ACAL Energy Fuel Cell Achieves 10,000 Hour Endurance
27 Jun 2013
UK-based fuel cell developer ACAL Energy (ACAL) has announced that endurance testing of a fuel cell using its FlowCath® technology has achieved a runtime of 10,000 hours on a third party automotive industry durability test without any significant signs of degradation. This is equivalent to 300,000 driven miles and exceeds the current 2017 US Department of Energy target of 5,000 hours.
This latest achievement follows on from previous lifetime testing which achieved 8,000 hours, announced in February 2013.
During the past sixteen months, the fuel cell has cycled repeatedly through a standardised 40 minute car journey including stop-start operation and highway cruising. Running 24 hours a day and seven days a week, the test is designed to accelerate ageing and stress on engines and fuel cell systems.
Unlike a conventional PEM hydrogen fuel cell design, ACAL Energy’s FlowCath® technology does not rely on platinum as the catalyst on the cathode side of the fuel cell, thus offering a potentially lower cost alternative. The platinum has been replaced with a patented liquid catalyst which acts as both a coolant and catalyst for the cells and ACAL claims dramatically improves a PEM fuel cell’s durability while also lowering system cost.
Greg McCray, CEO of ACAL Energy, said: “Degradation has long held back the potential for the widespread use of hydrogen fuel cells in the automotive sector. Breaking the 10,000 hour threshold during rigorous automotive testing is a key reason our hydrogen fuel cell design and chemistry has been selected for trial by a number of the six top automotive OEMs.”
He continued: “With our technology, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles can drive over 500 miles per tank of fuel, and can be refuelled in less than five minutes, emitting only water. For a driver, the only difference from driving an internal combustion engine car is what’s going in the tank, but for the environment the significance of zero carbon emissions is enormous”.
Source: ACAL Energy