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Fuel cells

SINTEF offers broad knowledge in development and characterization of materials and components for fuel cell technology. Fuel cells represent one of the most effective technologies for converting chemical energy (e.g. hydrogen) into electricity. We develop PEM, SOFC and PCFC - type fuel cells for both stationary and transport applications. We have a strong network of international partners, allowing us to be in the forefront of the technology development.

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Our services and customers/partners
We have long experience in everything from fundamental to applied research projects, both in public funded and direct contracts with industry. Our customers and project partners range from large, well established industry actors, to smaller start-up companies, both national and international. We have especially good experience with European projects, e.g. in the FCH JU programme, and we have close links to key international actors.

We work within these areas:

  • Materials development
  • Catalysts
  • Electrodes
  • Bipolar plates
  • Extrusion of tubes and tape-casting of flat ceramic materials
  • Application of ceramic layers with chemical and physical methods
  • Proton conducting ceramic materials
  • High temperature cells with metal support
  • Modelling of material properties
  • Characterisation and analysis
  • Characterisation of single cells and stacks
  • In situ and ex situ electrochemical testing of materials and components
  • Accelerated lifetime tests
  • Thermal effects, thermography and inhomogeneity
  • Two-phase flow, visualising and modelling
  • Effect of pollutants
  • Diagnostics and prognostics of cells/stacks and systems
  • End of life analysis of materials and components, including microscopy and x-ray
  • Analysis of gas quality/impurities in extreme low concentrations (PPB level)
  • Testing in H2S atmosphere

Our research projects mainly involve experimental work, supported by theoretical considerations and simulations. We have laboratories with a wide range of advanced test stations with analytical equipment for detailed studies of the processes that affect the performance and lifetime of fuel cells. Our research ranges from fundamental understanding of the characteristics of materials, to methods for preparing these, and testing of commercial products to optimize the cell design or operating parameters. Our projects are carried out in close cooperation with our customer/partner and other relevant parts SINTEF, NTNU and UiO.

Typical projects are:

  • Development and optimisation of catalyst-, electrode and bipolar plate materials for low temperature PEM technology
  • Development and optimisation of ceramic materials for high temperature (SOFC, PCFC) technology
  • Electrochemical characterisation of materials and components mentioned above
  • Lifetime/durability testing and effect of impurities on single cells and stacks
  • End of life analysis of materials and components, including microscopy and X-ray, in cooperation with other parts/divisions of SINTEF/NTNU/UiO
  • Optimisation of operating conditions and control strategies, as well as identification of critical parameters for high efficiency and long lifetime.