iASYS bets big on fuel cell & electrolyser testing with Magnum Pirex AG’s – Milan merger | Autocar Professional


iASYS Technology Solutions, a multinational company engaged in automotive powertrain testing solutions since 1999, is expanding its focus by offering a technology evaluation platform for fuel cells and electrolyser testing for diversified sectors such as Automotive, Energy Sector, Space and Material Research. The move is enabled by the merger between Magnum Pirex AG’s fuel cell & electrolyser testing technology business vertical, MILAN with iASYS.

The offering is an addition to iASYS’ existing solutions for conventional internal combustion engines and electric vehicles. Fuel cells & electrolysers are sustainable sources for primary energy and with efficient converters, safe storage and low-loss transport, they will be an essential part of the future energy technology. Fuel cells are energy converters that produce electricity and heat from hydrogen and the only exhaust gas produced is water vapor. Governments around the world are actively promoting various technologies to reduce the cost of hydrogen production and promote its use as a clean energy carrier.

Their goal is to make hydrogen more competitive with conventional energy sources. iASYS believes that to achieve this goal, a sophisticated evaluation system is imperative. This involves evaluating various technologies to identify the most suitable ones that can significantly lower the cost of hydrogen production.

According to the company, it’s critical that the evaluation process considers two key factors – cost reduction and the reliability and performance of the technology. This will be important in identifying the technology that holds the most promise for reducing hydrogen costs and ensuring reliability and performance.

Importance of a sophisticated evaluation platform

India wants to become a global hub to produce green hydrogen, which is produced using renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, or hydropower, to electrolyse water into hydrogen and oxygen. In early-2023, India approved an incentive plan of over $2 billion to promote green hydrogen and subsequently kicked off auctions for manufacturing electrolysers used to make green hydrogen.

Recent R&D roadmap for Green Hydrogen Ecosystem in India released by MNRE, Govt. of India, reports the necessity of testing/certification infrastructure for green hydrogen value chain in the country. This is important as India lays its ambitions on reducing the life-cycle carbon footprint of electrolysers by ensuring circularity of material employed as well as for the production process, Design and develop large-scale (MW) Electrolyser systems, including Stack and BOP. Build capacity and keep stock of material and critical components of Electrolyser stacks.

According to iASYS, addressing the cost challenge will involve extensive technological advancements in fuel cell and electrolyser technology. Developing such technology requires a sophisticated evaluation platform, which aligns perfectly with iASYS’s solution for Fuel Cell and electrolysers.

The iASYS Orbit H2 Test Automation System configuration provides solutions for various types of fuel cells, including Proton Exchange Membrane (PEMFC), Direct Methanol (DMFC), Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC), Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC), PEM, SOEC, PEMEC, Alkaline EC and AEM Electrolysers. This comprehensive range ensures that industries across the board have access to cutting-edge testing technology to evaluate different types of fuel cell and Electrolyser technologies. A sophisticated evaluation platform allows for detailed performance testing, assessment of production efficiency and efficient evaluation of materials durability.

Key challenges in fuel cells and electrolysers development

Although fuel cells and electrolysers offer solutions for clean energy production and storage, their development faces several challenges apart from cost that researchers are working to overcome. For instance, ensuring the long-term durability and reliability of fuel cells and electrolysers is challenging. High temperatures, corrosive environments and high load cycles can lead to material degradation and reduced performance over time. Developing durable materials and robust designs is essential to address this.

The distribution network is also a significant challenge for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Hydrogen has a low energy density by volume, which means that a large volume of hydrogen gas is required to store a substantial amount of energy. The lack of an existing infrastructure such as pipelines, storage facilities and refueling stations can also be a barrier to the widespread adoption of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Additionally, the technologies are still in the early stages of this progression, indicated by their low Technology Readiness Level (TRL), a scale used to assess the maturity of a particular technology.

Advancing these technologies will require extensive research and development, enabled through the evaluation platform which is reliability, repeatability and accuracy in measurement for informed decision making, the technology for which is currently unavailable in India. The customised needs of the Indian consumers can only be fuelled through the local engineering and automation built on an advanced technological base.

Benefits of the merger with Magnum Pirex AG’s fuel cell testing business

The development of reliable and cost-effective fuel cells and Electrolyser requires a great deal of testing, both of the components and of complete fuel cell stacks. Magnum Pirex AG is a long-standing supplier of test and evaluation of technology for fuel cell technology and works closely with leading manufacturers in the industry.

The company recently merged its fuel cell and electrolyser testing technology business, MILAN, with iASYS. With this merger, iASYS is building fuel cell test systems for the future by combining core domain expertise of Magnum with its product validation platform. The move has enabled iASYS to offer comprehensive fuel cell testing solutions worldwide. According to Puran Parekh, CEO and MD of iASYS, the merger strengthens both the entities’ shared goal of delivering comprehensive fuel cell and electrolyser testing solutions globally. “With this merger we will be able to provide state-of-the[1]art, sophisticated and flexible technology evaluation platform for an expanded product portfolio and growth.” iASYS gains the advantage of expanding its market reach through technical competencies. Together, we’re poised to boost worldwide adoption of the hydrogen economy and embark on cutting[1]edge research. Magnum’s specialised expertise in fuel cells & electrolysers further strengthens our collaborative efforts. In fact, our fuel cell & electrolyser test systems have already been tested in the Indian environment post the merger. We have delivered this project to one of government agencies and they have successfully tested the systems,” Parekh said.

Commenting on the benefits of the merger, Magnum Pirex founder Hubert Mancher said, “This merger empowers us with essential resources and a solid digitisation platform. iASYS is confident that the merger will be greatly beneficial for its customers as they get to access a globally proven testing and evaluation platform solution coupled with the latest IT infrastructure and local subversion support. They also benefit from an extensive network. The merger seamlessly blends iASYS’s system integration expertise with Magnum’s fuel cell expertise, presenting cost-effective solutions and a cohesive digital platform. Both companies are optimistic that this strategic move will contribute significantly to the global growth of the hydrogen.

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