Advances in benchmarking and round robin testing for PEM water electrolysis: Reference protocol and hardware

Thomas Lickert, Stefanie Fischer, James L. Young, Selina Klose, Irene Franzetti, Daniel Hahn, Zhenye Kang, Meital Shviro, Fabian Scheepers, Marcelo Carmo, Tom Smolinka, Guido Bender, Sebastian Metz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the number of publications in the PEM water electrolysis community increases each year, no common ground concerning reference hardware (test cells and test bench) and testing protocols has been yet established. This would, however, be necessary for the comparability of experimental results. First attempts for such reference hardware and procedures have been made in the framework of the Task 30 Electrolysis within the Technology Collaboration Programme on Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP) of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Since then, improvements of both the test hardware (test cell and components) as well as the measurement protocol were identified, and a revised methodology and key results based on a comprehensive measurement series have been obtained. A detailed protocol for testing commercial reference components with a reference laboratory test cell developed in-house by Fraunhofer ISE is presented. For evaluation of the protocol and the hardware, it was tested at three different institutions at the same time. Impedance spectroscopic and polarization data was acquired and analyzed. The obtained differences in performance were calculated to give the community an expectation window to compare own data to. Finally, the importance of a thorough temperature control and the conditioning phase are demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121898
JournalApplied Energy
StatePublished - 15 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • AFC TCP Task 30
  • Benchmarking
  • Conditioning of catalyst coated membrane
  • Harmonized test protocol
  • PEM water electrolysis
  • Reproducibility


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