Fuel cell developer, Ceres Power has reported a manufacturing scale up that it says demonstrates high volume production capability, “a key step towards mass market commercialisation of its unique fuel cell technology in response to growing market opportunities”, the company believes.
The new high-speed print line at Ceres’ manufacturing facility in Horsham, UK, has reduced ceramic-on-steel print-cycle Ceres Steel Cells on the new high speed print line time from 30 seconds to just 3 seconds, "demonstrating that Ceres’ processes are consistent with low cost, high volume manufacturing and corroborating the Steel Cell as a disruptive low cost fuel cell technology."
This project has been implemented by Ceres in partnership with ASM Alternative Energy (ASM AE), a provider of screen printing equipment to the PV business, and part-funded with £0.7m from Innovate UK’s Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative. By using standard processes developed for the solar industry and conventional materials such as steel, the project demonstrates that the Steel Cell can be mass-produced at an affordable price.
The Ceres Steel Cell operates at lower temperatures than typical solid oxide fuel cells, enabling the ceramic to be metal supported.
The innovative print line is the first of its kind and has been created by combining ASM AE’s existing high-speed photovoltaic manufacturing processes and Eclipse printing solutions with Ceres’ own existing manufacturing capabilities.
Ceres is working with several companies worldwide, including Honda, as announced in January 2016, in its efforts to establish the Steel Cell in the distributed generation business.
James Falla, Ceres Power chief operating officer, commented: "This scale up project represents an important step change in cost that fuel cells need to bring about widespread adoption."