The performance and overall efficiency of the entire fuel cell system is very dependent on the air management subsystem. Unfortunately, no compressor-expander module technologies are available that simultaneously meet all of the air supply requirements of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cell systems. Scroll Laboratories has developed innovative oil-free scroll devices as compressor, expander and vacuum pump — the “floating scroll”. The “floating scroll” uses a dual-scroll structure and introduces a mechanism called synchronizer. This mechanism enables the orbiting scroll with full compliant ability, namely axial and radial. The floating scroll scheme balances all pressure and centrifugal forces within the scroll, minimizing forces on contacting surfaces to maintain excellent seal and essentially zero or minimum wear. The orbiting scrolls are literally floating between fixed scrolls during high speed orbiting motion. In the floating scroll, the compression and/or expansion processes take place without lubrication and cooling from injecting lubricant and coolant. The floating scroll technology is the answer to the needs of air management system for fuel cell systems.

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