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Newsletter 09, Autumn 2018

A new secretariat: EE ENERGY ENGINEERS GmbH

53rd Executive Committee Meeting – Beijing, China, November 2016

54th Executive Committee Meeting – Stockholm, Sweden, June 2017

New Member: China

New Sponsor: CNH2, Spain

National update: Germany

Annex 30, Annex 31/35 and Annex 32 updates

Fuel cell news

Forthcoming Expert (Annex) meetings

Join our work

Special thanks

A new secretariat: EE ENERGY ENGINEERS GmbH

As of January 2017, EE ENERGY ENGINEERS GmbH (EE GmbH) took over the secretariat of the Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells. The new secretariat’s location is Dusseldorf, Germany. Mr. Michael Rex will be the new contact person and responsible for the secretariats work. His contact details can be found on the website of the AFC TCP.

EE GmbH is providing engineering, consulting and strategy services for an innovative and climate-friendly future energy supply since 1996. The company is based on the idea of contribution to the design of a viable, sustainable and secure energy supply with the expertise and commitment of its employees.


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53rd Executive Committee Meeting – Beijing, China, November 2016

The 53rd Executive Committee (ExCo) Meeting of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP) was held at the Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel, Beijing, China on November 10-11, 2016. The Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAE-China) was host of the 53rd ExCo Meeting. The event was well attended with representatives coming from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the US, and guests from China. A welcome to all was given by Detlef Stolten, the AFC TCP Chairman.

The ExCo voted to welcome Centro Nacional Del Hidrógeno (CNH2) to join the ExCo as a sponsor organisation. SAE-China gave an update about the current status of China’s application to join the AFC TCP.

Next to national updates of France, Germany, Korea and Mexico the status quo of the following annexes were presented:

  • 30 Electrolysis
  • 31 Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
  • 34 Fuel Cells for Transportation
  • 35 Fuel Cells for Portable Applications
  • 37 Modelling of Fuel Cell Systems

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54th Executive Committee Meeting – Stockholm, Sweden, June 2017

The 54th Executive Committee (ExCo) Meeting of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP) was held at the Swedish Energy Agency in Stockholm in Sweden on June 20-21, 2017. 19 participants were present, including 11 ExCo members from Austria, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the US as well as guests from CNH2 (Spain), Magnus Lindgren – Chairman of the AMF TCP (Advanced Motor Fuels) and Pierpaolo Cazzola from the IEA.

ExCo delegates

54th ExCo Group The ExCo voted to welcome South Africa to join the ExCo. Also, the ExCo voted to apply for extension of the AFC TCP for a further full term.

On the outreach event with Swedish guests and the ExCo the idea of an internet platform as communication tool for the AFC TCP, Fuel Cell technology, key players and end-users was discussed and further ideas will be collected.

National updates from Japan, Switzerland and the US were presented as well as an update on Annex 35.

The next (55th) ExCo Meeting will be held in Berlin, Germany from November 14-16, 2017.

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New Member: China as of April 5, 2017 Logo China

As of April 5, 2017 China is an official member of the AFC TCP. SAE-China was designated by MOST as the ExCo representative and is a national academic organization which was founded in 1963. Having the qualifications of a legal corporation, it is formed based on the principle of voluntariness by automotive engineers in China. As a member of China Association for Science and Technology, it is a non-profit social organization. SAE-China plays a crucial role for the popularization of new ideas, technologies and notions in China’s automotive industry and act as a bridge to promote the exchanges between the domestic and international automotive industries.

SAE-China have just held the 1st International Fuel Cell Vehicle Congress on November 7/8 2016 in Beijing, China.

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New Sponsor: Centro Nacional del Hidrógeno (CNH2) from Spain as of August 10, 2017

As of August, 10, 2017 CNH2 is an official sponsor of the AFC TCP. It is a nationwide research centre in Spain, founded in December 2007 as a public consortium between the Ministry of Education and Science, now the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, and the Regional Government of Castile-La Mancha, with a share of 50% each.

Logo CNH2

The objectives of CNH2 are the scientific and technological research of hydrogen technologies and fuel cells, supporting the scientific and technological community, at a national and international level. This objective includes:

  • The use in the CNH2 laboratories of scientific advances made by national and international research groups.
  • Transfer of the scientific knowledge achieved and scaled up, ready for its use as applications in the real life.
  • Research and demonstration of energy conversion processes using hydrogen as an energy carrier and its final implementation in all possible applications.

