New Industry Products

Altek Fuel Group Introduces Portable Alkaline Fuel Cell Power Supply System

November 20, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Altek Fuel Group Inc. announced that it has created a new fully self-contained portable Alkaline Fuel Cell Power Supply System – the APS 100. With its present specific energy of over 300Wh/kg, and tests of in excess of 500Wh/kg soon to be available, the APS 100 is capable of powering multiple wireless laptop computers and numerous other energy requiring devices simultaneously. This is available with a continuous power output of over 100W on a single Altek Fuel Cartridge.

Currently the scalability of the APS 100 will allow for power requirements of from 20 to more than 500W. This provides the power capacity for products as diverse as portable battery recharges, remote silent generators, UPS and back-up power supply systems, electric bikes, boats and numerous military applications. Altek anticipates that the military applications are expected to be a significant niche market for the APS 100. Its efficiency, reduced weight, versatility, extended running time and quiet operation make the APS 100 well-suited for the power needs of the military services.

The Altek alkaline fuel cell technology uses safe and efficient proprietary components in conjunction with an exclusive design. These enhancements include: catalyzed gas diffusion electrodes, used as cathodes, and their distinctive mass-production process capability; composite electrolyte, made from readily available, safe, and inexpensive components, allows for use of anodes made from industrial aluminum, as opposed to the expensive alloys commonly used in the industry; and a simple method of replacing cartridges when the unit is completely discharged.

The APS 100 is based on Altek's unique aluminum-air fuel cell technology and it is unique in using aluminum as its primary fuel source. Aluminum's specific energy of 10.5kWh/kg makes it, according to the company, more efficient than other sources of fuel that have significantly lower inherent energy levels. As part of the electrical energy production cycle, the byproducts include water and chemicals, which can be recycled back into the fuel cell operation and aluminum hydroxide , which is used in a number of industries from water purification and sewage treatment to paper manufacturing and electronics.

Logistically, the storing, shipping and distributing of anode cartridges (aluminum plates) are much safer than the compressed hydrogen or methanol used by existing Fuel Cell Power Suppliers and would have no safety issues for travel on airplanes or any concerns for military applications. Given its high performance and moderate cost, Altek's systems dramatically increase the prospect for the effective utilization of the APS 100 as an autonomous, renewable alternative source of energy, and creating the opportunity for advanced battery manufacturers.

The Altek team has produced a working prototype of APS 100 that has undergone significant testing in their laboratory and it is ready for demonstration and commercialization.