VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Oy

VTT fuel cell solutions website

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd is a state owned and controlled non-profit limited liability company established by law and operating under the ownership steering of the Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy. VTT’s activities are focused on three areas: Knowledge intensive products and services, Smart industry and energy systems, and solutions for natural resources and environment. VTT is impact-driven and from its wide multi-technological knowledge base, VTT can combine different technologies, produce information, upgrade technology knowledge, and create business intelligence and value added for its stakeholders. VTT has a staff of 2,600 and turnover M€ 277 (2014). Over the years, VTT has gained vast experience from participation in numerous European R&D Framework Programme projects and within various thematic programmes. VTT is ranked among the leading European RTOs.

 VTT fuel cell research supports industry product development by maintaining a development platform comprising of a large selection of research facilities, a selection of developed modeling tools and know-how encompassing different technologies throughout the entire business chain. Mostly of the fuel cell projects in VTT are co-funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the European research programs, industry, and VTT. At present, more than 30 different companies are involved in the various projects. The main research areas today are PEMFC, SOFC and SOEC, including systems, applications, demonstrations, stacks, components, and materials. The purpose of the SOFC/SOEC research at VTT is to develop new technology and to provide information for industrial enterprises in order to support development work on SOFC/SOEC-based power plants. It also supports the development of stacks, development of balance of plant (BOP) components, and application of SOFC and SOEC plants.

DTU - Technical University of Denmark

 The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is one of Europe’s foremost technical universities with more than 1600 scientific staff members and 1000 Ph.D. students. The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy) was created on January 1, 2012, building on existing DTU world class expertise in fuel cells (solid oxide fuel cells and polymer electrolyte fuel cells), electrolysis cells, polymer solar cells, batteries, hydrogen storage and related technologies. The department includes the former Fuel Cells and Solid State Chemistry Division at Risø National Laboratory, which has 25 years of experience in solid oxide cell (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, SOFCs and Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells, SOECs) research and advanced functional ceramics. Currently ca. 20 persons work directly on SOEC related projects, including materials development, cell manufacturing and advance characterization and testing.

 Cell manufacturing facilities include conventional ceramic processing methods such as tape casting, screen printing, sintering and advanced methods such as spin coating, dip coating, ink-jet printing and electrospinning. Capacity allows for the manufacture of hundreds of cells. DTU Energy has ca. 20 test benches for single cell tests and 3 for stack tests that are equipped for the purpose of the project (co-electrolysis/reversible operation) and can be made available to the projects after specific needs. Two dedicated test rigs and numerous ovens are available for oxidation rate measurements of interconnect materials in different gas environments. Advanced characterization facilities such as HRSEM, HETEM, HT-XRD, XPS and SIMS are available for microstructural, structural and physicochemical analysis of the cells, electrode and nanostructures.

CEA – French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

 CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO). It aims to produce, integrate and transfer science and technology to help resolve the main EU challenges (low carbon energies, defence and security, information and healthcare technologies) and to exploit opportunities for new wealth creation, improved standards of living, and economic competitiveness. CEA brings together key players along the whole innovation chain, from fundamental to technological research, from product and process development to prototyping and demonstration, and to support full-scale implementation in the public and private sectors. CEA has a budget of B€ 4.3 (2013), more than 16,000 employees, filing more than 500 patents / year.

Within CEA, the LITEN institute (Laboratory for Innovation in New Energy Technologies) is fully dedicated to the program of new technologies for renewable energy and energy efficiency, in line with the French Grenelle environment summit, the Lisbon strategy and the European strategic plan for energy technologies. LITEN employs 1,400 people, has a budget of M€ 170, and works with more than 350 industrial partners.

Since 2005, LITEN has started an intensive program on high temperature steam electrolysis development for CO2 free hydrogen production assisted by national and EU projects. The approach covers electrochemical characterization from button cells to stacks and systems, thermo-mechanical study of single components and of stacks, microstructure advanced characterization and complete operation modelling. This approach is complemented by techno-economic analysis of the hydrogen production chain. With more than 20 patents and 20 reviewed publications in the field of high temperature steam electrolysis, CEA-LITEN is a recognized player in the field.

