- D1.1: Project Shared Workspace Implemented and Operational (confidential)
To fulfil two fundamental internal project communication requirements: i) efficient exchange between partners of information about INSPIRE project; ii) decentralised and secured archiving of the documents generated, one independent and secured web-based communication tool: Project Shared Workplace – PSW has been implemented with a restricted access for project partners only.
Among all the functionalities installed on this PSW, for now partners have a total access to the following tools:
· Document sharing and archiving
· Meeting organization
· General project communication
· Online working document
· Individual project management
The PSW maintenance is therefore an ongoing activity that will continue for the project lifetime.


- D1.2: Mid-term progress reporting submitted (confidential)
The interim periodic reporting process for Reporting Period 1 (M1-18) is complete; all technical and financial reports have been prepared and submitted successfully in the Research Participant Portal.


- D2.1: Stack requirements for GEN 1.0/1.5 with test plan and protocols (confidential)
To enable the stack performance in the fuel cell system to be integrated in a vehicle, the requirements of the stack and its components are defined. The stack requirements are adapted to achieve the performance requirements for beginning of life and after the required operating time. The test plan and protocols provide a mechanism to evaluate if the above requirements can be achieved within the operating strategies of a vehicle.


- D2.2: Stack requirements document released for GEN 2/3 with test plan and protocols for GEN 2 (confidential)
This report sets the structure, nomenclature, acronyms and the methodology for testing and reporting of the fuel cell stacks developed within the INSPIRE project. The test plans are described along with templates and example graphs for visualisation and analysis of the test results. The performance targets for the stack are also updated for the final generation 3.0 stack design, together with interim targets for the earlier stack design generations.


- D3.1: Report on activity and stability of reference catalyst (public)
Both a state-of-the-art Pt/C benchmark catalyst and a de-alloyed PtNi/C catalyst were studied for the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode of the fuel cell, with the rotating disc electrode (RDE) technique, the floating electrode (FE) technique and as complete membrane electrode assembly (MEA) measurements in single cells, in order to define a baseline for catalyst characterisation within the project. For RDE measurements, a detailed testing protocol was developed to enhance the accuracy and comparability of the method, and was validated by experimental investigations. Comparable results for the activities of the Pt/C catalysts between the different laboratories were achieved in the RDE measurements. The kinetic activity of PtNi/C catalyst outperformed the Pt/C catalyst, but the scatter of the data was larger in RDE measurements. Based on the results of MEA degradation studies, a modified procedure for accelerated aging in RDE measurements was developed, that was able to induce activity losses in the supported Pt catalyst without being too harsh for the Pt alloy catalysts. The floating electrode technique delivered similar kinetic current densities at 0.9 V as measured in the RDE, but did not require a mass transport correction, as the limiting currents were several orders of magnitude larger. In this case also mass activities at much lower potentials more representative of actual fuel cell applications were determined, namely at 0.65 V vs. RHE. Measurements of the same benchmark catalysts in small and large size MEAs provided solid data to compare the RDE results to. Good agreement, especially for the Pt/C catalyst was found. Several degradation protocols were tested with small- area MEAs, and the best protocol then validated in large-area MEAs. The PtNi catalyst showed the higher mass activity both at beginning and at end of life. Design criteria that permit down-selecting new catalysts on the basis of their kinetic activity improvements in the RDE and later in MEA measurements were determined.
-> Access to the PDF file


- D3.2: Catalyst activity and stability studies (public)
Pt, Pt alloy and ultra-low Pt materials have all been further advanced in the first 15 months. PtNi formulations as thin films (Task 3.3, CNRS), shaped particles (Task 3.4, TUB) and dealloyed catalysts (Task 3.4, JM) reach project mass activity and stability targets. The last of these was sufficiently
prospective that the investigation of the feasibility of catalyst layers in fuel cell MEAs, to give high power density at high current density, was initiated earlier than planned, and validated at JM. Catalysts developed at TUB demonstrate extremely high initial mass activity of up to 3.4 A/mg Pt in RDE
testing. For the longer term, high mass activity and high stability are expected from the complementary routes to Pt thin film deposition being developed on carbon fibre-carbon nanotube electrodes (Task 3.3, CNRS),transition metal doped carbons (Task 3.2, JM) and NbTiOx-tie layer protected carbon fibres and particles (Task 3.2 VTT and JM). Deposition of rare-earth metal-Pt alloys from ionic liquids is under development at TUM.
In addition, the further optimisation of the composition and processing of ultra-low Pt Fe-NC hybrids (CNRS) will continue to extend the frontiers in the activity and stability of this class of catalysts.
-> Access to the PDF file


