Parker Hannifin and Fraunhofer partner on fuel cell humidifiers

Parker Hannifin’s Engine Mobile Filtration EMEA Division (EMFE) is partnering with Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute for Microengineering and Microsystems (IMM) to further develop and test new proprietary hollow fibre membrane technology designed for fuel cell humidification applications.

A Parker Hannifin humidifier.
A Parker Hannifin humidifier.

The partnership is expected to run for up to two years and covers efficiency evaluations of existing Parker-designed fuel cell humidifiers; development and use of a specialized test rig; and performance simulations to identify the effects of fibre length, diameter and permeability on the humidifiers.

Parker first introduced membrane fibres for gas separation in the 1980s and is now leveraging this knowledge to develop the next generation of fuel cell humidifiers.

“We are delighted to launch this partnership with the Fraunhofer IMM, a world leader in applied research,” said Jonathan Griffith, general manager of EMFE at Parker. “Fuel cell technology is key to helping reduce emissions worldwide. We are confident that with Fraunhofer’s development assistance and the support of Parker’s EMFE R&D site in Stuttgart, Germany, among others, we will continue to improve our hollow fibre membrane technology, extend the service life of fuel cell humidifiers, and increase efficiency for our customers.”

“Fraunhofer IMM has extensive knowledge and experience in handling and conditioning gases for applications including fuel cells, fuel processors and more,” said Dr Gunther Kolb, head of Energy Division, Fraunhofer IMM. “We understand the importance of improving fuel cell technology as the world transitions to cleaner sources of energy. Fraunhofer researchers are looking forward to working with Parker’s engineering experts to create a new generation of fuel cells.”