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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Autostack – Optimised and automated Norwegian production of low cost, high efficiency PEM electrolysers

Alternative title: Autostack - Optimalisert og automatisert høyteknologisk norsk produksjon av PEM elektrolysører med lav kostnad og høy effektivitet.

Awarded: NOK 16.0 mill.

Project Number:

332178

Project Period:

2022 - 2024

Funding received from:

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The Autostack project aims at reducing cost for green hydrogen production by enabling economy of scale through mass manufacturing of PEM electrolyser stacks. Current state of the art production methods are low-volume and based on manual processes. ________________________________________________________________________________ This project aims at reducing the CAPEX of PEM electrolysers for green hydrogen production by enabling economy of scale through high-volume automated manufacturing of electrolyser stacks. Mass production is necessary, not only to make the zero-emission green hydrogen cost competitive with the currently CO2 intensive gray hydrogen production methods, but also to meet the expected future demand for electrolysers. The most prominent research challenge that this project will solve is how mass production of PEM electrolyser stacks can be performed in a cost-efficient manner with the correct quality. The automated assembly process is complex, with several individual steps per cell. Each cell consists of ultrathin components which must be assembled with very high requirements on positioning and alignment. This is further challenged by each cell component having demanding characteristics, such as being brittle or floppy. The R&D challenge is to find a method and process for assembling the required quality at a high speed in a cost-efficient way. This includes finding methods and processes for setting up a lean supply chain to keep working capital and lead time at a minimum and implementing circular economy models in stack production and reuse.

This project aims at reducing the CAPEX of PEM electrolysers for green hydrogen production by enabling high-volume automated manufacturing of electrolyser stacks. Mass production is necessary to meet the future demand for electrolysers. The Autostack project will build upon the results from the ongoing NFR project Hystack and develop innovative solutions for high volume, zero-defect production of advanced PEM electrolysers. The main goal of the project is to design and validate an automated assembly process for PEM electrolyser stacks enabling up to 500MW/year of stack production The most prominent research challenge that this project will solve is how mass production of PEM electrolyser stacks can be performed in a cost-efficient manner with the required quality. The automated assembly process is complex, with several individual steps per cell and very high requirements on positioning and alignment of these components. It is therefore necessary to investigate possibilities for using pre-assembled cell modules or sub-assemblies to increase the final stack assembly efficiency and quality. This R&D challenge can be divided into three categories • What is the most cost-effective production line for mass production of PEM electrolyser stacks? • How can quality control be included in an automated production line for PEM electrolysers? • How should production planning be conducted to minimize delivery time for customers, while simultaneously mitigate holding cost for Hystar?

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ENERGIX-Stort program energi