- D3.3: Delivery of scaled-up catalyst for GEN 2 (confidential)
In order to deliver the final INSPIRE demonstration stack (GEN 3), the project needs to undergo a series of iteration steps through GEN 1, 1.5 and 2. This report focuses on the identification of cathode catalysts and their scale-up for demonstration in the GEN 2 stack. In order to identify suitable candidates for the GEN 2 stack, a series of different Pt and PtNi alloy catalysts were identified within WP3. Several iterations with different synthesis routes on commercially available carbon supports were identified. Work in Task 3.6 has led to up to four different cathode catalyst layers with dealloyed PtNi/C catalysts which meet the project Milestone 1. As a result, three PtNi catalyst variants have been scaled up to the 200 g batch size for GEN 2.
This deliverable report describes the scale-up of catalyst candidates to be used in GEN 2. Initial results show the successful synthesis of one of the catalyst variants and this is demonstrated in terms of the physicochemical properties of the catalyst powder validated with XRD, TEM and metal assay. In addition, electrochemical testing has been carried out with the first scaled up batch with good results. The synthesis of the other two PtNi variants is ongoing to the 200 g scale.
The scale-up of three different catalyst variants to the 200 g batch size is a significant result for the project as this exceeds initial plans. These different alloy formulations will offer the possibility of exploring different catalyst layer configurations in order to maximise the learning experience with GEN 2. This is key in finding the best components for the final GEN 3 demonstration stack that will require thousands of membrane electrode assemblies.


- D3.4: Report on catalyst development and catalyst layer feasibility study (confidential)
This report describes the progress made towards mass activity, stability and high current density performance targets and the advances made in catalyst scale-up in the period M16-M24. Most significantly, four catalysts, which reached all targets in detailed investigation of their performance at screener fuel cell level under a range of operation conditions, were scaled-up to 200 g and three of these were selected for MEA development for the INSPIRE GEN2 stack. Other catalysts that achieved the mass activity and stability targets in ex-situ characterisation were scaled to amounts enabling first investigations in MEAs. The use of advanced characterisation tools has led to new insights into structure-property relations and to the generation of new knowledge on novel catalyst and electrode structures and architectures.


- D4.1: Supply Sealed CCMS For GEN 1.5 Stack (confidential)
The aim of this work was to develop, fabricate and supply a higher performing MEA for incorporation into BMW’s Gen 1.5 stack platform, compared to the state-of-the-art benchmark MEA available at the project start. Several components of the MEA were evaluated at JMFC in small area screener single cells for performance and stability, and were optimised for the INSPIRE stack conditions, as specified in WP2.1. Improvements in the GDL, membrane, anode and cathode layer formulations and reduced cathode Pt loadings were successfully demonstrated and these components were then integrated into the new advanced MEA design.
In the screener cell testing at JMFC, the new Gen 1.5 MEA at a total cell Pt loading of 0.35 mgcm-2 was able to achieve close to the interim performance target for the full-size Gen 1.5 stack of 1.2Wcm-2 under the INSPIRE stack conditions. A cost analysis revealed a 29% cost reduction for the new MEA, in terms of €/kW.
The first samples of the down selected new Gen 1.5 MEAs have been fabricated and delivered to BMW, initially for screener cell testing Full size Gen 1.5 stack MEAs will be manufactured and delivered over the coming 3 months. Deliverable 4.1 has thus been successfully completed.

- D4.2: Demonstrate scaled MEA operating in full-size cell demonstrating power of 1.2 W/cm² (confidential)
The aim of this deliverable was to demonstrate the capability of a full-scale membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to meet the initial power density requirement in a relevant INSPIRE automotive stack.
The performance test was carried out using a single cell, equipped with GEN1 MEAs in order to set a reference baseline for further investigations according to the INSPIRE test plan. First test results using GEN1.5 MEAs in a short stack are also shown but need further analysis and test time.
The performance target of 1.2 W/cm² (project Milestone 2) was achieved with GEN1 MEAs. Further testing with future MEA sub-components is still necessary in order to define the optimum catalyst composition and GDL properties for the given operating conditions.
With this demonstration the milestone MS2 “MEA achieving 1.2 W/cm² beginning of life performance” has been met.