It also includes the use of the CNH2 as a center for: testing processes, characterization, standardization, certification or validation of technological developments achieved by the productive sector to improve the competitiveness of enterprises and to promote the introduction in the domestic market of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

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National update: Germany

Presented by Detlef Stolten and Remzi Can Samsun, Research Center Juelich, Germany

The federal cabinet has decided on the government programme for hydrogen and fuel cell technology 2016 to 2026 on September 29, 2016 as a continuation of the “National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Programme” (NIP). The inter-ministerial programme, NIP2, on the one hand safeguards continuity for research and development, and on the other addresses the support required for market activation of the first products. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is spending initially €250 million by 2019, €161 million is reserved for Research, Development and Innovation. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is continuing its support in the area of applied research and development within the 6th Energy Research Programme with around €25 million annually. The Federal Ministry for the Environment as well as the Federal Ministry for Education and Research continues to be actively involved in the strategic arrangement of NIP2. NOW GmbH (National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology) is responsible for the coordination and management of the programme.

The following fields of actions are defined for the NIP2:

  • Enabling infrastructure for emission-free transportation
  • Realization of low CO2 and environmentally friendly supply of buildings and industrial processes
  • Securing critical infrastructures
  • Development of supplying industry, achieving cost targets
  • Utilization of strength of basic research
  • Further development of the programme

NIP2 also includes specific targets. For example, the specific cost targets for fuel cell systems in cars aim a system cost of less than €75 per kW at a cumulated number of 100,000 units over life cycle for the year 2023.

The new funding regulation for electromobility includes also fuel cell vehicles. The grant system defines a funding level of €4000 for FCEV. In addition to that, there is also a grant system for stationary fuel cell heating systems for buildings in the range of 0.25-5 kWel in order to support their market introduction. Up to 40% of eligible costs can be funded with a maximum funding of €28,200.

As of October 2016, 22 hydrogen refueling stations were operated in Germany under the CEP (Clean Energy Partnership). Additional 28 stations were under construction. 50% of the CEP stations operate with green hydrogen. The H2-Mobility Initiative in Germany defined the roadmap for the establishment of the first 100 stations by 2018/2019 unconditionally and irrespective of the number of vehicles on the road. The goal is to set-up ten stations in each of six German metropolitan areas as well as ensuring hydrogen corridors along motorways. The second phase will be aligned with the number of FCEV registered. A total number of 400 stations are foreseen by 2023.

Presented highlights in the meeting include electrospun electrodes for PEFC and improved materials for HT-PEFC from FU Berlin; automotive stack and PEM electrolysis characterization from Fraunhofer ISE, an overview of research projects from the Volkswagen Group, gas diffusion electrodes from Covestro, fuel cell range extender for battery electric vehicles from BREEZE! project (FEV, Graebener, vka, ZBT), zero emission passenger flight (HY4) with fuel cells from DLR and metallic bipolar plates and separator plates from Graebener as some examples.

hy4 Logo

Breeze Logo
Source: FEV

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Annex 30: Electrolysis

Presented by Jürgen Mergel, Research Center Juelich, Germany

The objective of the Electrolysis Annex is to provide a platform for international information sharing and learning between experts with knowledge and experience of electrolyser technologies. It seeks to understand how these can best be deployed in energy systems in order to accelerate the development and eventual commercialisation of the following technologies:

  • Enabling infrastructure for emission-free transportation
  • PEM electrolysis (electrodes, catalyst-coated membranes (CCMs), stacks, lifetime enhancement, test protocols, balance of plants, etc.)
  • Alkaline electrolysis, including alkaline membrane electrolysis
  • Solid oxide electrolysis

The work of the Annex focuses on all three electrolysis technologies. In addition to information exchange, the standardization of definitions and harmonisation of test procedures/protocols is the focus of the current activity.

To date, alkaline electrolysers remain the primary commercially available means of electrolytic hydrogen production, and this has been the case for the past few decades. PEM electrolysis has, however, been in research and development over the last 40 years. Because of the great interest in producing hydrogen as an energy storage medium by means of electrolysis powered by excess, renewable electrical energy, PEM electrolysers have already been developed and constructed on the MW scale for various projects in recent years. So for example, Siemens developed its first in-house PEM electrolysis system in the MW class, consisting of three SILYZER 200 electrolysis modules with a nominal output of 1.25 MW each and peak power of 2 MW (limited in time). The 6 MW system has been in operation since September 2015 and has already converted more than 1,500 MWh of electrical energy into hydrogen, with an output pressure of 35 bar. Although a number of institutes and companies are currently pursuing high-temperature electrolysis, no commercial product is available on the market yet.

