Bramble Energy,an innovator energy technology company that designs and manufactures high-performance, low-cost and fuel cell stack, has asserted that itsfuel cell technology, the PCBFC, is a low-cost scalable solution suitable for use in sectors ranging from transportation to energy storage.
It has released a whitepaper, detailing the advantages of its patented Printed Circuit Board Fuel Cell (PCBFC) technology.
The technology uses materials and manufacturing methods common within the PCB industry. Yet, its core is a traditional PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane) fuel cell, MEA (membrane electrode assembly).
The PCBFC leverages the industrial maturity of the PCB industry, resulting in fuel cells that can be manufactured globally at scale today. The PCBFC can also be manufactured into a multitude of form factors, servicing a variety of customers and use cases across a number of industries and sectors without tooling and manufacturing costs.
Beyond the boundary
Bramble Energy's PCBFC stacks have been engineered to overcome the boundaries of conventional fuel cell technology. The result is a low-cost, scalable fuel cell solution applicable across various sectors that offer the pathway to achieving an unprecedented fuel cell stack cost of $60 per kW.
One major advantage of the technology when used within an electric power train is the reduction or removal of the power conversion unit as current and voltage output of the stack can be customised to meet the application or readily available component specifications.
Given the operating parameters, it is possible through module design to remove the DC-DC converter altogether to reduce mass, volume, cost and system complexity.
Furthermore, the PCBFC allows integrators to remove the deioniser and the complex deionised cooling loop as the cooling channels are not in electrical contact with the stack, and replace this with a simple water glycol mix coolant.
Removing the requirement for de-ionised cooling water loop and the deionise results in lower maintenance and Capex cost.
Finally, the removal of surface protection of the stack as the outer surface is non-conductive and, thus allows for a tighter packaging.
By utilising the di-electric PCB materials, the PCBFC stack reduces the risk of short circuiting.
Significantly enough, Bramble’s modular stacks can be packaged closely together without risk to the stack or user. This, in turn, improves the power density and safety.
Vidal Bharath, Chief Commercial Officer, Bramble Energy, said that the goal was to empower the hydrogen economy, whatever the application. “There is little point in having the lowest cost fuel cell stack if the system to run it requires immense complexity and is specifically made of expensive, bulky and heavy components. A low-cost stack means little without a low-cost system to run it,” he added.