ACAL Energy achieves record output from FlowCath fuel cell

The UK-based fuel cell developer ACAL Energy reports that it has achieved ‘record’ levels of power output from a kilowatt-scale fuel cell system using its patented FlowCath® liquid cathode technology. Peak power levels of 1.5 kW have been achieved from the hydrogen-fueled, laboratory-scale FlowCath system at ACAL Energy.

The ACAL Energy FlowCath fuel cell technology replaces up to 90% of the platinum catalyst in a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell with a low-cost, durable liquid chemical. ACAL Energy has developed a family of FlowCath proprietary chemical compounds that can already deliver the same level of fuel cell performance as platinum, and which are expected to exceed this level in the future.

The ACAL Energy FlowCath technology also significantly reduces the balance-of-plant costs by eliminating the need for hydration, pressurization, complex cooling, and the other expensive mechanical sub-systems commonly found in conventional PEM fuel cell systems.

The FlowCath kilowatt-scale fuel cell demonstrator will be the basis for a technology evaluation kit that ACAL Energy will supply to OEM partners during 2010, to enable them to design Flowcath into their products. ACAL Energy says that its business strategy is to provide FlowCath to fuel cell system manufacturers in the form of a stack and supporting mechanical elements, as well as the proprietary chemical solutions.

‘We are very pleased with the performance of our kilowatt-scale demonstration system,’ says Dr S.B. Cha, CEO of ACAL Energy. ‘It is achieving significantly higher levels of power output than originally designed.’

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Energy storage including Fuel cells