PEM electrolysis was the main focus of the electrolysis Annex, as most of the participating companies and institutes are active in this field. PEM electrolysis is ideally suited for enabling surplus renewable electricity to be stored in the form of hydrogen as a chemical energy carrier. The key technical challenges and development objectives are improved stack performance and durability, as well as scaling up to the 10-100 MW range while reducing investment costs.

Over the last two years, a major focus of the work of Annex 30, aside from the exchange of information, has been the development of standard test protocols, especially for PEM electrolysis. The reason for this is that different protocols and operating conditions are used, and even when testing the same cell components, the performance results are very much apart from each other.

In addition to the intensification of the open information exchange, long-term studies and the development of an accelerated stress test will be the focus in the next year. For example, the influence of operating parameters and impurities in the long-term stability of the CCM will also be investigated under dynamic operating conditions.

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Annex 31: Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells in cooperation with Annex 35: Fuel Cells for Portable Applications

Presented by Di-Jia Liu of Argonne National Laboratory, USA and Fabio Matera of Instituto di Technologie Avanzate per l'Energia (ITAE), Italy

The 2016 Fall (15th) Annex meeting was hosted by SAE-China at Renaissance Beijing Capital Hotel, Beijing from November 9 to 10, 2016. 18 representatives, delegates including observers from the local Chinese institutes participated and presented at the meeting, representing fifteen institutes and eleven countries (Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Sweden, USA). The meeting was held in conjunction with the first Chinese FCVC and 53rd ExCo meeting. This was the very first Annex meeting in China as part of the process of China officially joining AFC TCP with SAE-China as the lead organization. In conjunction with Annex meetings, SAE-China organized the first Chinese FCVC and invited a large number of Chinese participants (estimated ~400). AFC TCP used this occasion as an outreach and recruiting opportunity to the Chinese institutes as potential future Annex members. Several Chinese researchers from local institutions participated Annex 31 meeting as the observers after the FCVC. The Annex 31 meeting also included Annex 35 (Fuel Cells for Portable Applications) this time.

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Annex 32: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Presented by Jari Kiviaho, VTT Fuel Cells, Finland

The objective of the Electrolysis Annex is to provide a platform for international information sharing and learning between experts with knowledge and experience of electrolyser technologies. It seeks to understand how these can best be deployed in energy systems in order to accelerate the development and eventual commercialisation of the respective technologies.

Representatives from ten countries and regions presented the status of SOFC/SOEC research and development on the recent Annex meeting in Florida. The result was a general picture about the overall trends in strategies and funding, the main development lines, regional preferences regarding system sizes and concepts, engagement of academic and industry players.

In the USA, the SOFC program under the Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy has been progressing further towards the planned megawatt size SOFC systems utilizing natural gas and coal gas for high efficient electricity production. Coordinated efforts are devoted to cost reduction, reliability, and lifetime and include major academic and industry players. The current SOFC system costs are in the range of 6,000 – 10,000 $/kW.

In Japan, the focus had been on developing commercial micro combined heat and power units using natural gas through significant support by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) project. The sales of the resulting commercial ENE-FARM units have increased steadily towards almost 200,000 units by the end of 2016 (including PEM & SOFC - ca. 10% of total units) while the subsidies will phase out according to the plan. The currently running NEDO project supports the development of stationary SOFC systems ranging from 5 to 250 kW and the needed research, for example regarding improvement of durability. Further, energy storage concepts involving electrolysis SOEC are supported.

The Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH2 JU), a European public-private partnership has provided substantial funding to move the technologies to a commercial level over the last years. The latest strategies have favored PEM and hydrogen over SOFC (and SOEC) solutions, which make local political strategies even more important for the SOFC/SOEC R&D in the European countries. Here, the situation is very diverse.

Germany is supporting its political goal of reducing fossil fuels and increasing of renewable sources in the energy (and transport) sector by substantial funding programs for example from the Ministry of Education and Research. SOFC & SOEC are considered for off grid applications, transport, energy storage (Power-to-X), and larger stationary units. The local programs promote the collaboration between industry and academia and the solution of challenges on all technology readiness levels. Forschungszentrum Jülich and Fraunhofer IKTS are the largest SOFC/SOEC research institutes covering this field from fundamental research towards demonstration of systems.