ENEA, Italian national agency for new technologies, energy and sustainable economic development

ENEA is a scientific RTD organisation with a commitment to sustainable development and environmental safeguard. In its fields of competence (engineering, materials science, chemistry, physics, geology, agriculture, information science, economics, meteorology and biology) ENEA is called upon to: promote and carry out basic and applied research and technology innovation, also through prototypes and product industrialization; disseminate and transfer technologies, also through assistance in regulation and standardization, encouraging their use in productive and social sectors; provide high-tech services, studies and scenarios to both public and private bodies and enterprises; develop and apply sustainability assessment of innovative technologies. In these fields many programs/projects on advanced materials, electrochemistry, fuel cells and hydrogen (FC&H2) technologies, as well as on advanced solutions for electric vehicle traction and auxiliaries, have been and are carried out, also in co-operation with national and international industry, academic institutions and research organisations. ENEA is actively involved in National and EU Platforms for implementation of fuel cells and hydrogen, and outside Europe in IPHE and IEA Implementing Agreements, including Bioenergy, Advanced Fuels Cells and Electric/Hybrid Vehicles. ENEA participates in several topical EU-funded projects (NELLHI, SOCTESQA, INNOSOFC, SCoReD 2.0, ASCENT, UNIFHY, H2FC) and is fully active within the Research Grouping of the FCH JU for the building of the European roadmap towards full-scale FC & H2 deployment, as well as being coordinator of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) Joint Programme on FC & H2. Furthermore, ENEA is member of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Technical Committee on Fuel Cells (IEC TC105), as Convenor of the Working Group 13 on Reverse Fuel Cell Stacks and Systems and participant in Working Group 7 on SOFC stack test procedures, and thus constantly updated about the latest in standardization and technology transfer to industrial practice and transnational regulation.

University of Birmingham

 The School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UoB) hosts one of the leading research groups on fuel cells in the UK, the Centre for Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Research (CFCHR) with 50 members of permanent staff, PostDocs and PhD students. The topics covered range from hydrogen production, purification and storage (in collaboration with the School of Metallurgy and Materials), low temperature fuel cells from catalysis to MEA production (PEFC, DMFC, and IT-PEFC), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) anode modifications and fuel impurity treatment, hybrid system integration into vehicles (airborne, maritime, rail, and road) up to modelling (ab initio to system) and socio-economic research (environmental analysis, policies, public health, and market introduction of fuel cells). A future focus will be on hybrid vehicles driven by high temperature fuel cells and methane (biogas) fuels.

UBHAM, in collaboration with Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham, forms the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC). This consortium has a critical mass of faculty specialising in hydrogen and fuel cell technology, with 30 academic staff, more than any other UK location, one of the main topics being vehicle applications of fuel cells. The MEC is currently being further developed into the Energy Research Accelerator (ERA), adding Warwick and Leicester Universities and the British Geological Society. ERA is a multi-million investment project (total £240M) to spur the energy related research in the Midlands and establish this region as a hub in UK energy research.

The CFCHR leads the Centre of Doctoral Training Fuel Cells and their Fuels (CDT) to train 75 doctoral students (with intake of 15 a year since 2009), currently together with Loughborough and Nottingham Universities, Imperial College, and University College of London. The group has strong industrial links with the likes of Unilever, Airbus, MIBA etc. and many SME companies from the field. Former PhD students have successfully applied for posts mainly within the fuel cell industry,  for example with Rolls Royce (UK), Acumentrics (USA), MIBA (UK), MicroCab (UK), Intelligent Energy (UK), CENEX (UK) a.o.

UBHAM is member of the FCH JU Research Grouping (N.ERGHY) and leads the EERA Sub-Programme ‘Hydrogen’ (SP6) in the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Programme (JP).

