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Hydrogen is foreseen to be the energy vector of the future. However, there are still significant barriers to store and transport hydrogen, especially in small portable applications, as the volume energy density of hydrogen is very low and transport, pressurization and liquefaction is associated to significant losses. The success of a portable Fuel Cell system depends on a large extent on developing a fuel supply that is cost-effective, and easily containable and disposable. To foment research in the improvement of fuel cells the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) published the call SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.4.4 - Research, development and demonstration of new portable Fuel Cell systems, under which the BeingEnergy proposal was selected as holding the potential for important breakthroughs in the area of improved fuel supplies for cells. Background


The BeingEnergy Project

Project DescriptionProject Description The aim of this project is to develop a fuel cell power supply prototype that responds or overpass all the requirements proposed by the call SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.4.4. To achieve this it will develop an high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEMFC) closely coupled with a methanol reformer, greatly improving the efficiency of the resulting fuel cell. Besides the development of a power supply prototype with the specifications listed above, the present project also aims at establishing the basis for further innovative developments. In particular, the project aims at assessing the performance of the best performing catalysts towards low temperature reforming of dimethyl ether (DME), as it exhibits advantages compared to methanol. These results target the development of the next generation of combined power supplies, especially when greater powers are considered.



Project Objectives

The main aim of BeingEnergy is to develop improved fuel cell technology. To this end the project has set the following objectives:

  • Creating a 350 We fuel cell power supply prototype that satisfies all the requirements proposed by the call SP1-JTI-FCH.2011.4.4.;
  • Developing fabrication strategies that will allow cost-effective production of the fuel cell;
  • Establishing the basis for further developments in the fuel cell area by analysing the performance of various fuel cell catalysts;
  • Disseminating the project's results across the industry, aiming to both build awareness to the future exploitation of the project,  and to encourage further development of combined power supplies, especially when greater power;
  • Preparing the exploitation of the project results in the post-EC funded phase of the project.