary electric drives, so that there is the potential to fly emission-free, especially for short- and medium-range flights. However, successful integration of the fuel cell into the aircraft's powertrain requires a significantly increased gravimetric power density compared to the status quo. Furthermore, the fuel cell and the entire manufacturing process chain must fulfill the very high safety requirements of aviation. Therefore, the bipolar plate and, respectively, its production process are key elements for the flying fuel cell. To fulfill the high safety requirements of aviation during the forming of the bipolar plate, various fields of action exist. Within the scope of the presentation, current possibilities of forming simulation will be shown in order to understand the cause-and-effect relationships and thus significantly improve the forming process and the resulting product quality for an optimal integration into a flying fuel cell. Furthermore, current digitalization approaches in the context of forming bipolar plates for flying fuel cells will be presented in order to manage the complexity from the dimensions of design requirement, manufacturing process chain as well as sustainable production.