Axane, a fuel cell expert
Hydrogen plays an important role in the energy transition, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and compensate for the gradual depletion of fossil fuels.
Fuel cell engineering
Axane specialises in the design of fuel cell systems and stacks, the sub-assemblies of fuel cells. With 20 years of expertise, Axane meets the needs of the stationary energy and hydrogen mobility markets, including automotive, cinema, logistics, telecommunications, marine, aeronautics, and aerospace.
A 100% Air Liquide’s team, Axane leverages the Group's expertise in the hydrogen sector, applying its unique global vision towards the design and development of innovative and customised solutions. The work meets the demanding technical specifications and needs of its customers.
Axane's teams address all major phases of the project, from design, prototyping, and industrialisation, to production and operation. These aspects are essential to the customisation of your fuel cell technology project.
Axane works closely with customers to produce unique, tailormade pieces, leveraging its own fuel cell expertise, and the Air Liquide Group’s expertise with hydrogen molecules.
Its versatile teams work are people-centric, with fields of expertise including electrochemistry, thermics, fluid mechanics, materials, control command, electromagnetic compatibility, modeling, energy hybridisation, hydrogen safety, among others. The design and production of fuel cells is undertaken securely, under license, and using cutting-edge proprietary technologies.
Axane helps companies develop tailormade solutions through technology transfer, supported by assistance with implementation. Thousands of Fuel Cell Stacks have been produced by third parties based on Axane technology transfer. These include the fuel cell systems for forklift trucks from the company Plug Power , first deployed in France with IKEA in Saint-Quentin-Fallavier.
By 2013, nearly 300 systems had been deployed to power telecommunications antennas as part of the Horizon Hydrogen Energy (H2E) program. Launched in 2009, its goal was to create a sustainable hydrogen energy sector. Axane’s test centre in Sassenage, near Grenoble in France, is a unique site for testing systems and stacks.
High-performance network around the world
Axane draws on Air Liquide's presence in 80 countries for reliable access to hydrogen. Since 2016, Axane has benefited from Air Liquide advanced Technologies’ network of innovation experts, based in global cities including Düsseldorf, Grenoble, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Through this collaboration Axane can develop products and programs in the space and aeronautical fields.
The design of ever-more innovative products and technologies is facilitated through close collaboration with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). For example, research on complex electrochemical mechanisms by the LEPMI* and LEMTA** laboratories has led to improved performance of stacks in the H2E program.
At the international level, Axane ensures excellence through a reliable network of local suppliers around the world. As such, air-cooled or liquid-cooled stacks (closed-cathode cells) incorporate components from the best suppliers. In all, more than 300 Axane fuel cell systems have been deployed worldwide.
Adapting to new challenges
At the cutting edge of technology, innovation is a top priority for Axane, which has more than 100 patents. Able to adapt to new challenges and technological developments, Axane can successfully innovate in the fuel cell market, standing out with its non-polluting, reliable and high-performance technology:
- fuel cell system lifetimes in excess of 20,000 hours, including 14,000 hours without any field maintenance
- resistance to extreme temperatures (from -20°c to 55°C)
- system efficiencies greater than 45%
- high-performance volumic and massic power density: 2 kW/L and 1.4 kW/kg for carbon stacks and 4 kW/L and 2 kW/kg for metal stacks
- minimum production cost of stacks, thanks to bipolar plates and deposited gaskets.
Axane's fuel cell engineering is building the world of tomorrow, with sustainable and environmentally friendly energy solutions.
** Energy & Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Laboratory