Also Denmark has an ambitious political goal of becoming independent on fossil fuels by 2050. However, the related options for funding of energy research have been reduced to less than 50% from 2010 to 2017. It has still been possible to maintain a big R&D effort in SOFC & SOEC – ca. 40 man years and mainly at Technical University of Denmark - through the remaining funding and international funding sources.

Hydrogen and fuel cells are considered key technologies for future energy systems both in the stationary and transport sectors in France and the research is supported by a number of programs covering fundamental research like developing of new electrodes, towards applied research and demonstration, where CEA and the company SYLFEN are carrying SOFC/SOEC towards the higher technology readiness levels.

The research funding policies in the UK have been moving more and more towards hydrogen related topics, while dedicated fuel cell research options have been reduced. The research activities are therefore also spread out over many universities, with University of Birmingham being the largest player in academia, and industries like Ceres Power and smaller companies that cover activity areas from powders to smaller systems.

Finland has maintained a strong position in the SOFC area both related to research (VTT), to cell and stack (ELCOGEN) and also system manufacture (Convion).

The Netherlands contribute with both academic and industry research with a large effort on system solutions combining SOFC (and SOEC) with renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and biomass.

In Sweden, companies that provide for SOFC/SOEC (like Sandvik – interconnects, Höganäs - materials) and that potentially will utilize these technologies in their products (like Volvo & Scania) are active in the R&D area, supported by smaller research groups at the universities and research institutes. The Swedish Energy Agency is one of the funding bodies with increased interest in SOFC/SOEC.

Worldwide, the SOFC/SOEC R&D experiences significant different political and funding situations, being more or less favorable. The international research and industry communities are still changing, with companies joining or leaving, while major academic players have been able to maintain their efforts also under changing political/funding opportunities. Despite the different conditions, SOFC/SOEC technologies are generally moving closer to the market.

annex32 Worldmap

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Fuel cell news

6th International Conference on Advances in Energy Research 2017

The Department of Energy Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay announces the 6th International Conference on "Advances in Energy Research" to provide an excellent platform to know, exchange new ideas, discuss new developments and finally look at the challenges ahead. The Conference will take place during December 12–14, 2017.

Topics within the scope of this conference include:

  • Renewable, Alternate and Conventional Energy
  • Advanced Materials for Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Energy Modelling, Simulation, Energy Management, Policy and Economics
  • Emerging Energy Technologies
  • Smart/Micro Grids
  • Energy and Environment

Prof. Dr. Detlef Stolten, Chairman of the AFC TCP will take part in the International Advisory Committee.

More information can be found under or per e-mail under"

Toyota unveils fuel cell bus concept "Sora"

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announces the launch of the "Sora1," a Toyota fuel cell bus (FC bus) concept. The name Sora is an acronym for sky, ocean, river, air, representing the earth's water cycle. Toyota plans to launch sales of a commercial model based on the concept vehicle in 2018 and expects to introduce over 100 Sora, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

More information can be found under

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Forthcoming Expert (Annex) meetings

The following meetings are planned:

  • Annex 30: Electrolysis - April 19-20, 2018, Paris, France.
  • Annex 31: Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells - May 2018, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Annex 32: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - In conjunction with European Fuel Cell Forum 2018 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
  • Annex 33: Fuel Cells for Stationary Applications - to be confirmed
  • Annex 34: Fuel Cells for Transportation - May 18, 2018, Seattle, US
  • Annex 35: Fuel Cells for Portable Applications - to be confirmed
  • Annex 37: Modelling of Fuel Cells Systems - December 14, 2017, Naples, Italy.

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Join our work

We welcome new participants to our work at expert, company and country levels. Participants from our member countries ( may join the work of our Annexes, please contact the following people:

Annex 30: Electrolysis, Dr. Marcelo Carmo:
Annex 31: Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, Dr Di-Jia (DJ) Liu:
Annex 32: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Dr Jari Kiviaho:
Annex 33: Fuel Cells for Stationary Applications, Bengt Ridell:
Annex 34: Fuel Cells for Transportation, Dr Rajesh Ahluwalia:
Annex 35: Fuel Cells for Portable Applications, Dr Fabio Matera:
Annex 36: Systems Analysis, Dr Can Samsun:
Annex 37: Modelling of Fuel Cells Systems, Professor Dr Steven Beale:

If you are from a non-member country, please contact who would be delighted to discuss membership with you, either on a country basis or on a sponsorship basis. Please visit to see the benefits of joining our work.

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Special thanks

Special thanks to the following companies for their permission to use the pictures in this newsletter: DLR, FEV,

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