Paving the Way to the Finished Product

Certification Standards for a Safe Fuel Cell Technology

The market launch of fuel cell systems is picking up speed.

With the objective to develop standards for the approval,
certification and standardization of hydrogen and fuel cell
components and systems, an expert platform made up of
three German research institutes has now been formed. The
participating institutions are the Center for Fuel Cell
Technology (ZBT) in Duisburg, the Fraunhofer Institute of
Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg as well as NEXT ENERGY
in Oldenburg.

The accredited Testing Laboratory for Fuel Cell Technology
(PBT) at ZBT in Duisburg as well as the Test Lab Fuel Cells at
Fraunhofer ISE offer testing according to the standards for
fuel cell modules and micro fuel cells. "These tests are
required for the certification of fuel cell products and provide
a legal cover for manufacturers," explains Joachim
Jungsbluth, head of the PBT in Duisburg. Dr. Jrgen Wolf,
Head of the Test Lab Fuel Cells at Fraunhofer ISE adds: "At
our testing centers, we are pleased to be able to offer
companies direct access to the required tests."

PBT, Fraunhofer ISE and NEXT ENERGY have been involved in
the German and international standardization committees
for many years. Moreover, Dr. Alexander Dyck, Division
Director of Fuel Cells at NEXT ENERGY comments, "With our
active cooperation in the standardization committees, we
want to strengthen the interests of the German fuel cell
industry in the international arena."

In a recently organized workshop attended by more than 45
experts from industry, research and special interest groups,
information about experiences with approval and certification
as well as standardization work was presented.
The discussion emphasized the huge number of documents
required in the certification process. All manufacturers of
certificated fuel cell products recommend that technical
advisers be integrated at a very early phase in the product
planning. Here can Fraunhofer ISE, NEXT ENERGY and PBT
offer their expertise. The communication with component
manufacturers assists the approval of the components due to
the mutual adaptation of established testing methods.
Further, clarifications with respect to product liability are also
expedited more easily.

At NEXT ENERGY in Oldenburg, a follow-up workshop is
planned for spring 2013. The workshop aim is to gain
information about the different certification facilities and the
services offered. Another focus is to promote the
informational exchange on complex themes.

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