Manufacturing Readiness and Cost Impacts for PEM Stack and Balance of Plant

Michael Ulsh, Douglas Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The results of two Manufacturing Readiness Assessments of PEM fuel cell stacks and material handling equipment (MHE) and backup power (BUP) PEM fuel cell systems are given. • Design modifications of fuel cell systems were made because the initial, 2008 designs did not fully meet the operational requirements of the markets. This situation indicates the 2008 risk elements were overstated. • For 2010 BUP and MHE fuel cell systems, manufacturers had not reached the Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) defined in the 2008 MRA Report at 1,000 units per year per manufacturer. • For fuel cell stacks, LRIP was demonstrated by more than one manufacturer. • The federal tax incentive program has compensated for the initial high cost of fuel cell systems. • The Balance-of-Plant (BOP) has not evolved as rapidly as the PEM fuel cell stack manufacturing readiness. • The BOP in 2014 is as costly as the fuel cell stack for MHE applications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)897-908
Number of pages12
JournalECS Transactions
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2014
Event14th Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell Symposium, PEFC 2014 - 226th ECS Meeting - Cancun, Mexico
Duration: 5 Oct 20149 Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Electrochemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5900-62450


  • fuel cells
  • manufacturing
  • manufacturing readiness assessment
  • PEM fuel cells


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