Novel materials and systems for High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells (HT PEM fuel cells)

Abstract

This offer refers to novel materials and systems for High-Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (HT PEM) fuel cells (operating between 150-220oC), PEM electrolyzers (operating between 60-80oC) and hydrogen purification technologies.

The technology holder’s expertise is on the design, synthesis and production of special high temperature polymer electrolytes, high performance electrodes, and high performing and durable Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs). They also provide HT PEM air and liquid cooled stacks (50 W-5 KW) at a prototype level.

Additionally low temperature PEM electrolyzers can be constructed using low temperature MEAs based on commercially available low temperature polymer electrolytes.

Combining PEM electrolyzers with HT PEM stacks the technology holder can build the core components of Regenerative PEM fuel cell systems.

Description

High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane fuel cells are the best candidate for replacing alkaline fuel cells.

The technology holder has the ability to provide various Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) solutions according to the customer/application requirements due to its considerable expertise on the design, synthesis and production of special high temperature polymer electrolytes.

This Membrane Electrode Assemblies can be used in the construction of HT PEM stacks. They can also be used by HT PEM system integrators who deliver energy systems for applications in stationary power, transport, portable power, telecom utilities and space.

This technology offer can also be used to build the core components of Regenerative PEM fuel cell systems by combining PEM electrolyzers with HT PEM stacks.

Innovations and advantages of the offer

The innovation of this offer in the HT PEM area is the polymer electrolyte itself, which possesses certain technical advantages including high mechanical integrity, high oxidative stability as well as good acid doping level, proving it to be a reliable solution for HT PEM systems and stacks. The main competitive advantage of this membrane is the ability to operate at higher temperatures (120oC to 200oC) and thus utilize low-grade hydrogen and eliminate the need for water to maintain membrane conductivity.

These membrane systems are a fuel cell technology that provides a low cost path to commercial systems due to simplification of the system.

Additionally using this proprietary technology for the development of HT PEM stacks can offer a substantial reduction in the cost of the final product.

Application

This technology is currently in the development phase as an alternative for energy storage in satellites and in planetary exploration.

A regenerative fuel cell system as described above, combined with photovoltaic panels, can be integrated in systems for off-grid remote and back-up power applications such as telecommunication towers, in order to store solar energy in the form of H2 and O2 through the closed electrolyzer loop and transform it at will to electricity with the HT PEM fuel cell.

This technology can also be used in cost and energy efficient stationary residential applications. Additionally a single HTPEM fuel cell of 300W-5kW power, coupled with a Fuel Processor fed by LPG, NG, bioethanols etc can be used as a CHP unit for home or leisure applications as well as backup power applications.

Space Heritage

Within the ESA TRP, GTF and ARTES 5 programs, activities have been undertaken to develop and test elements of a fuel cell system to compliment or even replace batteries in future robotic and human exploration missions or on future new generations of very large GEO satellites in the long term. Next generation telecommunication satellites will put increasingly higher requirements on the power supply system. Energy storage in planetary exploration is typically associated with rechargeable (secondary) batteries, but regenerative fuel cells could become the superior choice, or even mission enabling due to the available energy density.

The technology holder and ESA are working on a technology demonstrator which will be based on a closed loop regenerative fuel cell system (RFCS) where the system operates as a high pressure PEM electrolyser (HPPEMELY), when there is excess power available from the solar array – i.e. charging mode / reactant regeneration; and as a high temperature PEM fuel cell (HTPEMFC), when the solar array does not generate power i.e. when the satellite is in eclipse – discharge mode. This regenerative PEM system has already has already passed the feasibility and the proof-of-concept phase.

Category
Energy
Reference No.
TDO0097
Could this technology benefit your business? Please contact Paris Rallis Kinno Consultants Ltd (Greece)
Discussion
comments powered by Disqus