What is metal bipolar plate water-cooled stack technology

2022-06-20 00:00

What is metal bipolar plate water-cooled stack technology, and what is the significance for the development of fuel cell vehicles?

The stack is the place where the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen occurs, and it is also the basic and key component of the fuel cell. The importance of the stack to the hydrogen economy is equivalent to the central processing unit (CPU) in the information industry. There are many technical paths for fuel cells, and the more suitable one for vehicles is the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). There are two main ways to realize PEMFC, namely graphite bipolar plate and metal bipolar plate water-cooled stack technology.

Graphite bipolar plates are a technology developed by Ballard, Canada many years ago. However, since Ballard is not an automobile company, Mao Zongqiang said that considering the needs of automobile development, Toyota and other Japanese automobile companies have changed the technical solutions for the application of graphite stacks to automobiles after the generation of graphite bipolar plate water-cooled stacks. A lot of money has been invested to develop a metal bipolar plate water-cooled stack, which has more advantages in low temperature start-up, volume, power and cost. Nearly 30 years later, Toyota took the lead in launching a fuel cell vehicle using metal bipolar plate water-cooled stack technology at the end of 2014, realizing the industrialization of fuel cell passenger vehicles.

In recent years, with the development of China's hydrogen energy industry, domestic companies have also aimed at metal bipolar plate water-cooled electric reactor technology. Mao Zongqiang said that some companies have also launched some technologies and products, but from the perspective of public data, there is still a certain gap between their performance and the advanced level. The discharge power per unit area of ​​the stack is difficult to exceed 1.0 watts per square centimeter, and the production cost is still high. Before the development of 40kW automotive metal bipolar plate water-cooled electric reactor products, my country still lacks metal bipolar plate water-cooled electric reactor products with completely independent and controllable intellectual property rights and core technologies.

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