AFC Energy (AIM: AFC), the industrial fuel cell power company, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the development of its Generation 2 (“Gen2”) fuel cell system. The Gen2 system incorporates design changes to extend the operating life of the fuel cell stack whilst increasing stack availability* and reducing stack cost.  These features represent three of AFC Energy’s key metrics of commercialisation, relative to the KORE fuel cell system commissioned in Stade in January 2016. 

The successful delivery of the Gen2 design follows testing of multiple fuel cell stacks at Stade, Germany and Dunsfold, UK, to deliver power continuously for a period in excess of one month, each at high levels of availability.  Two of these stacks continue to generate power today. 

Confirmation of the Gen2 stack design improvements, and testing multiple stacks continuously in excess of one month, have together successfully delivered Milestones 1 and 2 of the Company’s eight 2016 strategic milestones (in addition to those achieved earlier in the year) announced in March 2016 and are therefore key to being able to meet the expectations of project partners. 

The improved Gen2 technology platform reflects the efforts of AFC Energy’s technical team this year and is the sole application of proprietary AFC Energy technology.

Collaboration with the Company’s Joint Development Agreement (“JDA”) partner Industrie De Nora S.p.A. (“De Nora”) has created material opportunities for further improvements to AFC Energy’s technology package, as demonstrated by work undertaken with De Nora since August 2016. 

In addition to the Gen2 fuel cell stack demonstration, the Gen2 testing programme demonstrated a further two key incremental outcomes, which show that AFC Energy’s fuel cell system is:

1.   capable of accepting lower grade hydrogen relative to the laboratory standard hydrogen (99.999%) that has been used at the Company’s testing facilities since 2006.  This provides multiple key advantages including the opening up of new lower grade hydrogen source opportunities and partners internationally, thereby increasing AFC Energy’s addressable market potential, whilst also lowering the likely cost of hydrogen in commercial applications.  Lower priced hydrogen will directly affect the cost of electricity generation and the economics of AFC Energy’s system across different market segments internationally; and

2.   cycles (on and off) with total operation of a cycled stack for over one month at greater than 90% availability (albeit with expected gradual levels of degradation after each cycling event).     

Adam Bond, AFC Energy’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The accelerated and diligent progress AFC Energy has made over the last nine months in delivering our Gen2 fuel cell system has been remarkable.  The technical progression achieved materially supports our discussions with prospective commercial partners and in being able to utilise lower grade hydrogen has the potential to reduce the final cost of electricity generation from AFC’s systems.  These two milestones, in addition to those achieved earlier in the year, positions us for delivery of commercial contracts which we continue to pursue and in turn provides the traction needed with our partners for the deployment of units and the fulfilment of the outstanding 2016 milestones. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank AFC Energy’s technology team, the Air Products team in Stade, and plantIng for their efforts in achieving these milestones and for their commitment to supporting AFC Energy’s product development and validation at Stade.” 

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⃰  Defined as the amount of time the fuel cell stack is available to generate power over a given period of time. 

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