Rheinmetall acquires subsidies worth €7.7 million for hydrogen and electrification projects

Rheinmetall has acquired subsidies from the German federal government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia totaling around €7.7 million for the development of products and solutions in hydrogen and electrification.

According to the press release, the three projects launched in tandem with various partners from industry and science are aimed at increasing the competitiveness of hydrogen as a cutting-edge technology and accelerating the advance of sustainable mobility.

The company also made the following statement regarding the projects:

“As part of the Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles (LIS) funding directive, the H2.MODUS funding project will be supported to the tune of €5.7 million by the Rheinisches Revier region and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Under the German Recovery and Resilience Plan (DARP), funding for these measures is also being provided via the European Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) as part of the NextGenerationEU program. The project term is four years. At its Neuss site, Rheinmetall is working with the project partners FEV, a well-known development service provider for sustainable mobility solutions, and the Chair of Thermodynamics of Mobile Energy Conversion Systems (TME) at RWTH Aachen University to simplify the design of fuel cell systems in order to lower production costs while simultaneously increasing competitiveness compared with other technologies. This involves bundling the functions of several individual components and combining them to form modular units and sub-systems.

As part of the “Research, Development and Innovation Measures as Part of the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation Program Phase II” program, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMDV) will provide Rheinmetall with funding of around €1 million at its Berlin site. This will support the development of new solutions for further reducing carbon emissions in the mobility sector, improving the service life of fuel cell systems and lowering costs. To this end, a functionally integrated multi-directional valve for the cathode path of fuel cell systems is being developed in the M-KaV collaborative project. By combining the functions of several valves in a single product, the multi-directional cathode valve reduces the number of valves currently required to be installed in the fuel cell. As part of the project, the Duisburg-based project partner BrennstoffzellenTechnik GmbH (ZBT) is conducting valve simulations, testing the valve for endurance in a real system environment and investigating the resistance of the materials, which is essential where corrosive and highly volatile hydrogen is concerned.

The launch of the project was celebrated at an official kick-off event in Berlin at the start of the year.

Rheinmetall is also participating in the HZwoBoost funding project. The company’s Hartha site in Saxony state will receive around €1 million from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) under the 7th Energy Research Framework Program. The kick-off event was held in Hartha on February 7, 2024. The project is set to run until the end of 2026. It aims to develop new production techniques for the industrialization of a hydrogen recirculation blower (HRB) for low and high voltages. The HRB enables the controlled recirculation of hydrogen within the fuel cell, making the fuel cell more efficient and extending its service life. The project partners are Chemnitz University of Technology and the industrial technology company Sitec. Sitec is developing a new laser welding technique that will allow Rheinmetall to lower the production costs of the HRB. The team at the Hartha site is responsible for the new production technique for manufacturing the HRB. Rheinmetall is also working on integrating the new technique into the production process. Chemnitz University of Technology is tasked with redesigning the end-of-line test in order to shorten the production time.”

These funding projects are said to be important elements as Rheinmetall seeks to further expand its market position and contribute to a sustainable hydrogen economy, according to the press release.

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