The fuel cell: energy concept of the future?
As early as 1870, Jules Verne wrote of the fuel cell: “Water is the coal of the future. Tomorrow's energy is water that has been decomposed by electricity. The elements of water, hydrogen and oxygen decomposed in this manner will secure the earth’s energy supply far into the future.”
Renewable energies are the future of modern production. The fuel cell can be used to produce new energy out of hydrogen from renewable resources. This technology offers a wide range of applications and new dimensions in environmentally conscious resource management. Fuel cells are highly efficient and make it possible use renewable energy for mobility. Regenerative hydrogen can be stored long term and very effective.
Clear trend: Hydrogen and fuel cell technology are rapidly becoming a key technology for a sustainable mobility and energy supply.
Advantages of the fuel cell
- Greater range
- Faster refuelling
- Much longer service life
- Environmental compatibility
Areas of application
- Mobile applications: Use of fuel cell technology is on the rise, particularly in the automotive sector. The technology is being applied in the development and implementation of sustainable and emission-free vehicle drives.
- Stationary applications: Use of fuel cells in systems for the domestic energy supply of homes or in emergency power supply units for hospitals
Focusing on innovative ideas
Rehm Thermal Systems has recognised the potential of fuel cell technology and, in various projects with partner companies, is developing new thermal solutions that optimise the automated production of fuel cells and make them suitable for mass production. Collaborative projects help focus attention on renewable power generation and offer the growing market suitable concepts.
One focus of current industry developments is, for example, to make fuel cell cars attractive and to show that this technology will soon be used on a long-term basis in everyday life.
Battery technology and energy storage
The battery is both one of the oldest storage options and one of the most reliable sources of energy, while still offering great potential for innovative developments today. The best example is the use of new battery generations in the field of e-mobility. Assemblies for electric drive units, automated testing and integrated production lines for stationary and mobile battery storage systems are only some of the promising ideas for tomorrow’s battery production. However, process stability at higher production throughput, scalability, sustainability, and quality improvement while reducing costs are still major challenges.
Rehm supports innovative battery technologies
Rehm Thermal Systems builds on these developments by contributing modern thermal systems solutions. Battery manufacturers demand reliable and stable processes. Rehm provides classic drying systems that quickly dry battery films in production directly after coating inline by convection or with infrared. This method allows us to produce high-quality and sustainable energy storage units – from the battery in power electronics to the stationary storage system for energy supply in homes.
Committed to protecting the environment
Modern developments in battery technology provide long-term solutions for a sustainable environment. Recent innovations are reflected, for example, in the use of modern energy storage units in hybrid and electric cars.
Rehm has been working closely with battery manufacturers and automotive suppliers to jointly combine resource-saving concepts with the use of powerful battery technology.
New energy – new mobility
The average German covers a distance of 39 kilometres per day. The use of electric cars could help us reach our destination in a more cost-effective and above all environmentally-friendly way. Vehicle manufacturers have long recognised that the industry needs to rethink – and e-mobility could help us do so.
Electric mobility is a key factor in successfully undertaking a cross-sector, comprehensive energy transition. The technical implementation of sustainable energy in vehicle technology is already being used in electric cars, electric motorcycles or fuel cell powered city buses, for example. Compared to the conventional internal combustion engine, the use of electric mobility offers clear advantages.
Advantages of e-mobility
- Reduced direct vehicle emissions (e.g. exhaust gases, noise)
- Reduced CO2 emissions through the use of electricity
- Braking energy recovery (recuperation)
- Security of energy supply through the use of various energy sources
- Possible change in mobility behaviour thanks to new means of transport
- Lower operating and maintenance costs
- E-mobility sustainably protects the environment
Important contributions to electric mobility
E-mobility has long been a central issue for plant and machine builders. Rehm is actively involved in the development of fuel-cell-powered vehicles or electric motors for the automotive industry. In cooperation with industry partners, the plants are optimised and adjusted to meet the specific needs of this application area.
In addition, Rehm also supplies proven reflow soldering systems and drying systems that are used in manufacturing high-quality control and operating electronics for e-mobility systems.