Meeting #1: Theresa and Henning get to know Burghard and his Fuel Cell

Well, originally it was Adib, a doctoral student at the Center for Fuel Cell Technology (ZBT), who told me about Burghard and his self-built fuel cell. I immediately wrote to him and asked if he would meet me for coffee. Henning also joined and we were both blown away when Burghard showed and explained his fuel cell to us while we were sitting in the Café Vision here at the Duisburg campus of the University of Duisburg-Essen.

Henning (left) and Theresa (right) being amazed by Burghard (middle) showing us his self-built fuel cell.

Burghard also works at the ZBT and wanted to do some measurements on a fuel cell test rig for his research project. Unfortunately, however, the ZBT test stands are notoriously booked up and Burghard did not want to wait for several weeks. Being a hobbyist, he built the components of a fuel cell himself – with his 3D printer and CNC milling machine.

As a passionate and now full-time science communicator, I am doped and very convinced that we should share Burghard’s cell with the world. I am delighted that I seem to be knocking down open doors with Burghard with this idea. Details still need to be worked out, of course, but the basic idea is in place – the Open Fuel Cell Project has been kicked-off.

After coffee, the three of us walk over to the ZBT and meet Alexandra, Burghard’s bachelor student. We also see a two-cell setup of their self-built fuel cells in action. Burghard explains everything pretty well, but I still don’t fully get it. However, I already have the feeling that this will change in the course of the Open Fuel Cell project, and I can’t wait.

A setup out of two self-built fuel cells. Alexandra and Burghard make measurements here for their research project.

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