Delphi donation supports research

By Website Administrator | May 13, 2004

A $100,000 donation from Delphi will help fund fuel cell systems and powertrain integration research at Kettering.

Kettering University has received $100,000 for its fuel cell efforts from Delphi Corporation (NYSE:DPH), propelling research on this emerging technology and helping Kettering establish a world-class education and trained workforce for this developing industry. Kettering's Center for Fuel Cell Systems and Powertrain Integration will receive the funding from Delphi over the next four years.

Delphi's contribution builds on Kettering's fuel cell program. In January, Kettering received a $1.8 million grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, helping the university start construction on the Center for Fuel Cell Systems and Powertrain Integration. The federal funds were combined with $500,000 previously received from the State of Michigan and another $700,000 from industry and Kettering sources.

Kettering's fuel cell center will consist of approximately 8,600 square feet of state-of-the-art laboratories, a combine teaching studio and control room, and space to support business incubators for new and existing companies in Kettering's new C.S. Mott Engineering and Science Center. The center's goals include:

  • excellence in fuel cell research, testing and evaluation,
  • attracting the world's leading fuel cell developers, manufacturers and suppliers to the region,
  • developing companies for the emerging fuel cell industry, and
  • education of engineering students, pre-college programs, and continuing education for practicing industry engineers.

Dr. Jean J. Botti, chief technologist for Delphi's Dynamics & Propulsion Center, will join the center's executive advisory board as part of Delphi's commitment. The board's mission is to help provide a long-term strategic mission and vision to guide the center's research and educational programs.

"This is an excellent opportunity for Delphi to collaborate with academia to further develop our solid oxide fuel cell initiatives," Botti said. "Once the center has been established, we plan to incorporate the facilities and faculty at Kettering into our future development plans within Delphi," he added.

K. Joel Berry, professor and head of Kettering's Mechanical Engineering Department, said Delphi's contribution will help Kettering further develop this new technology. "Delphi's investment is another important step as Kettering seeks to integrate fuel cell technology, science, business, and innovation for the commercialization of fuel cell systems and components," he said.

Berry said that the center holds promise to accelerate the development and commercialization of fuel cells for stationary and mobile applications. It will also provide world-class fuel cell engineering education and help Michigan and the Midwest develop a trained workforce.

Delphi is a leader in the advancement of fuel cell development, having worked with U.S. and European customers in SOFC and PEM fuel cell development programs for several years. Delphi's fuel cell activities include:

  • A development program with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy to help develop a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) auxiliary power unit (APU) for long-haul trucks and other commercial vehicles. Delphi will share the cost of the 3-year, $4.75 million project.
  • A partnership with BMW on a gasoline SOFC development project for the last two years. Renault joined this effort and added diesel SOFC development for commercial vehicles to the objectives of the Delphi BMW development project.
  • A partnership with TotalFinaElf to collaborate on research and testing of fuels for use in fuel cell reformers.
  • Delphi and Battelle have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to receive a 10-year, $74.6 million cost-share contract to assist in the further development of SOFC technology.
  • A partnership with Belfort Fuel Cell Research Center. The French Ministry of Research oversees this national center for technical research, with the help of corporate partners like Delphi and PSA-Peugeot-Citroen.

    For more information about Delphi, visit www.delphi.com. For more information about Kettering University, visit www.kettering.edu.

    Written by Pat Mroczek of Kettering University and Sara Brogan of Delphi Corp.
    (810) 762-9533
    pmroczek@kettering.edu