Danish Power Announces Fuel Cell Breakthrough

July 28, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Danish Power Systems ApS (Charlottenlund, Denmark) announced the invention of a promising new technology for the next generation of proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. The research company has developed a PEM fuel cell stack system for automotive applications and stationary power, which increases operating temperature by a factor two. Based on a new material for the membrane, high temperature and a simple design increase overall efficiency and reduce system costs.

The PEM fuel cell stack meets the auto companies’ requirements for high operating temperature, which is easier to cool than low operating ones. The PEM fuel cell stack runs at up to 200°C compared to traditional PEM fuel cell stacks, which run at below 100°C. The improvement makes the new stack system suitable for household stationary power, as the heat surplus can be used for domestic heating. The membrane of each fuel cell is made of PBI instead of Nafion. PBI is a thermally high-resistant material, which posses unique properties and is less expensive than Nafion.

Presently, Danish Power Systems is aiming for a commercial breakthrough. The next step is the establisment of a test production site in Denmark. The company plans to invite national and international companies with different interests to take part in the test production, which will be scheduled within the next two to three years. If test production proceeds according to plan, The company expects to establish a production site for PEM component parts or integrated PEM fuel cell systems for export shortly thereafter.