UK-based ACAL Energy has successfully started-up its kilowatt-scale fuel cell system using a patented liquid cathode technology, FlowCath. (Earlier post.) The hydrogen-fuelled “short-stack” unit has already achieved a continuous power output of more than 600W, and will deliver over 1.5kW with the full stack, expected later this summer.
ACAL Energy’s FlowCath technology replaces up to 90% of the current level of platinum catalyst in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a low cost, durable liquid chemical. ACAL Energy has developed a family of proprietary chemical compounds that can deliver the same level of fuel cell performance as platinum, and which are expected to exceed this level in the future. The technology also significantly reduces the balance of plant costs by eliminating the need for hydration, pressurization, complex cooling and other expensive mechanical sub-systems commonly found in conventional PEM fuel cells.
ACAL is targeting fuel cell systems utilizing FlowCath as alternatives to diesel and gasoline generators in stationary and transportation applications requiring between 1kW and 200kW of electrical power.
This unit represents a 20-fold scale-up from our last demonstration unit. It is a tremendous achievement by our very talented team of engineers and scientists and a key step towards commercialization of the technology. Our business strategy is to offer FlowCath to fuel cell system manufacturers in the form of a stack and supporting mechanical elements in addition to our proprietary chemical solution. We will soon make data from the 1kW unit available to key OEM partners to enable them to start designing systems incorporating FlowCath.—Dr S B Cha, CEO of ACAL Energy