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Fuel Cells and Batteries

3 ECTS credits
85 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 4016306ENR for all students in the 1st semester at a (E) Master - advanced level.

Information about this course is applicable on academic year 2017-2018.

1st semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method

Grading (scale from 0 to 20)

Can retake in second session
Taught in
Partnership agreement
  • Under interuniversity agreement for degree program
Faculty of Engineering
Responsible organisation
Materials and Chemistry
Educational Team:
Activities and contact hours
  • 24 contact hours Lecture
  • 12 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
Course content

The course is built upon the basic concepts of electrochemical devices for energy production and storage (i.e. thermodynamics, kinetics, characteristics).  The different types of devices (e.g. primary batteries, secondary batteries, fuel cells)  are defined and their operation and applications are discussed.  The link is always made with the basic principles.  Recent developments in the domain are analyzed.

In the frame of the WPO part, a team of students selects a recent development in the field (free choice but after approval).  The team is expected to study the selected topic using peer review journal publications, to give a poster presentation and to answer questions in a compulsary poster session.

Course material
  • Course text (Required): Fuel Cells and Batteries, Handouts of slides
  • Course text (Recommended): Papers in technical and/or scientific journals (partly put at the disposal, partly to be searched for).
  • Handbook (Recommended): Fuel Cells and their Applications, K. Kordesch and G. Simader, VCH, 1996
  • Handbook (Recommended): Fuel cell fundamnetals, R. O’Hayre, S. Cha, W. Colella, F.B. Prinz, John Wiley & Sons, 2006
  • Handbook (Recommended): Comprehensive Treatise of Electrochemistry. Part 3: Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage, J.O'M. Bockris, B.E. Conway, E. Yeager, R.E. White, Plenum Press, 1981
  • Handbook (Recommended): Linden's Handbook of Batteries, Thomas . Reddy, The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2011
Additional info

Slides mainly based on Linden's Handbook of Batteries

Handbooks are available for inspection

Programme Objectives

Algemene competenties

The course is designed for potential users of electrochemical energy conversion systems.  It is the aim to instruct them on the basic principles of this discipline.  The viewed competence is that the student acquires the necessary insights to be able to make a motivated choice between different types of batteries / fuel cells and to follow recent developments.  Additionally, the student is trained in developing learning skills for self-tuition and communication skills.
In the Master of Science in Engineering: Electro-Mechanical Engineering, the course contributes to the broadening of the engineer’s view on energy production and storage.  It is also included in the options  of the Master of Science in Engineering: Chemistry and Materials.

Knowledge oriented competences

Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of exact sciences with the specificity of their application to engineering.

Knowledge oriented competences

Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of the advanced methods and theories to schematize and model complex problems or processes.

Scientific competences

Can reformulate complex engineering problems in order to solve them (simplifying assumptions, reducing complexity).

Scientific competences

Can correctly report  on research or design results in the form of a technical report or in the form of a scientific paper.

Scientific competences

Can present and defend results in a scientifically sound way, using contemporary communication tools, for a national as well as for an international professional or lay audience.

Scientific competences

Can collaborate in a (multidisciplinary) team.

Scientific competences

Can work in an industrial environment with attention to safety, quality assurance, communication and reporting.


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:

  • Oral Exam determines 67% of the final mark.
  • PRAC Presentation determines 33% of the final mark.

Within the Oral Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

oral exam with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 67% of the final mark.

Note: Oral examination: 2/3 of the final mark.

Within the PRAC Presentation category, the following assignments need to be completed:

poster with a relative weight of 1 which comprises 33% of the final mark.

Note: Oral presentation and answering questions on the selected topic: 1/3 of the final mark

Additional info with regard to grading

Oral examination with written preparation - individual assessment
Poster presentation and answering questions on a selected topic during a compulsary poster session - assessment of the team with possible modification based on the individual contribution
2nd session: Partial marks for oral examination and poster presentation can be transferred to the 2nd session if the final global mark is below 10/20.
Partial marks cannot be transferred to the following academic year in the case of failure.