Powercell Sweden has filed a patent for a manufacturing arrangement for a fuel cell stack or unit fuel cell. The arrangement includes a pre-arrangement site for arranging a membrane electrode assembly and a bipolar plate in a specific orientation. The manufacturing arrangement also includes a cutting site with a cutting device to cut the membrane electrode assembly in a predetermined area. The patent claim has been canceled. GlobalData’s report on Powercell Sweden gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData s company profile on Powercell Sweden, reformer integrated fuel cells was a key innovation area identified from patents. Powercell Sweden's grant share as of June 2023 was 1%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Manufacturing arrangement for fuel cell stack with specific orientation

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Powercell Sweden AB

A recently filed patent (Publication Number: US20230155156A1) describes a manufacturing arrangement and method for producing a fuel cell stack. The manufacturing arrangement includes a receiving unit and a cutting device. The receiving unit is designed to receive a membrane electrode assembly and at least one bipolar plate, and it orients the components in a way that the membrane electrode assembly covers openings and/or alignment structures in the bipolar plate. The cutting device is used to cut the membrane electrode assembly in a predetermined area, creating cut openings and/or cut alignment structures that resemble those in the bipolar plate. This allows for the alignment and assembly of unit fuel cells in the fuel cell stack.

The patent also describes additional features of the manufacturing arrangement. It can include a fastening device to secure the membrane electrode assembly and bipolar plate together. The receiving unit can accommodate multiple bipolar plates and membrane electrode assemblies, and the cutting device can cut multiple membrane electrode assemblies simultaneously. The manufacturing arrangement may also include manipulation units for handling the bipolar plates and membrane electrode assemblies, ensuring they are properly oriented in the receiving unit.

Furthermore, the patent discusses an alignment and/or stacking unit that receives, aligns, and stacks the unit fuel cells. This unit includes alignment elements that align the unit fuel cells based on the cut area of the membrane electrode assembly. The cut area can be the cut alignment structure, and the alignment elements have a complementary shape to ensure proper alignment.

The patent also outlines a method for manufacturing a fuel cell stack using the described manufacturing arrangement. The method involves orienting the bipolar plate and membrane electrode assembly to each other, fastening them together, and then cutting the membrane electrode assembly in predefined areas to create cut openings and/or cut alignment structures. The method can also include aligning the unit fuel cells using the cut alignment structures, including the option to turn certain unit fuel cells by 180° for alignment purposes.

In conclusion, this patent describes a manufacturing arrangement and method that streamline the production of fuel cell stacks. By using a combination of receiving units, cutting devices, and alignment units, the arrangement allows for efficient assembly and alignment of unit fuel cells. The method provides a step-by-step process for manufacturing fuel cell stacks using this arrangement.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies