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AFC Energy breakthrough in operation of 101-cell stack trial at German gas facility

UK-based AFC Energy has successfully operated the first 101-cell stack cartridge for its alkaline fuel cell system at an Air Products gas facility in Germany.

Fast project progress

The successful operation of AFC Energy’s first manufactured 101-cell stack marks the delivery of the fourth key milestone in the company’s 2015 Power-Up programme.

The success reaffirms AFC’s ongoing confidence in the deliverability of the fast track execution timetable for delivery of its 240 kW KORE alkaline fuel cell system, scheduled for the second half of 2015.

Stack in operation

The 101-cell stack was initially tested at AFC’s UK facility in late February, then shipped to Germany, installed, and has been operating continuously since 3 March.

AFC’s technical team is highly encouraged that the initial gas flow, thermal management, and consistency of individual fuel cell performance across the 101 cells are in line with expectations.

The relative uniformity of fuel cell performance affirms the quality focus of AFC’s increasingly automated manufacturing and production facilities.

Modular systems for market flexibility

While the first successful 101-cell stack trial demonstrates the operability of the fundamental building block of the KORE system, it also allows AFC to consider alternative products of varying capacities modularised at the size of the 101-cell cartridge, rather than a single focus on the previously scoped 240 kW KORE system.

In this context, AFC’s market offering becomes increasingly flexible to meet the needs of smaller energy requirements (in multiples of 10 kW). AFC is currently in discussions with potential customers and partners who are assessing opportunities sized at the single cartridge size, which widens the company’s possible market potential and commercialisation potential in the short term.

From 25 to 101 cells in three months

‘The rate of progress made by AFC’s technical team over the past three months in progressing beyond the 25-cell stack, through the 51-cell stack and up to a full complement of 101 fuel cells, is unprecedented in AFC’s history,’ says Adam Bond, CEO of AFC Energy.

He continues: ‘The milestone in our technology development places AFC in a strong position to now generate robust technical data that will support our aggressive commercialisation strategy.’

‘I’m exceptionally proud of our technical team for the focus and positive response they have given to the extremely challenging timelines set when I accepted the role of CEO back in December,’ adds Bond.

‘It continues to reassure my confidence in AFC’s leading alkaline fuel cell technology and positions us well for commercial deployment opportunities in the very near term,’ he says.

European-funded Power-Up project

AFC Energy is leading the Power-Up project, funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU), to demonstrate the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell system at the Air Products industrial gas plant in Stade, Germany.

The demonstration of the 240 kW KORE system at this site has been fast-tracked to December 2015. This represents the final phase of AFC’s pre-commercialisation technical development programme, and creates the platform for the company’s global commercial fuel cell deployment.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells