PhD student Massimo Rosa (left) and Professor Vincenzo Esposito with the FCH JU award in front of the 3D printing equipment in the DTU Energy lab
Venue of the FCH JU awards 2018
Project coordinator Albert Tarancon from IREC accepting the FCH JU award on behalf of the Cell3ditor project

DTU Energy in award-winning EU projects on fuel cells

Energi og forsyning Brændselsceller
When the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking celebrated 10 years of supporting research, development and demonstration of fuel cell and hydrogen energy technologies in Europe, two prizes for the most successful and innovative projects were awarded. DTU Energy is a partner in both.

Fuel cells and hydrogen technologies will play a crucial role in the transition to a fossil-free energy system. Wind and solar power can be stored in the form of chemical energy in hydrogen, while fuel cells can convert the chemical energy to electricity with high efficiency. For ten years the public-private partnership Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) have supported the development of new fuel cells and hydrogen technologies at the European level. Since 2008, more than 220 projects with a total EU contribution of 850 million euro, and an industry contribution of three times that amount, have furthered the transition to a sustainable energy system.

Now, for the first time in its history, FCH JU has presented awards for the most successful and innovative projects. The selection of the winners was given into the hands of the European public, in line with the awareness of FCH JU that public acceptance of the new technologies is important if they are to find widespread use. A total of 5000 votes were cast on 13 nominated projects in the two categories ‘Best hydrogen and fuel cells success story’ and ‘Best project innovation’. DTU Energy is a participant in both the winning projects. Professor Anke Hagen states: “We are proud to be a member of the two winning teams. It is a recognition of the high quality of our research within fuel cells and hydrogen technologies.”

Best hydrogen and fuel cells success story

Thousands of households all over Europe have already experienced the benefits of fuel cell systems, being the early users of micro combined heat and power (mCHP) units which produce both heat and electricity for a single family house. This has been made possible by two FCH JU projects, ene.field and PACE, which have rolled out demonstration of several thousand mCHP units. The award of best hydrogen and fuel cells success story recognises this achievement. The units are connected to the natural gas grid and convert the natural gas into hydrogen for the fuel cells. Efficiencies for the combined production of heat and power as high as 90% have been demonstrated in the projects. DTU Energy is responsible for the analysis of the data acquired during the field trials of the fuel cell units in the ene.field and PACE projects.

Best project innovation

At the same time that fuel cell units are reaching market maturity, innovative solutions for next-generation fuel cells are being pursued to reduce costs, improve lifetime and open new market opportunities. The award for best project innovation was given to the Cell3Ditor project which develops 3D printing technology for industrial production of solid oxide fuel cells. This will increase product flexibility, reduce waste material and shorten the time-to-market. DTU Energy is involved in the development of the printing technology and the inks and slurries containing the materials to be printed.

Professor Vincenzo Esposito, who is leading the DTU Energy effort in Cell3Ditor, says: “This innovative project really deserved to win. As one of the leading groups in Europe within the exciting new field of 3D printing of functional ceramics we are very happy to be part of Cell3Ditor.”