Increasing the power output of its fuel cell, the core component in its energy generator, will reduce the costs of CFCL’s first product to market, the micro-CHP (combined heat and power) unit, the company said.
CFCL said it had increased the power output per fuel cell from 3 to 5.5 watts from January 2004 to January 2005, allowing it to generate the same 1 kW of electricity from a smaller stack of cells. This can reduce the material, manufacturing and assembly costs of fuel cell stacks and therefore CFCL’s prototype micro-CHP units, the company said.
“This achievement is particularly significant as the company continues to work towards volume manufacture of its fuel cells for the UK and European markets,” said executive chairman Julian Dinsdale.
“CFCL believes that two of the key success factors in commercialising its technology are firstly to minimise the size and cost of the fuel cell stack, and secondly to facilitate high volume manufacture. The increases in power output per cell and the company's ongoing work in this area advance both these factors.”
CFCL is currently commissioning and testing its current prototype micro-CHP unit that uses natural gas for field trials with Powerco in New Zealand, according to Dinsdale.
“These first units to go to Powerco will feature our newest fuel cells,” he said.
“The fuel cell stack within this unit will be smaller than originally anticipated while still supplying the same power. We look forward to achieving still further power improvements and reducing cost and size to a point we have a commercially competitive unit suited to normal domestic requirements in the UK and EU markets that are encouraging the uptake of micro-CHP systems.”