It is expected that these fuel cells will be used in a range of applications across the mobility sector including aerospace, automotive and rail industries.

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To support this, a Hydrogen Electric Propulsion Systems (HEPC) testbed, based at AMRC Cymru, will drive scaling production up with the site guided by an industry board which includes Rolls-Royce, Toyota and BAE Systems.

The test bed will have several key technologies which could support the scaling up of hydrogen fuel cell production to supply the increasing demand.

These include collaborative robots, in-process verification capability as well as other 4.0 equipment with constructed slated to be completed by January 2022 with the first assembly project expected for April 2022.

The AMRC team will explore how to de-risk, industrialise and scale-up the assembly of hydrogen fuel cells and electrolysers by applying advanced manufacturing processes and the AMRC’s capabilities in automation, digital, in-process verification and design for manufacture.

Lee Wheeler, Hydrogen Technology Lead at AMRC Cymru, said, “Hydrogen fuel cells can address key challenges of the transport sector as it searches for alternatives to the internal combustion engine.

“However, the current cost of manufacturing and assembling the fuel cells is incredibly high, which means there’s a lack of uptake.

“We want to support businesses who want to make the net zero energy transition to hydrogen electric propulsion systems by giving them a facility where they can use advanced manufacturing techniques to assemble and verify their product and then eventually integrate it in their vehicles.”

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