In this tech talk, Steven had the pleasure of interviewing Simon Brugger, the CEO of CellForm, a chemist and an expert in metal forming. Simon explains the fuel cell bipolar plate forming and has brought with him metallic bipolar plates for fuel cells and electrolysers. Bipolar plates are one of the main components of a fuel cell stack and electrolyser stack, and hundreds of them are needed for each fuel cell. The Hyfindr Tech Talks is a video series focusing on understanding the technology that makes the hydrogen economy work. In this episode, Steven
Learn about Fuel Cell Bipolar Plate Forming
The plates for electrolysers are much larger, up to two meters in length. Bipolar plates are responsible for the distribution of the gases (hydrogen on the anode side and oxygen on the cathode side) and cooling, and they also provide the channels for the protons (H+) to pass through the membrane.
The plates are made of thin metal sheets, usually stainless steel or titanium, which are welded together and coated with PVD or carbon-based coating. The plates must be highly conductive to electricity and must have a very thin thickness (50-75 microns). The efficiency of the fuel cell is determined by the accuracy of the channels and the contact area between the plates, as any deviation can cause energy loss. To achieve this accuracy, CellForm uses a multi-stage forming process to form the plates, which allows for more design freedom and higher accuracy levels (less than 10 microns). The customers of CellForm care about the quality, price, and efficiency of the bipolar plates, as the price of the fuel cell is largely determined by the plates. To reduce the price, CellForm focuses on making the production process as efficient as possible, which includes laser welding, leak testing, and 3D deep measuring. Overall, bipolar plates are a crucial component of fuel cells and electrolysers, and their quality and accuracy are essential for the efficiency of the fuel cell.
If you like the video, please also subscribe to our new Hyfindr Youtube Channel. We will launched Hyfindr Tech Talks in January – a new format that is specifically designed for engineers who are interesed in the hydrogen economy!
Steven is a fuel cell system designer and he will deep-dive into the technology that makes the hydrogen economy work with real experts. We hope you will like the new format.