AFC Energy achieves Extended Electrode Life in Alkaline Fuel Cell
SHFCA member AFC Energy, the energy company providing alkaline fuel cell systems to industry, has just announced that it has extended the longevity of its electrodes to more than three months of continuous operation at its laboratory in Dunsfold.
This milestone was achieved by the Company’s latest electrode for the first time earlier this week. AFC Energy believes that these results are of significance since it has identified that the first economic applications require a minimum of three months electrode life. In particular, this breakthrough validates AFC Energy’s initiatives to advance commercial opportunities with potential industrial partners in the Far East.
Electrodes are the critical components of a fuel cell which enable the electrochemical reactions to occur between hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity, heat and water. The laboratory tests are continuing and are expected to yield further positive results in due course.
This latest electrode began tests in AFC Energy’s state-of-the-art laboratory earlier this year. Progress and performance have exceeded expectations and electrodes have now been incorporated into the ongoing Beta trial programme which began late last year at the Company’s test facility at AkzoNobel’s site in Bitterfeld, Germany. The Bitterfeld site is the first commercial reference site for the generation of data and demonstration of the whole AFC Energy Beta fuel cell system. The electrodes will undergo a series of trials before being incorporated into the new commercial design Beta+ cartridge for further real world longevity trials.
Commenting on the achievement Ian Williamson, CEO, said: “This is another milestone on our path to commercialisation. We have seen significant improvement in laboratory performance from this development; now we need to translate this to the industrial environment. Our close working relationship with AkzoNobel allows this transition to occur quickly and seamlessly. The pace and impact of each development continues to quicken at AFC Energy which is testament to the quality of our technical team.”
Gene Lewis, Technical Director, commented: “These results hint at the exceptional progress the team has made. We are constantly working on performance improvements which, over time, will feed into our commercial products. To enable the earliest release of a reliable product, we have focussed on ensuring both the electrodes and the rest of the fuel cell system are technically robust and economically viable. Our technical programme continues to be driven by longevity, power output and system life-time cost.”