Fuel cells and the associated hydrogen infrastructure have the potential to offer clean power generation for stationary applications on utility, industrial and domestic scales. It can also be readily applied to the transportation sector.
Despite increasing numbers of fuel cells being deployed in the stationary sector the market may still be regarded as immature with respect to volume. There is a need to develop large volume manufacturing techniques for fuel cell system components. As well as increased volume of components there is a need for physically scaling up system to provide large industrial and utility levels of power generation.
To ensure that the sector delivers truly clean power there is a need to develop both a commercially feasible infrastructure for the production and supply of green hydrogen as well as novel approaches for hydrogen storage.
All of the above will call on in-depth and highly specialised materials, fabrication and structural integrity expertise; which TWI can provide.
The wide range of advanced fabrication techniques and process expertise at TWI can enable rapid production of high integrity hydrogen containers as well as fuel cell system components. These techniques cover many materials, including composite and composite/metal hybrid structures and are supported by high pressure testing and advanced inspection facilities.
TWI has experience in the joining and sealing issues associated with fuel cell stack components including ceramics and polymers. Our innovative products and processes can also contribute to improvements in associated equipment such as heat exchangers and reformers. TWI support is available for all types of fuel cell in both commercial and experimental applications.
TWI has almost half a century's experience of studying hydrogen embrittlement and cracking mechanisms and of developing solutions to avoid in-service cracking and failures.
Fundamental work on the hydrogen embrittlement of both ferritic steels and corrosion resistant alloys plus dissimilar joints, under cathodic protection, has been developed at TWI through ground-breaking work to define suitable test methods and associated understanding of material and weldment/joint behaviour at TWI.
This means that coupled with our fabrication and structural integrity expertise TWI is able to offer a unique level of service and support.
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