ITM Power has received a grant for $450,000 USD to develop a supply chain of low cost parts for hydrogen PEM fuel cells. ITM Power is part of a large consortium of partners, which in total will receive around $1.7 million USD for their efforts in bringing down the costs of fuel cells.
According to the press release, “The overall objective of ELECTROHYPEM is to develop cost-effective components with enhanced activity and stability in order to reduce stack and system costs and to improve efficiency, performance and durability. Presently, the active incumbent materials contribute to about 70% of stack costs. Thus, the focus of the project is on low-cost electrocatalyst, low-noble metal loading electrodes and membrane development.
“In particular, the project addresses the development of Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolysers based on such innovative components for residential applications (1 Nm3/h hydrogen production rate with an equivalent energy consumption lower than 4 kWh/Nm3) in the context of a suitable integration with renewable power sources. The aim is to contribute to the road-map addressing the achievement of a wide scale decentralised hydrogen production infrastructure.”
ITM Power will be testing these low cost noble metal alternatives in their own PEM fuel cell stacks and assessing performance and durability. Bringing down costs to the buyer will be a major step in the marketability and hence the commercialization of hydrogen production units.