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PowerCell finalizes the development of its 2nd gen fuel cell stack for automotive and stationary applications

Sweden-based fuel cell technology developer PowerCell (earlier post) is in the final stage of development of its next generation fuel cell stack platform, the S2. The S2 covers a larger power range up to 25 kW and maintains the same tolerance towards CO and reformate gas as the present platform, the S1. The new fuel cell will have good stability and a compact and robust design for both automotive and stationary applications, the company says.

PowerCell’s fuel cell stack is designed to work in an auxiliary power unit (APU) environment on reformate gas as well as on a variety of systems running on pure hydrogen, for both automotive and stationary applications. It uses thin metal bipolar plates and advanced membrane electrode assembly (MEA) in a design prepared for serial production from the start.

The S2 platform will complement the first generation fuel cell stack, the S1 (1-5 kW), as it covers a larger power range up to 25 kW, still with the same tolerance towards CO and reformate gas. The S2 uses proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology and is the choice for automotive applications.

PEM characteristics allow for full power output within seconds. Another feature is the capability for extensive starts and stops, meaning that battery buffers can be kept to a minimum.

PowerCell is a spinout from the Volvo Group with the objective to develop and produce environmentally friendly power systems based on a unique fuel cell and reformer technology that matches existing fuel infrastructures. PowerCell is based in Gothenburg and is owned by Volvo Group Venture Capital, Fouriertransform, Midroc New Technologies and Finindus.



So...what does it do that FCs from Toyota, Honda, Ballard and others cannot do?

Roger Pham

Allowing Volvo to get into the FCV business and power utility backup business, without having to import fuel cells from other makers.



"Powercell Sweden’s technology is based on two patented components: a fuel converter (reformer) and a PEM fuel cell stack."

They can reform methanol, ethanol, gasoline or diesel. This eliminates the high pressure hydrogen tanks and filling station situation.


Tks for the added info SJC. How does it perform from a cold start @ -30C?

As a range extender in a PHEV, it could be a good solution, even with a slow start.


Since it is a PEM, I would say startup is a few minutes. If you have sufficient battery capacity you can run on that while it warms up.

Like I proposed with HT PEMs, you have a "highway" button that tells the reformer and fuel cell to start up, otherwise you run on battery for maybe 20 miles...sort of an FC PHEV.

In the 90s, Mercedes had the NECAR series that did this. They proven it can be done and actually drove one of the cars across the U.S. to show reliability. Twenty years later the reformers and fuel cells have improved even more.


Yes, could be ideal as a range extender using existing liquid fuel infrastructures and avoiding costly H2 infrastructures. With enough future 5-5-5 batteries, very little liquid fuels would be used.

The Oilcos will certainly not support it.

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