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Boosting Power Output of Fuel Cell Systems Using Flowcath Technology

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Taking into consideration some field experts, fuel cells seem to be the future in alternative energy. The researchers try to prove with every chance they got that fuel cells which can provide the required energy for a certain application and that they are very reliable.

ACAL Energy (Cheshire, UK) has recently developed a liquid cathode technology that will be used for boosting the power output for a kilowatt-scale fuel cell system.

The researchers have achieved the peak of 1.5kW of power in a laboratory hydrogen fuel cell system. Fuel cell systems using FlowCath technology are in the focus of car manufacturers as a clean alternative to diesel and gasoline engines. But what really does the FlowCath technology mean?

Well, ACAL Energy did some research how to develop an alternative catalyst to the expensive platinum with a different material and they came up with a low cost, durable liquid chemical. The liquid chemical replaces up to 90 percent of the platinum catalyst in a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell.

ACAL Energy has developed a family of chemical compounds that are able to replace platinum without losing any of its benefits. Further improvements are expected to exceed the platinum fuel cell performance. Besides platinum cost reduction, the FlowCath technology also 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.

OEM partners will have the possibility to use the technology in their product applications starting with 2010. The basis for the evaluation kit will be the kilowatt-scale fuel cell system demonstrator.

“Our kilowatt-scale demonstration system is achieving significantly higher levels of power output than originally designed. We remain confident that Flowcath will enable clean fuel cells to succeed internal combustion engines in many applications” said Dr S B Cha, Chief Executive Officer of ACAL Energy.

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