Schaeffler has developed key components for fuel cells and fuel cell stacks, so-called metallic bipolar plates. The company is using its traditional core expertise in materials technology, forming technology, and surface technology in this development work.
“We want to shape CO2-neutral, sustainable and individual mobility with regard to the entire energy chain”, says Uwe Wagner, Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler. “The problem of global CO2 emissions cannot be solved with purely battery-driven vehicles alone. Heavy goods vehicles, in particular, will require alternative energy storage systems and hydrogen in combination with the fuel cell offers outstanding opportunities here. Hybrid storage systems, i.e. the combination of a battery and hydrogen, are also an attractive solution for achieving a longer range in passenger cars.”
Bipolar plates are produced by precise forming and coating in the thin-layer range, which once stacked form the core of the fuel cell system. The fuel cell stacks are energy converters, which let H2 react with O2 to form water. The electricity generated during this process can be used to power the vehicle’s electric motor. Schaeffler’s portfolio for optimized fuel cell systems is expanded by additional areas of expertise, such as electronic control systems, special foil-air bearings, smart thermal management modules or components for passive hydrogen recirculation.
Schaeffler will present its expertise in fuel cells, at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show from October 24 to November 4, 2019.