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ACAL Energy reports durability testing results for FlowCath system

UK-based ACAL Energy reports that in testing of its platinum-free liquid cathode system, FlowCath, a full-scale stack was subjected to extreme load and rapid thermal cycling, from zero to 1A/cm2 load cycles and from 20 to 80 °C with no measurable change in performance seen in over 400 load cycles and 100 thermal cycles.

ACAL Energy has been carrying out representative drive cycle tests in response to requests from automotive manufacturers. Drive cycle issues are known to cause deterioration of conventional PEM fuel cells. To date, ACAL Energy has reached close to 2,000 hours of cumulative testing.

Reducing the cost of achieving durability is key to successful deployment of fuel cells in mass market automotive applications, and by avoiding expensive engineering designs, the Pt-free FlowCath system will allow vehicle manufacturers to accelerate progress to supplying affordable fuel cell vehicles, the company says.

ACAL Energy’s technology is based on thermodynamically stable homogeneous catalysts. These catalysts have been in regular use for over three years in multiple test cells and systems, and the Company has seen no instance of catalyst deterioration throughout a battery of single cell, stack and system testing programs.

The company continues to accumulate data on its systems, including the fully integrated stationary back up power system located at the Solvay Interox site at Warrington.



Every fuel cell article seems to avoid mentioning actual unit costs and specs.


Platinum-free PEM FCs, mass produced in a fully automated factories, should not (eventually) cost much more than equivalent ICEs. Total operation cost, including all environmental impacts, could also be less.

Heavy long range vehicles and city buses could be good first generation candidates.

It should be relatively easy and cost effective to equip main highways with enough road side hydrogen stations (every 300 miles or so) for heavy hydrogen powered vehicles.


Stationary applications would be a good way to show longevity. Reform natural gas and power a home or building 24/7. This would not show the cycling aspects, but it would show how many hours it can do.

While not using this type, Mercedes claims to have a fuel cell for cars available by the 2015 time frame that will cost no more than an ICE. If this is more than just talk, it could change things a bit in the near future.

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