Manufacturing Improvements for Water Electrolyzers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-06ER84537
Agency Tracking Number: 80131S06-I
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: 20
Solicitation Number: DE-FG01-05ER05-28
Small Business Information
89 Rumford Avenue, Newton, MA, 02466
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Timothy Norman
 (781) 529-0556
Business Contact
 Anthony Vaccaro
Title: Dr.
Phone: (781) 529-0504
Research Institution
Current electrolyzer systems, needed to produce hydrogen for the hydrogen economy, are too expensive to meet DOE target hydrogen production costs. Because current electrolyzer systems are not mass produced, significant savings could accrue from a disciplined design-for-manufacturing (DFM) approach and the application of modern manufacturing methods. This project will apply a number of cost-saving DFM solutions to the highest cost items within proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) electrolyzer systems. Phase I will develop and demonstrate low-temperature weld techniques for the PEM cell frame, thereby reducing its costs by 90%. The low-cost frame will be demonstrated in a working electrolyzer cell. The joining technology will be extended by integrating some seals with the fluid manifold of a thin-film PEM, thereby eliminating two sealing faces. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: There is currently a 20 to 30 million dollar/year market for moderate- to large-scale electrolysis systems. Also, the design and manufacturing process improvements should be transferable to smaller-scale systems currently being manufactured and to speciality equipment that is custom engineered for the US Navy, Missile Defence Agency, and NASA.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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