Our proprietary technology enables lower cost of ownership compared to other small generation sources.
Combustion based generators are widely used for portable and remote power sources. They operate on widely available fuels, are controllable, low-cost, and ubiquitous. But they are: hot, noisy, dirty, inefficient, and require frequent servicing.
Fuel cells have long been lauded for their high efficiency, quiet operation, and low emissions. But depending on the type of fuel cell, they too can face a number of challenges.
Broadly speaking, there are two distinct types of fuel cells
- 'Hot' fuel cells (operate at 500-1000 °C)
- Highly efficient, up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency
- Tolerant of different fuels and impurities
- But require exotic, expensive, and delicate materials to withstand high temperature operation
- 'Cold' fuel cells (operate at 20-120 °C)
- Ideal for stop/start operation
- Very low emissions when using hydrogen
- But they often have complex systems and require ultra-pure fuels
SAFCell technology is the ideal combination of existing technologies:
SAFCell fuel cell stacks can operate on a number of different fuels. Unlike ‘cold’ fuel cells, our fuel cell stacks are tolerant of impurities. We can operate on industrial grade fuels such as methanol and propane – we don’t require ‘ultra-pure’ fuel sources. We can also utilize the same fuels as ‘hot’ fuel cells and combustion based generators.
Operating at mid-temperatures, SAFCell products don’t use delicate materials (e.g. ceramics & glass seals) found in high-temperature fuel cells. Inexpensive metal components and flexible polymer seals enable a low-cost and rugged platform.
Because of our simple system design, we avoid the weight and bulk of other power generation technologies. Hot fuel cells require bulky high-temperature insulation. Cold fuel cells have complex water and/or fuel processing systems. Our military customers demand a compact and lightweight design.
Fuel cells are solid state devices. They have virtually no moving parts, so this means fewer parts that ‘wear out’. Internal combustion engines often require servicing every few hundred hours. Low maintenance operation is essential for operation in remote environments.
Power that’s cool, clean and quiet is essential for covert operations and sensitive environments. Unlike combustion based generators, SAFCell products are clean and virtually silent. There is no loud exhaust, no vibrations, and no toxic exhaust fumes.
SAFCell delivers a lower total cost of ownership for customers, through a number of advantages:
- Simple system – fewer components
- Low-cost components – avoiding expensive materials
- Fast & easy installation – rugged design reduces the need for specialized mounting & enclosures
- Fuel flexible – uses cheap and common industrial fuels
- Fuel efficient – uses less fuel
- Low-maintenance – extended operation with minimal servicing