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UK’s Carbon Trust gives £1.95m to ITM and Acal Energy
Fuel Cells, Aug 03 2012 (The Hydrogen Journal)
- The UK government funded Carbon Trust has invested £1.95m in 2 UK fuel cell companies, £1.1m for ITM Power of Sheffield and £0.85m to ACAL Energy of Runcorn.
The aim is to help these companies bring the costs of hydrogen power down.
Fuel cell systems under development at the moment are forecast to cost around $50 per kilowatt, Carbon Trust says; but it estimates that the costs will need to drop to $35/kW to compete with combustion engines.
The Carbon Trust believes that ITM Power's membrane technology has the potential to reduce fuel cell costs to this level.
Another critical area of analysis is "power density", or how much power the fuel cell can create, per volume of space taken up.
ACAL Energy has developing a fuel cell which requires less platinum, an important way to reduce the overall cost of fuel cells.
It has developed a design of fuel cell called FlowCath, inspired by the human lung and blood stream, which enables a "virtually platinum free" system, using a liquid polymer cathode.
Carbon Trust also believes that this technology can help reduce fuel cell costs to $35/kW.
The investments are made as part of the Carbon Trust's "Polymer Fuel Cells Challenge", launched in 2009, to aim to develop lower cost fuel cells.