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Ceres Power working with Energy Lancaster to study next-generation solid oxide fuel cell materials

In the UK, engineers from Lancaster University are working in collaboration with Ceres Power on the development of low-cost, intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cell technology used in micro combined heat and power (CHP) systems.

Following funding of £230 000 (US$370 000) from the Technology Strategy Board innovation agency, scientists and engineers at the Energy Lancaster research centre will help improve Ceres Power’s understanding of the materials used to manufacture its low-cost Steel Cell technology.

Insights into fuel cell design

‘We will be working with Ceres Power over the next three years to help them to gain new insight into their innovative fuel cell design,’ says Dr Richard Dawson, engineering lecturer at Lancaster University.

‘This technology has significant potential to change the way power is distributed, bringing greater efficiency to fuel use, which has obvious environmental benefits, but also helping to reduce bills for homes and businesses.’

Dawson has also been working with AFC Energy, on research and testing to help AFC better understand how alkaline fuel cells operate using different hydrogen feedstocks.

Boosting the team

The new TSB funding will also help to pay for a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) research associate from Lancaster University to be based with Ceres Power working on the technology. As Ceres commercialises its technology for a variety of market applications, this enhanced understanding will help to inform next-generation designs.

‘Working with Lancaster’s experts will help us develop greater insight into the materials and processes we use to manufacture our Steel Cells,’ says Dr Mark Selby, technology director at Ceres Power.

‘The TSB programme is also a great way to develop the engineering talent of the future, which is important for advancing industries like fuel cells.’

Ceres Power is recruiting strongly for several roles alongside the KTP collaboration to support its own and customer programmes, with various positions advertised on its website.

Fuel cell manufacturing innovation

Ceres Power was recently awarded TSB funding to scale up its Steel Cell production in response to growing market opportunities, by combining its existing manufacturing capability with high-speed photovoltaic manufacturing processes developed by DEK Solar.

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Energy storage including Fuel cells