- D5.1: Release of specifications for BPPs and MEAs (confidential)
In this report the component requirements are specified to achieve the stack performance at the given system operating conditions. This includes the cell pitch for the cell assembly as well as part geometries and performance targets for GDL, MEA and bipolar plate being defined. For durability reasons, the lifetime expectations and the temperature limits are also defined and the therefore the required component properties are derived. Furthermore, descriptions of the main manufacturing steps, the product functionality and the expectations for the final product and the project targets are defined.


- D5.2: Availability of plates, seals and MEAS for GEN 1 stack (confidential)
The component manufacturers of the stack components have produced the first parts for the Gen 1.0 and Gen 1.5 short stack validation tests as defined in the project plan. The parts have been produced at the prototype production scale.
The new metallic bipolar plate designs have been developed to meet the INSPIRE stack performance and operational requirements and these designs will be employed in the Gen 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 stack validations. On the other hand, the gas diffusion layers and catalyst coated membranes for the Gen 1.0 short stack are the baseline materials defined at the start of the project, but improved designs for enhanced performance and lower Pt loadings have been developed for supply to the Gen 1.5 short stack evaluations.


- D5.3: Report on definition of interfaces and optimisation potentials BPP, GDL, CCM. (confidential)
Within the design phase for the INSPIRE first generation stack and subsequent testing of the components, several optimisation potentialswere identified to improve the overall performance. The starting points for the improvements were computational flow dynamic simulations, detailed performance measurements on small cell, single cell and short stack as well as current density measurements. The impact of changes between different membrane electrode assembly designs was also evaluated and will influence the final material selection for the end-of-project stack. The catalyst coated membrane, gas diffusion substrate and bipolar plate supply, handling and manufacturability were also investigated and recommendations given for the next design phase.


- D6.1: GEN1 short stack assembled and leak tested (confidential)
The aim of this deliverable is to demonstrate the capability of the fuel cell stack that has been designed during the first generation development phase of INSPIRE. The components that went into the first short stack are GEN1 BPPs, GEN1 MEAs and a test holder for short stacks up to ten cells. The 10-cell short stack has been assembled and leak tested.
All targets have been met regarding interfaces and leakage rate.
An initial performance test was carried out using a single cell equipped with GEN1 MEAs in order to set a reference baseline for further investigation according to the INSPIRE test plan.
The goal is to achieve a performance increase with next generation components including GEN2 MEAs and GEN3 BPPs that will be developed in the next design phase of the project.

- D6.2: Full size stack GEN1.5 assembled and leak tested (confidential)
The aim of this deliverable was to demonstrate the capability of the first generation INSPIRE fuel cell full 395 cell stack (GEN1.5) that has been developed during the first 18 months of the project. The components that were used for this first stack were GEN1 bipolar plates (BPPs), GEN1.5 membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and stack end plates and housing compatible with test station including current collector, pressure plates and cell voltage monitoring (CVM) connectors.
All targets were met regarding interface integrity and leakage rates.
The stack will be tested for initial performance and for further investigation according to the INSPIRE test plan.


- D7.1:Project Website (public)
The INSPIRE project website is designed to fulfil project communication and dissemination needs for the benefit of the whole scientific community and the public through relevant information including:
  - project overall objectives, partner & work packages information
  - project activities: news, meetings
  - project progress: technical publications, conference presentations, public domain reports
  - project resources: links, related events …
  - project contact information
All the partners will collectively participate in the dissemination objective of the website by providing up-to-date information
-> Access to the PDF file


- D7.2: Dissemination & Knowledge Management Protocol (confidential)
This report presents the dissemination protocol for the INSPIRE project, the procedure for “Open Access” to peer reviewed research articles, internal rules, information on support from the EU and FCH-JU members and the strategy for Knowledge Management within the project.

- D7.3: Dissemination and Communication bundle (public)
During the first 24M of the INSPIRE project, various dissemination and communication measures have been undertaken by the consortium.  Target groups include industry, academia, government bodies and the public.
-> Access to the PDF file