// Fuel Cell Drives

The Future of Mobi­li­ty Starts Now!

The chan­ge in drive tech­no­lo­gy from fossil fuels towards sustainable and storable ener­gy carri­ers such as hydro­gen is constant­ly spee­ding up. The fuel cell is beco­ming more and more important as a drive tech­no­lo­gy of the future thanks to its high­ly effi­ci­ent elec­tro­che­mi­cal recon­ver­si­on from hydro­gen into elec­tric ener­gy. It demons­tra­tes its advan­ta­ges parti­cu­lar­ly when it comes to high power at low weight, long opera­ting times, long range, 24/7 opera­ti­on with short refue­ling time and low fuel consump­ti­on in the real world.

The further deve­lo­p­ment of fuel cell drives is ther­e­fo­re beco­ming incre­asing­ly important at APL. Central elements in this context are the deve­lo­p­ment fields mentio­ned below.

Elec­tro­che­mis­try and Simulation

Essen­ti­al for charac­te­ri­zing the fuel cell is a basic under­stan­ding of the elec­tro­che­mi­cal proces­ses. This results in a constant­ly growing tool­box of simu­la­ti­on algo­rith­ms from the cata­lyst level to MEA, stack and fuel cell system simu­la­ti­on, which then is smooth­ly inte­gra­ted into our proven drive and vehic­le simu­la­ti­on environments.

Test­ing on MEA and stack level

The charac­te­riza­ti­on of the opera­ting beha­vi­or, key para­me­ters and the resul­ting influen­ces on the dura­bi­li­ty of fuel cells is usual­ly done at MEA (Membra­ne Elec­tro­de Assem­bly) — or at (short-)stack level. For this purpo­se, the APL offers the possi­bi­li­ty to carry out corre­spon­ding tests in 6 test benches under speci­fi­cal­ly varia­ble clima­tic condi­ti­ons (-40°C to +90°C) also in driving or acce­le­ra­ted stress cycles with and without dosing of gaseous pollut­ants, since 2022 in the first phase of the test field. A fully equip­ped chemis­try labo­ra­to­ry with an area of ​​more than 1000 m² for mate­ri­al and gas analy­sis offers all tech­ni­cal possi­bi­li­ties for the in-depth inves­ti­ga­ti­on of occur­ring phenomena.

Test­ing at fuel cell system level

The fuel cell system ensu­res that the stack is opti­mal­ly suppli­ed with media in terms of volu­me, pres­su­re, tempe­ra­tu­re and mois­tu­re content at every opera­ting point and espe­ci­al­ly over tran­si­ent load chan­ges. Due to the comple­xi­ty of the control loops invol­ved, the deve­lo­p­ment and vali­da­ti­on of all aspects of the opera­ting stra­tegy and their impact on perfor­mance and service life are of criti­cal importance. Important sub-disci­pli­nes include free­ze start-up, mapping of load gradi­ents, hot and cold coun­try opera­ti­on and control of envi­ron­men­tal influen­ces. Since the begin­ning of 2023, the APL fuel cell test faci­li­ty in its exten­ded second phase will offer compre­hen­si­ve test­ing opti­ons for fuel cell systems with an output of up to 300 kW.

Design and test­ing of system components

When desig­ning and test­ing fuel cell system compon­ents, APL can draw on deca­des of expe­ri­ence in rela­ted fields of tech­no­lo­gy. Whether it’s an elec­tri­cal­ly driven turbo­char­ger, DC/DC conver­ter, membra­ne humi­di­fier, jet pumps or anode recir­cu­la­ti­on — our specia­lists know our custo­mers problems — and ensu­re that solu­ti­ons are imple­men­ted as quick­ly as possible.

Envi­ron­men­tal testing

APL alre­a­dy offers a proven range of estab­lished envi­ron­men­tal tests for fuel cell systems in accordance with ECE R100. These include test disci­pli­nes such as shaker, dust and water tight­ness, salt spray­ing, tempe­ra­tu­re cycling, ther­mal shock and plun­ge pools.

Further Infor­ma­tio­nen

Artic­le: Requi­re­ments for Opera­ting Mate­ri­als Appli­ed in Hybrid Powertrains

März 2020

Rela­ted Topics:

Test­ing of Elec­tri­fied Drives

Chemi­cal and Physi­cal Laboratory

// Loca­ti­ons 

Head­quar­ters Land­au
APL Auto­mo­bil-Prüf­tech­nik
Land­au GmbH
Am Hölzel 11
76829 Land­au


// Wolfs­burg
APL Auto­mo­bil-Prüf­tech­nik
Land­au GmbH
Gustav-Hertz-Stra­ße 10
38448 Wolfs­burg


// Bietig­heim-Bissin­gen
APL Auto­mo­bil-Prüf­tech­nik
Land­au GmbH
Robert-Bosch-Stra­ße 12
74321 Bietig­heim-Bissin­gen

// APL Group

APL Auto­mo­bil-Prüf­tech­nik Land­au GmbH

AIP GmbH & Co. KG

IAVF Antriebs­tech­nik GmbH

IAVF-Volke Prüf­zen­trum für Verbren­nungs­mo­to­ren GmbH


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