Delft University of Technology

The TU Delft is a Dutch public technical university located in Delft, Netherlands. With eight faculties and numerous research institutes, it hosts over 19,000 students (undergraduate and postgraduate), more than 3,300 scientists and more than 2,200 people in the support and management staff. TU Delft is a leading R&D institute in the field of Fuel Cells and Hydrogen with focus areas from materials to systems. At the Section Energy Technology, in the Department of Process & Energy within the Faculty ofMechanical, Maritime and Materials engineering, the focus has been on developing high efficiency systems for energy production and storage. It has already participated in EU projects related to Hydrogen such as: Biocellus, Seneres, Chrisgas and KowHy.

One of the key areas is SOFC systems development using thermodynamic, CFD and microkinetic level modelling supported by experiments on different fuels and fuel mixtures. The group has access to softwares and clusters relevant for all levels of modelling and is ably supported by test rigs for single cell, stack and single electrode testing.

EPFL - École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

EPFL is one of Europe’s leading Research and Education Institutions, with 3200 staff (450 professors), 2000 PhD students and 8000 bsc/msc students. The Institute of Mechanical Engineering at EPFL has 2 specialised groups. IPESE (Industrial Processes & Energy Systems Engineering) led by Prof François Maréchal is expert in the configuration, integration and optimisation of energy conversion systems of any complexity. The OSMOSE platform used at IPESE interfaces flowsheeting, techno-environomic multi-objective optimisation and LCA, among others, using both inhouse developed software and accessing commercial packages like ASPEN and eco-invent, among others. IPESE entertains numerous collaborations with industry and is involved in several EU projects. The GEM Group (Group of Energy Materials) led by Dr Jan Van herle is experienced since 15 years in solid oxide R&D.  Its particular strength is the coupling between modeling (for both design and performance) and experimental cell and stack work (validation; locally resolved measurements; components testing for model input and calibration). It has performed the optimisation for several planar stack designs, and detailed modeling of degradation issues. The Group has a long track record in EU projects. Since several years, SOEC has become a 2nd important topic at GEM.

EPFL will use its unique segmented test rig dedicated to SOEC and built up in a EU-project. It provides unique insight into the (co)electrolysis operation. Impedance analysis on all segments is performed. Segment voltage can be individually controlled, allowing for a design-of-experiment plan of parameters in a single segmented SRU test (20 segments), vastly increasing the value of the data.

The SOFC/SOEC group has a new dedicated testing laboratory equipped with rigs for stacks, component evaluation, single cells and catalysis, including electrochemical stations, high current loads, gas analysis and automated data acquisition. Detailed analysis diagnostics (post test) is carried out in house in collaboration with partner laboratories at EPFL.


The Institute of Power Engineering (IEn) is one of the largest institutes in Poland and Central Europe providing research in the field of energy technologies. The Institute is a modern state owned research and development center with 7 locations in 6 cities.

The Institute covers a wide area of energy research from technological advisory and consulting for the power sector, the development of the most advanced technologies for the power industry, such as fuel cells, clean coal technologies and renewable energy sources. The advantage of the Institute is the experienced scientific, engineering and technical staff as well as numerous modern, sometimes unique laboratory facilities.

Institute research teams are involved in numerous international research projects of EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020 and 7th Framework Programme, the EU Research Fund for Coal and Steel, Central Europe Programme, as well as a number of Polish national  projects.

The Fuel Cell Group (FCG) which is a part of Thermal Processes Department, Institute of Power Engineering, and Ceramic Department CEREL develop solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Over the period of last 12 years, several major projects have been completed, focused initially on the development of single 50 mm x 50 mm fuel cells, then larger cells 100 mm x 100 mm, optimization of SOFC stacks and construction of first Polish SOFC-based CHP. FCG conducts research activities on single cells, short and full-scale SOFC stacks, cogenerative and polygenerative power systems based on fuel cells. Institute of Power Engineering has experience in the areas, from manufacturing fuel cells to operation of prototype power systems with SOFCs.

IEn possesses a necessary computational facilities and experienced team of researchers, which allows to simulate heat- and mass transportation in wide range of scales: from diffusion in micropores up to level of integration SOFC-based CHP in industrial or domestic environment. The results from both parties developing SOFC technology, are systematically published in international journals and presented during leading scientific conferences. Institute of Power Engineering has in total over 20 patents and patent applications related to solid oxide cells.