The Düsseldorf-based technology group Rheinmetall has won a fifth order for supplying fuel cell components, this time from a European customer in the industrial sector. The aggregated value of this order for cathode and shut-off valves for industrial applications is in the lower two-digit million-euro range. Including this order, booked at the end of June 2022, total order volume for cathode flaps is now approaching the three-digit million-euro mark.
This new order shows once again the success of the Group’s hydrogen strategy, validating its systematic approach to grow alternative drive technologies. As a proven technology partner, Rheinmetall has been helping to optimize the use of hydrogen for many years, and thus doing its part to make the Energy Revolution a reality, for vehicles and stationary systems alike.
The latest order simultaneously demonstrates the massive market potential for hydrogen components as well as Rheinmetall’s expertise in developing forward-looking solutions in close cooperation with customers. It also shows how the company is helping to shape the transformation from petrol and diesel engines to alternative drive forms in various sectors.
Destined to serve as bypass and high-sealing performance shut-off valves for fuel cells, the components ordered here are flap systems with integrated electronics and a large bore diameter (>55mm). Thanks to their special design, the components meet the most stringent sealing requirements for fuel cells with an output of >300kW for use in industry. Owing to its longstanding experience as a maker of commercial vehicle air control valves with a long service life, large bore diameters and extremely low-leakage, Rheinmetall was able once again to compete successfully for an important order.
Based on previously delivered and successfully verified valve samples, the company’s production lines at its Berlin plant will be adapted for higher-volume production starting in 2024. Rheinmetall will supply the serially produced parts directly to the customer. The supply of spare parts will be demand driven.
Under the aegis of Germany’s national hydrogen initiative, Rheinmetall AG is an industrial partner of the new Hydrogen Innovation and Technology Centre in Duisburg. The Group’s Sensors and Actuators division is developing innovative solutions for supporting the automotive industry with high-quality hydrogen products, thus enabling more efficient and reliable utilization of fuel cells.
The valve systems ordered from Rheinmetall regulate the flow of fresh and exhaust air mass streams and insulate the fuel cell stacks on the cathode side at the inlet and outlet points from the ambient atmosphere. Achieved through a special design, the system's very low leakage has been successfully proven. Operating times of up to 12,000 hours are already attainable, while a new generation currently in development will result in a service life of at least 30,000 hours in commercial vehicles, as well as in off-road, rail, maritime and stationary applications.
The company is currently engaged in-depth negotiations with other customers regarding mobile and stationary applications for fuel cell technology, creating fresh growth potential and setting the stage for further nominations.