Fuel-cell materials maker Bac2 expands into new facilities at Millbrook Technology Campus, Southampton
Southampton, UK, June 20, 2007: Bac2, the fuel-cell materials company, will open new offices and a test laboratory at the Millbrook Technology Campus in Southampton in August (2007). Bac2 manufactures ElectroPhenô, a patented conductive polymer that is used to create conductive 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. Fuel cells represent one of the key technologies in the development of environmentally friendly power sources. They produce water vapour as a waste product and no carbon dioxide. ElectroPhen is easily manufactured economically in bulk and the cost and performance advantages it offers have the potential to accelerate the adoption of fuel cell technology for powering everything from notebook computers to buses and cars.
The new fuel cell test laboratory, based around state-of-the-art 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. Bac2ís CEO, Mike Stannard, said, ìWe believe that a responsible component supplier to an industry on the cusp of large scale expansion should play its part in releasing components and component materials that have been tested in a genuine and properly recorded in-cell environment. The test equipment investment not only means that we can do this, it means that we can do it quickly and accurately, something that will be of vital importance to companies entering the increasingly competitive fuel cell market.î
Recent independent tests on ElectroPhen by the University of Portsmouth (UK) 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 Bac2ís ElectroPhen plates, which were moulded to their own design.