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ACAL fuel cell system passes 1000 h milestone, plans 1 kW demo unit

UK-based ACAL Energy reports that its FlowCath® PEM fuel cell system has achieved more than 1000 h of continuous operation with no performance deterioration. The company has also confirmed operation of the complete fuel cell stack and integrated system for more than 100 h of cumulative operation at power levels of nearly 60 W, well above its design specification.

The FlowCath® technology is designed to replace the expensive precious metal catalysts found on the cathode side of conventional PEM fuel cells, with cheaper liquid-based oxygen reduction catalyst systems. ACAL Energy says that this radically reduces cost while improving the performance.

The latest results were achieved with single cells under carefully monitored conditions, and represent a significant milestone in demonstrating the technology’s development. The company says that these results demonstrate the predicted durability and robustness of its PEM technology, and build on earlier announcements of peak power performance of more than 600 mW/cm2.

A critical design feature of the ACAL Energy technology is its inherent ability to address the root causes of performance failures in conventional systems, as well as reduce cost. These results are therefore a critical step forward in proving the commercial and technical viability of the company’s technology.

The results have prompted ACAL Energy to aim for delivery of a 1 kW demonstration unit this summer, and to have 5000 h continuous running data on a single cell – and 2500 h on a stack – by this time next year.

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