From Barleben to space – NASA receives FuelCon test station

After barely half a year of engineering, development, assembly and an extensive commissioning another Evaluator S5-HT left FuelCon headquarters in Magdeburg-Barleben last Friday. The subsequent journey takes the SOFC test station about 7,000 km to Glenn Research Center – a major NASA research institute in Cleveland, Ohio.

For more than 16 years, FuelCon provides customized test equipment for fuel cells and batteries. Ever since, more than 500 test stations were built in various specifications for customers around the world. The sector of applications is as large as the types of customers, ranges from well-known car manufacturers, suppliers, renowned universities, global research institutes to huge industrial enterprises which means test stations with “quality made in Germany” were produced for almost every kind of industry branch.

The purchase order of a SOFC test station for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in September 2016 enriched FuelCon’s experience for test equipment with “extraordinary applications”. The Evaluator S5-HT is design for fuel cell testing within the latest Orion project and will be used in Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Onsite, a various number of NASA researchers prepare future manned space flights to ISS, moon, asteroids and even Mars. The tested reversible fuel cell stacks are part of the Orion space vehicle service unit and will be used for providing electric energy, water and oxygen in space.

After a completed commissioning in Barleben and a subsequent inspection by NASA staff, the test station left FuelCon headquarters last Friday on his way to the US. During the next weeks, the Evaluator S5-HT is set up and NASA researchers will get an extensive introduction into the test run operation. The high-quality demands of the US space agency are implicit fulfilled by the S5 which means the development and testing of the high temperature fuel cell can start swiftly.

As first manned Orion space flights are scheduled for 2023, there is still some time left for the final fuel cell stack application. But then the Orion should orbit the moon several times ere the space vehicle might visit Mars. The NASA test station takes FuelCon from Magdeburg-Barleben via Cleveland inevitable to space. This application makes FuelCon extra proud.