Hydrogen technologies

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Hydrogen is considered to be the energy carrier of the 21st century and offers high flexibility in many fields of application. Hydrogen has the highest theoretical energy density, can be generated from electricity, biomass or fossil resources, and can be converted into a wide range of products. As a result, this energy carrier has the potential to interconnect the various sectors of the economy. To use hydrogen sustainably, it must be generated from “green” electricity or sustainable biomass (e.g. residual and waste materials). This calls for electrolysers and bioenergy plants on a gigawatt scale. Accordingly, the fuel cell is a key technology for converting chemical energy back into electricity, e.g. for mobile applications. A sufficient number of low-cost systems can only be supplied in the future if the core components and all associated parts are manufactured automatically.

To transfer the latest research findings to industrial applications, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA conducts wide-ranging research and provides a broad spectrum of services.

Services and expertise

Our services range from consulting through to research & development projects in the following fields:

  • Fraunhofer IPA develops and analyzes technologies for producing hydrogen from residual and waste materials. In conjunction with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) or Carbon Capture and Use (CCU), these technologies offer the possibility of achieving a negative CO2 footprint. The associated technology concept HyBECCS (Hydrogen BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Storage) is currently being further developed and implemented in several projects. We help you transfer the HyBECCS technology concept with tailored feasibility studies and potential analyses, simulations, demonstrators and economic feasibility calculations.

    • Selection and conceptual design of HyBECCS processes and systems in an industrial environment
    • Assessment of feasibility and potential
    • Construction of demonstrators and pilot plants
    • Further development of biotechnological HyBECCS processes
    • Digital twins for biointelligent HyBECCS technologies

    “HyBECCS, waste-to-hydrogen and biohydrogen"

  • In the field of hydrogen, we assist you with everything from planning and designing manufacturing & assembly systems, planning factories and logistics processes, through to managing your supply chain and planning relevant cleaning processes. Our references range from the production of electrolyzers and fuel cells to peripheral components such as storage systems or flat membrane humidifiers.

    • Production processes
    • Selection and testing of potential manufacturing technologies within the scope of technology studies
    • Sensor-based acquisition of production data and quality assurance
    • Linking manufacturing parameters and product performance based on models
    • Support with Design for Manufacturing
    • Robot-based component handling and parts qualification
    • Planning suitable manufacturing & assembly systems with a focus on scaling piece numbers, including the selection of suitable cleaning processes
    • Factory & logistics planning for new locations
    • Support in the areas of production planning & control as well as supply chain management
  • Our range of services covers the digitalization of production processes through end-to-end connectivity and virtualization right up to the provision of services for electrolyzer & fuel cell production. Through these measures, we aim to increase the efficiency of your production operations and enable you to optimize the utilization of domain-specific use cases.

    • Selection of IT platforms for production (brown field & green field)
      • IoT platform
      • MES/MOM solutions
    • Building a digital twin for production based on the asset administration shell
      • Systems and other production resources
      • Cross-factory
      • Specific products (electrolyzers / fuel cells)
    • Data-driven services for electrolyzer & fuel cell production
      • e.g. tracking & tracing
      • QM services (including evaluation services for correlating between product characteristics and the occurrence of defects)
    • Electrochemical modeling of hydrogen technologies
      • Aging prediction (accelerated aging)
      • Application-specific optimization of operations
      • Performance prediction
  • In the field of hydrogen, we offer comprehensive consulting & support services relating to the industrial use of hydrogen as an energy carrier. The focus of our activities is on developing new energy supply concepts, integrating hydrogen into existing energy supply concepts and transforming existing energy supply systems. We consider not only the advantages - such as higher energy efficiency, lower emissions and independence from fossil fuels - but also the specific costs of a hydrogen-based energy supply. In addition, we provide technical and economic advice on the selection of suitable technologies for your site and specific industrial processes, as well as assistance with modeling hydrogen technologies with a view to further developing production plants.

    • Planning energy systems and integration of hydrogen technologies according to your specific needs
    • Advice on selecting the most suitable technologies for your site and specific industrial process
    • Design and dimensioning of the production plant
    • Development and implementation of customer-specific control concepts
    • Integration of hydrogen into existing energy supply systems to enable more efficient and environmentally friendly solutions
    • Transformation of existing energy supply systems to enable the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier
    • Support in the development of hydrogen-capable plants through precise numerical simulations and modeling to optimize the performance and efficiency of your plants