Echoes of a "hydrogen economy" are reverberating across the country, but a number of roadblocks stand in the way. One of the biggest, experts say, is the high cost of manufacturing fuel cells. A new research project at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aims to tackle the challenge of mass production by using robots to assemble fuel cell stacks.
Caption: Simplified schematic representation of a fuel cell stack. Credit: Image courtesy of PEMEAS.
The project, which will combine the resources of Rensselaers Flexible Manufacturing Center (FMC) and Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS), was recently supported with a major research equipment award from the Robotics Industries Association (RIA). As one of four universities selected in a nationwide competition, Rensselaer will receive three new industrial robot systems to help develop a flexible robotic process to produce fuel cell stacks.
"The U.S. Department of Energy has suggested that the cost of manufacturing fuel cells is the single biggest obstacle on the road to the hydrogen economy," says Raymond Puffer, co-director of the FMC. "We are addressing a component that represents a major portion of the total systems cost: the stack assembly in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell."
Jason Gorss | EurekAlert!
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences