Multi-month testing of prototype units stands as a core practice at the NFCRC, and is key to the development of technologies and their application in marketplace.
The beta testing / demonstration component supports the multi-month and multi-year beta testing of prototype units. Beta testing is the heart of the program philosophy of the NFCRC. It serves three principal roles, all of which are fundamental to the principal operations of the NFCRC:
- Beta testing provides critical feedback to the manufacturer prior to commercial launch. The testing determines performance, reliability, and the success of engineering. The process allows for the demonstration of reliability, availability, maintainability, durability, and usability (RAMDU) while concurrent system improvements are made in an objective, yet scrutinizing research setting.
- Beta testing provides a showcase, at a neutral and objective site (the university), for potential users of fuel cell technology to critically assess the attributes and liabilities.
- Beta testing provides insight and perspective into the limiting science that, if addressed, could significantly affect the evolution of fuel cell technology.
Faculty and researchers identify beta testing projects through a bridging that promotes interaction between the university, the manufacturer, and the user.