Fuel cells convert chemical energy in the form of hydrogen, methanol or natural gas, for example, into electrical energy. Due to their high efficiency, fuel cells play a key role as a conversion technology in the future energy system. The institutes of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft identify optimization potentials for design, material selection and operating strategy and work on the continuous further development of fuel cell components, stacks and systems, for example by rapid ageing tests for PEM/ SOFC fuel cells. Specially developed test rigs are available for detailed tests and forecasts. The use of energy carriers such as natural gas and methanol, but also ethanol and synthetic hydrocarbons, in most cases requires reformation technology for the conversion of these fuels into hydrogen-containing gas. Experts at Fraunhofer Energy Research are working on catalyst and reactor technology and system designs for reforming technology. Further information on fuel cells in connection with hydrogen can be found in our field of "Hydrogen Technologies".