AFC Energy plc has announced the successful operation of its first 101 fuel cell stack cartridge at an industrial gas facility in Germany.
• AFC’s first 101 fuel cell stack was successfully trialled in the UK and then shipped, installed and has operated in Germany since 3 March 2015
• Initial gas flow, thermal management and consistency of individual fuel cell performance across the 101 fuel cells are all in-line with expectations
• 101 fuel cell stack, housed within the new KORE system cartridge, affirms the engineering of the fundamental building block of AFC’s commercial fuel cell offering
• 100% increase in cell stack size (51 cells to 101 cells) in just 47 days
• Fuel cell electrodes assembled using robot in recently enlarged electrode fabrication facility at AFC’s UK headquarters
• Production of fuel cells for 101 cell stacks that will feature in KORE commissioning at Air Products in Stade, Germany in July 2015 are now being manufactured
• Acceleration of POWER UP programme remains on track
The successful operation of AFCs first manufactured 101 fuel cell stack affirms delivery of the fourth key milestone in the 2015 POWER-UP programme (as articulated in AFC’s RNS of 8 December 2014) and reaffirms AFC’s ongoing confidence in the deliverability of the fast track execution timetable for delivery of the 240kW KORE fuel cell system scheduled for the second half of 2015.
The 101 fuel 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 2015. AFC’s technical team were highly encouraged that 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.
Whilst the first successful 101 fuel 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 modularized at the size of the 101 cell cartridge, rather than a single focus on the previously scoped 240kW KORE system.
In this context, AFC’s market offering becomes increasingly flexible to meet the needs of smaller energy requirements (in integers of 10kWs). AFC is currently in discussions with potential customers and partners who are assessing opportunities sized at the single cartridge size which again widens AFC’s possible market potential and commercialization potential in the short term.
Adam Bond, AFC’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “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. The milestone in our technology development places AFC in a strong position to now generate robust technical data that will support our aggressive commercialization 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. 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,” Bond added.