June 4, 2007 Huntsville, Alabama: CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) is pleased to announce its recent award from the U.S. Department of Energy, a $5 Million contract for hydrogen fuel cell research and development work. The team led by CFDRC includes Ballard Power Systems, BCS Fuel Cells, ESI US R&D, Research Triangle Institute, and SGL Technologies GMBH. The team will perform computational and experimental studies to improve fuel cell design, materials, and operating strategies for automotive applications. The main focus is to improve performance and cost effectiveness of hydrogen fuel cells. The study will also result in improved simulation technologies, which will enable faster, cheaper and better designs in future.
Dr. Ashok Singhal, President of CFDRC, stated, "We are very pleased to be selected by DOE and to have the opportunity to contribute to the national goal of alternative energy, as cited in the President Bush's Hydrogen Research Initiative. This award is an attribute to the employees of CFDRC and its collaborators".
This contract is one of 25 projects awarded by the DOE, based on an open international competition (DOE press release is available on: www.energy.gov/news/4401.htm). These projects support President's Advanced Energy Initiative that seeks to develop new technologies that can reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources by replacing more than 75% of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.
Fuel cells are an efficient and environment friendly power source, however their cost and durability must be improved considerably. The most promising fuel cells for automotive power are polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) cells, which have higher power output for a given weight and size than other fuel cells. For PEM fuel cells, one of the key challenges is efficient water management. Understanding, and controlling, how the water is produced during electro-chemical reactions in catalyst porous membranes, and how it moves through micro channels is one of the keys to improving PEM fuel cell technology. This can be best accomplished with the aid of advanced multi-physics simulations and complimentary experiments of promising designs.
Dr Vernon Cole, Project Director at CFDRC, stated "We are excited about this challenging work opportunity and confident of our team's capabilities and cooperation to make a significant impact on efficient water management in PEM Fuel Cells"
Improved water management understanding, and the resulting improved designs of cell components, will help the industry meet the aggressive targets for performance and freeze-thaw cycling durability that must be reached for practical, commercially viable automotive fuel cell power.
CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) is the technology leader in multidisciplinary engineering simulations, innovative designs and prototypes. Since it inception in 1987, CFDRC has grown steadily with highly qualified staff (over 55% PhD's), and an excellent record of technology commercialization (over 25 patents and licenses). CFDRC expertise, products and services are used by over 500 organizations, worldwide. CFDRC is focused on three major markets: 1) Aerospace and Defense, 2) Biomedical, Life Sciences and Security and 3) Micro/Nano Electronics, Materials and Processes.