Mainstream Engineering to Develop a Quality Control System for Electrolyzer Manufacturing
Electrolyzers use electrical power, potentially from renewable sources, to split water to produce hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles and other industrial uses. There is a critical need to reduce the cost of electrolyzers to enable wide-scale hydrogen production and utilization in the United States—a challenge undertaken by DOE’s H2@Scale initiative.
The most expensive component in the electrolysis cell stack is the membrane electrode assembly, which contains the precious metals platinum and iridium as catalysts. UConn has pioneered a reactive spray deposition technology (RSDT) that reduces the amount of catalyst needed for the membrane electrode assemblies, thereby reducing cost. Engineers at Mainstream have developed an in-line optical scanner for quality control of the RSDT process. This real-time quality control inspection process uses Mainstream’s Mainstream’s Mantis Eye™ scanner technology for in-line quality control of roll-to-roll membrane manufacturing. Improved real-time continuous inspection at manufacturing speeds is required to ensure large amounts of costly scrap are not generated before a process deviation can be detected. Improved real-time inspection will reduce the cost of electrolyzers and help to enable the affordable, wide-scale generation and use of hydrogen as a clean energy carrier.
About Mainstream Engineering Corporation
Mainstream Engineering Corporation is a 33-year-old Brevard County, Florida manufacturer with a history of leading-edge research and development that has resulted in advanced cost-competitive products, which are made in the USA. Founded in 1986, Mainstream’s mission is to transition advanced R&D into high-quality, environmentally safe, green, commercial products using lean manufacturing techniques. Areas of research include thermal control, energy conversion, power electronics, biomass conversion, chemical technology, and materials science.