HySA Systems develops South Africa’s first native fuel cellOctober 22, 2012
HySA Systems makes fuel cell using native components
HySA Systems, a hydrogen fuel research group in South Africa, has successfully built the first fuel cell that is comprised entirely of components from South Africa. This is a major accomplishment for the country, which has been working to establish its own fuel cell industry. South Africa is home to the majority of the world’s platinum supply, thus is an ideal location for a fuel cell industry. Availability of materials means that fuel cells and their components can be produced affordably, thus opening the way for promising economic growth if these fuel cells can wind favor in foreign markets.
PEM fuel cell generates 2 kW of electricity
The fuel cell developed by HySA Systems is a PEM model. PEM fuel cells are common in the auto industry, finding their way into future vehicles due to their size and powerful performance. This fuel cell is only able to produce 2 kilowatts of electricity, but is a major accomplishment nonetheless. The fuel cell was developed with the help of the German Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research, which provided the fuel cell stack technology that was used in the project.
HySA Systems aims to promote research and development of fuel cells
HySA Systems has a goal to promote the research and development of hydrogen fuel cells within South Africa. The South African government believes that a comprehensive fuel cell industry could spark aggressive economic growth. The country’s access to platinum is expected to cut down on the cost of manufacturing fuel cells significantly. Platinum is used to build the catalysts that allow fuel cells to generate electricity through electrochemical processes.
Established catalyst industry could bring economic benefits to South Africa
Along with a comprehensive fuel cell industry, South Africa is working to foster the growth of a catalyst industry that will serve fuel cell manufacturers that come to the country. Fuel cells are becoming more popular around the world, driving up the demand for the components needed for them to operate. With a well established catalyst industry, South Africa may see major financial success from serving both foreign and domestic fuel cell companies.