Optima further develops fuel cell technology

Optima Life Science, experts in network processing technology, is currently developing a test converter specifically for the development and testing of innovative manufacturing processes for fuel cells. As a result, the company received significant funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg.

Optima Life Science already provides production systems for high volume fuel cells. Based on this experience, the company is currently developing a modular test converter. As a result, innovative ideas and process optimization as well as product development can be implemented quickly and easily.In the future, the production process for fuel cells will first be validated in a development environment and then transferred to high-performance systems

Predictably, the further development of fuel cell technology will always require new structures and dimensions of fuel cells and therefore also membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). There is a high demand for the development and improvement of manufacturing processes. The OPTIMA MTC (Modular Test Converter) is designed for this purpose. Adaptation of different processes, reconfiguration of process steps, and additions and deletions become a reality. Individual processes and complex sequences of processes can be tested up to the final MEA of the fuel cell.

Another benefit is reduced economic risk when product development and manufacturing process development can go hand in hand. Process and product optimization ideas can also be quickly implemented and validated during product development. The knowledge gained can be quickly applied to production. Last but not least, samples and small batch production can be carried out on the OPTIMA MTC system.

The heart of a fuel cell is the membrane electrode assembly. Hydrogen and oxygen are present, and electricity and water are produced in an electrochemical reaction. The individual components such as the membrane, frame material and gas diffusion layer are fed by rollers in the Optima system. In a complex, continuous coil process, individual parts are cut to size and assembled into MEAs. In order for fuel cells to reach the required level of efficiency, the highest precision is required in all process steps. In addition to the manufacturing technology required for MEA production, Optima also provides traceability of each MEA through its digital solutions.
Experience from already implemented projects and inquiries from the hydrogen industry show that there is a huge need for product and process development. Optima Life Science responded to this requirement by developing and building the OPTIMA MTC Test Converter.

In order to realize the full potential of the production method and support the rapid development of this future technology, Optima received funding from the state of Baden-Württemberg. As part of the Future Programme Hydrogen BW, the Ministry of Environment, Climate Protection and Energy has funded a total of 20 hydrogen and fuel cell technology projects since the beginning of 2022. State governments are providing budget funding or 26.4 million euros to develop the technology.

At f-cell in Stuttgart, the leading international trade fair and conference for hydrogen and fuel cell technology, Optima will be presenting current fuel cell and electrolysis production solutions from October 4 to 5, 2022 (Hall C2, Booth 2A37 ).

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