The first hydrogen fuel cell developed and manufactured in Spain has been presented using the technology of open cathode and that it has reached a power of 1 kW. Its creators are the professors of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) José Javier López Cascales and Ángel Molina García who have had the collaboration of the companies Regenera Levante, IDEA Engineering and Grupo Caliche and together with the Technological Center for Energy and the Environment Ambient,
This hydrogen fuel cell technology is optimal as an alternative to generator sets to provide electricity in the supply cuts or in the demand spikes. Its installation next to an electrolyser is also very convenient so that the energy source is renewable and green hydrogen is used at all times for its operation.
in front of the closed cathode hydrogen fuel cells, which use compressors to introduce oxygen, the one manufactured in this project uses fans to introduce the air required for combustion and to cool the stack, achieving greater energy efficiency. The development has also introduced other innovations such as catalyst deposition systems that optimize their use. Three young researchers, Modesto Aguirre, Paula López and Andrés Jerez, were hired at the UPCT for the development of this project.
The development of this fuel cell has been possible thanks to the Ris3Mur 2I20SAE00079 project of the General Directorate of Commerce and Business Innovation of the Ministry of Business, Industry and Spokesperson, financed with almost 600,000 euros from ERDF funds from the European Union.
“We have made the leap from the laboratory to levels of power for everyday use”, highlights Professor José Javier López Cascales, who is confident that, in his next development, the battery reaches 3 kW of powerwhich is the figure that most homes have contracted, “Several batteries can be combined in series or in parallel, depending on whether you want more voltage or intensity,” adds the professor of the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering of the UPCT.
The battery has been manufactured with the gas diffusion layers (GDL) patented by this Polytechnic researcher and marketed by the UPCT spin-off company HydroGreen Energy. Its energy source would be clean if it comes from the hydrogen plants that generate the so-called green hydrogen, according to sources from the UPCT in a statement. “It is optimal for use in stationary installations, for example in hospitals, for use in the event of power outages or at times of consumption peaks and as an alternative to the current generator sets that use fossil fuels,” argues López Cascales.
“Hydrogen is an energy vector that can be crucial for the ecological transition and the reduction of energy dependence on fossil fuels,” says López Cascales, who also highlights other advantages such as the speed of charging a fuel cell with hydrogen , in just a few minutes, compared to the slower charging of electric car batteries.
The Polytechnic of Cartagena is part of the regional strategy to promote the development of green hydrogen and recently signed an agreement with the Hydrogen Association of Murcia to develop its own technology that makes it possible.