General Electric is the coordinating partner of the AutoRE project. It participates with two main entities, one in the UK and one in Switzerland.

 

The products and services of GE range from power generation, aircraft engines, oil and gas production equipment to medical imaging, business financing and industrial products. GE’s power generation activities globally cover operations in more than 70 countries from design, manufacturing, commissioning, and long-term maintenance of power generation equipment and plants. GE is active in developing innovative technologies and its European parts have been actively participating in researching and developing cutting edge solutions.

For several years Daimler has engaged intensely in fuel cell systems. First concepts and feasibility studies for passenger cars as well as commercial vehicles have been carried out since 1994. After testing the fleet a first small series was implemented in 2009. With its 700 bar hydrogen tank in the sandwich floor unit, the first fuel cell passenger car from Mercedes-Benz to be produced in series conditions attains an operating range of around 400 kilometers. It proved its reliability with the fuel cell world drive in 2011 and by reaching 300000 km with a single car in 2014.

NuCellSys GmbH - The Fuel Cell System Company was founded as a joint venture in 2005 between Daimler and Ford, which has been developing and manufacturing fuel cell systems for vehicle applications since. Today NuCellSys is a hundred percent Daimler owned company. NuCellSys is responsible for system engineering and design, component and software development, as well as system validation and integration. NuCellSys objective is to develop fuel cell systems for vehicle applications which are competitive with today's conventional engines with regard to power, reliability, and cost. The current system generation by NuCellSys already performs on a high technical and functional level. At the Kirchheim/Teck-Nabern location, about 200 highly specialized employees in interdisciplinary teams join the technology and alliance partners for the development of fuel cell drive systems. World-wide more than 130 Daimler B-Class Cars and 30 Evobus Citaro Buses using NuCellSys Fuel Cell systems and currently providing their high reliability during demanding everyday use. Round about 700 granted individual patents underline the leading role in technology development. NuCellSys has run a small-scale series production of fuel cell systems since 2003.

Helbio develops and markets hydrogen production systems, based on renewable and conventional sources. The technology is based on proprietary and patented reactor/catalyst configurations for reformation processes. The reactor configurations utilize the concept of the Heat Integrated Wall Reactor (HIWAR) which offers very rapid heat exchange characteristics. Helbio’s personnel are highly experienced and with a great expertise in the above novel processes. Also, the company owns an up‐to‐date laboratory for the construction and testing of the sub‐systems of the processors (reactors, heat‐exchangers etc.), as well as modern equipment for gas analysis (analyzers, chromatographs).

Helbio produces a steady stream of innovations and technological advancements and has obtained large experience over the previous years. Since 2007 the company has developed and installed more than 30 reforming units and complete CHP plants in the power range from 1 to 30 kW in development projects with national and international customers.

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture (FESB) at University of Split, is a higher education and research organization oriented towards development and application of the modern technologies. It is considered as one of the leading research institutions in the field of technical sciences in Croatia. FESB has over 150 teachers and researchers (more than 100 with PhD degrees in electrical engineering, computer sciences, mechanical engineering and physics), 2500 students and more than 8000 alumni. It has a modern facility with almost 30000 m2 with more than 100 laboratories covering power engineering, communication technologies, electrical engineering, electric motors and drives, electromagnetic compatibility, information systems, mechanical technologies and materials, industrial engineering, mechanical constructions, numerical simulations and optimization, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. One of the most internationally recognizable research groups at FESB is Prof. Barbir’s group at the Laboratory for New Energy Technologies, which was established in 2007 upon his return to Croatia from the United States. The main activities in the laboratory are related to fuel cell research and demonstrations. The group’s main focus are mechanical engineering aspects of PEM Fuel Cells, which include testing and characterization of PEM fuel cells, effect of operational parameters on fuel cell performance, thermal effects on cell and stack level, flow field configuration, flow of reactants through a stack, and fuel cell applications (such as vehicles and back-up power). Most recently, the research efforts are concentrated on early diagnostics of fuel cell degradation.

The University of Tuscia is based in Viterbo, in the centre of Italy, and was founded in 1979. It has more than 600 employees, with almost 300 professors and researchers. It is a research university offering educational programs with Bachelor and Master of Science (MSc) degrees, and Ph.D. programs, and competitive research in areas related to agriculture, engineering, business and economics, political science, cultural heritage, life sciences, and biotechnology. Currently it hosts more than 10,000 students in its seven departments.

The Industrial Engineering group belongs to the Department of Economy and Business (DEIM) and is the reference for research and education in industrial engineering at the University of Tuscia. The group has a vast experience in the development and design of innovative energy converters (fuel cells, poly-generation platform, hybrid vehicles), in the field of energy management and conservation, in automotive propulsion and in smart materials for energy harvesting. Research activities in this area include the analysis of molten carbonate (MCFC), solid oxide (SOFC) and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEMFC) fuel cells, performed through both numerical simulations and experimental measurements. The research group has a significant experience in the development of numerical solvers, both proprietary and derived from open source codes, including optimal management of energy systems, both traditional and combined with fuel cells.

Stiftelsen SINTEF (SINTEF) is a multidisciplinary contract research organization that performs research and development in technology. SINTEF is one of the largest European research institutes (staff of 2100) with an annual turnover of about 370M€, originating from industrial research contracts as well as European and National research projects. In the present project AUTORE, the Materials and Chemistry (MC) division of SINTEF will be involved through the Department of Thin Film and Membrane Technology. SINTEF MC has around 450 employees, with about 90% being scientists and technicians.

 

The Department of Thin Film and Membrane Technology has extensive activities in the fields of membranes for gas separation at low and high temperature, hybrid materials and coatings, modelling and process development. The department has experience from several national and European R&D programs within the 5th, 6th and 7th Framework Program as coordinator and core partner. Of particular relevance for the AUTORE project, the department has significant R&D activities in the area of Pd-alloy membrane technology, as highlighted with its participation in several European projects (GRACE, CACHET, CACHET-II, FCH-Reforcell and CARENA). In these projects, the department has conducted leading-edge studies on Pd-alloy membrane development and  membrane stability investigation. The department has well-equipped  laboratories, and experienced personnel for this purpose.

AutoRE

This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 671396. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Switzerland, Norway.

 

Swiss partners are funded by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation of the Swiss Confederation.