LONDON Fuel-cell materials company, Bac2, will open new offices and a test laboratory at the Millbrook Technology Campus in Southampton, England in August 2007.
Bac2 manufactures ElectroPhen, a patented conductive polymer that is used to create bipolar plates and end caps for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The bipolar plates provide connections between individual fuel cells and the end caps provide connections to the outside world, not unlike the connectors on batteries.
The new fuel cell test laboratory, based around test equipment from H2Economy, will enable the company to accelerate development of customised versions of ElectroPhen. Each fuel cell design has differing plate requirements with respect to the balance of conductivity, hydrogen permeability, hydrophobicity and mechanical strength needed.
The test lab will be used for in-cell testing of the material, enabling the best composite for each application to be developed.
Recent independent tests on ElectroPhen by the University of Portsmouth, England have confirmed its technical suitability as a fuel cell material. Furthermore, mechanical engineering students at the university recently completed a successful final-year project to create an innovative air-breathing fuel cell using Bac2’s ElectroPhen plates, which were moulded to their own design.