The secondment of FESB team leader Prof. Ivan Tolj to UWC, South Africa was related to WP5 “Implementation of the developed materials and systems”.

During his secondment (18. December 2023 to 15. January 2024), Prof. Tolj dedicated his efforts to a research project that resulted in a publication accepted by the international journal Energies. The paper, titled "Air Mass Flow and Pressure Optimization of a PEM Fuel Cell Hybrid System for a Forklift Application," delves into the crucial role of the air compressor within the polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell system.

Acknowledging the substantial energy consumption of the air compressor compared to other components in the Balance of Plant, particular emphasis was placed on the air supply system's significance for ensuring stable and efficient fuel cell operation. The study aimed to enhance overall system efficiency by investigating the impact of varying the stoichiometric ratio of air and air pressure under real loading conditions, mirroring those encountered by the power module in forklift usage.

The research specifically examined the influence of different pressure and excess air ratios on the performance of PEM fuel cells, considering various load cycles adhering to VDI60 requirements for forklift applications. Comprehensive analysis covered the system's minimum and maximum load scenarios, with a primary focus on optimizing excess air and pressure ratio parameters, especially in dynamic load conditions.

During his secondment, Prof. Tolj served as the managing guest co-editor for various publications submitted to the Journal of Energy Storage in the special issue titled "Novel Metal Hydrides for Hydrogen-Based Energy Storage: Honoring Professor Volodymyr A. Yartys on His 70th Birthday."

Prof. Tolj (FESB) during his visit to UWC pictured in front of high pressure metal hydride compressor ready to be commissioned at HySA Systems.

Prof Tolj (right) and Dr. Nyamsi during secondment of Prof. Tolj at University of the Western Cape.