University of St Andrews Wins Fuel Cell Backing

September 15, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

The University of St Andrews has won government backing to spin out a fuel cell company to exploit developments in its chemistry department. The company will be called St Andrews Fuel Cells and it will develop technology for leisure and defence; transportable power in the 500 W to 5 kW range.

Alan Feighery, who along with John Irvine and Paul Connor will found the firm, has won funding from The Royal Society of Edinburgh; to work on further prototypes of St Andrews' patented "SOFCRoll" fuel cell - a modification of conventional solid-oxide fuel cell structures. St Andrews claims to have found a way to adapt the low-material structure used in planar cells, making it suitable for low-cost cylindrical cell construction.

"The SOFCRoll fuel cell is a multi-layer ceramic device, which operates at high temperatures," said Feighery. The St Andrews' design "enables the use of cheap, easily scaleable manufacturing, and can compete with other fuel cell designs being developed globally."