Created in 2002 , the centre comprises several scalable test areas dedicated to high-tech equipment such as stacks, fuel cell systems and their auxiliary components. These resources are complemented with Axane and Air Liquide’s expert teams who carry out calculations, design studies, prototype development, metrology and more.
Axane’s competitive advantage derives from its ability to characterise, evaluate and qualify components, products and technologies, directly at the centre and in complete autonomy.
The Group offers the same level of expertise whether for its own tests or those of third parties, ensuring customers reliability and quality.
Specific equipment for fuel-cell testing
In addition to the state-of-the-art laboratory for fuel-cell testing, other laboratories are used for mechanical testing, electronic development, testing and validation of auxiliary system components.
Axane has designed specific equipment for the functional testing of fuel cells. These high-precision tests monitor the behaviour of cells under extreme conditions while taking account of different fields of application. These test benches are designed for continuous testing, 24/7, in compliance with safety procedures for the use of gases at the point of use.
The high-capacity climatic chamber allows the evaluation of the operation of the systems and stacks over large temperature and humidity ranges.
See inside our laboratory
Testing auxiliary components
Axane carries out tests on auxiliary components for fuel cells:
- flow regulators
- air humidifiers
- or air circulators.
By characterising these auxiliary components, along with their performance and precision, we can make a selection based on excellence, then optimise their implementation within systems and stacks.
Designing test benches for third parties
Axane’s testing facilities are also a centre of expertise. With Air Liquide’s support, Axane’s teams design and manufacture their own test benches for needs ranging from fuel cells and system tests, to performance and durability tests, or parametric tests.
Axane offers this high-tech know-how to help customers design their own test benches.
Quality and safety
Axane prioritises quality and safety, applying a solid methodology that covers safety studies, procedures, and maintenance.
The work requires a high degree of precision. The resources deployed are commensurate with requirements, as attested by the advanced quality control methods for membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs)*.
As an Air Liquide Group team for 20 years, Axane benefits from the Group’s network of experts with recognised skills in safety.
Working with expertise and autonomy
At the Sassenage test centre, Axane’s expert teams work in autonomy, with support from Air Liquide France Industries to ensure regular gas deliveries.
The centre's infrastructure is adapted to accommodate hydrogen supply in complete safety:
- delivery of large quantities of liquid hydrogen by semi-trailer and stored on site
- hydrogen compressed by Tubes Trailer** (capacity 300 kg)
- hydrogen compressed by frames of 18-28 cylinders (20 kg capacity).
The centre’s organisation makes it possible to conduct outdoor tests on systems of all sizes.
*Illustration of the quality control of a defective MEA
**semi-trailers with 6 compressed hydrogen tubes stacked one on top of the other (12 m long)