ACAL Energy, a leading manufacturer of fuel cells, has unveiled their latest fuel cell stack design that is claimed to be the gateway to affordable fuel cells. Fuel cells use a stacked design as a way to facilitate efficient energy generated and conserve space. Fuel cell stacks are rated on their potential energy density with most conventional designs falling between 7 and 10 kilowatts of potential. ACAL’s new design is rated at 12 kilowatts, making it one of the most powerful designs currently available.
The fuel cell maker has been working for years to develop fuel cells that do not use platinum. Platinum is common in fuel cell catalysts, but are a rare-earth metal. Using platinum makes fuel cell production significantly more expensive, which also mean that the energy systems are unavailable for the majority of consumers around the world. Taking platinum out of the equation is no mean feat, however, as its removal impact the performance of fuel cells. ACAL claims that their new stack design is capable of shoring up any losses in performance that platinum-free fuel cells may have.
The company is using this new stack design in its FlowCath fuel cells. One of these energy systems has been installed at Solvay Interox in Warrington, UK. Currently, the system generates more than 3 kilowatts of electricity and serves as a backup power source in the event of an outage in the city’s energy grid.