Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


MetaFuel Report Summary

Project ID: 674137

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - MetaFuel (High Temperature Methanol Fuel Cell)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-02-29

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Siqens has developed a new, highly efficient and production cost optimized fuel cell system - Ecoport 800. Siqens addresses the dynamically growing market of renewable energy for remote locations. Besides the clean and noiseless power generation Ecoport 800 has several features that have been optimized. The System produces up to 800 Watt electrical power from normal technical methanol which is an easy available and cheap fuel. In addition, Siqens is about to extend the operability at hot (+50°C) and cold temperatures (-20°C). Market research has shown very high interest from customers from different branches for either use at high or at low temperatures.
In the Horizon2020 SME project Siqens is about to transfer the Ecoport 800 from an autarkic running prototype to a certified product. In addition, optimizations for improved customer value will be implemented. The measures for improvements and higher product maturity are flanked by market studies, marketing actions to prepare the market entry and field test together with several customers.
During the first 10 months of the project very important technical advances have been made. This includes measures for stable operation and better system control, the reduction of the price of the components, an improved installation of the system and optimizing the system properties along customer specifications. In addition, a solution for methanol supply for customers has been found that will be implemented in the second part of the project. With rising visibility and improved system readiness Siqens receives increasingly positive feedback from a growing number of future customers.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The market for Ecoport 800 has been analyzed in more detail. Next to a more comprehensive knowledge of the recreation market, Siqens has found new professional markets. To adapt the system to these professional markets detailed interviews about exact application scenarios have been made. These investigations have taken place in different countries of Europe. Thereby, many of the properties like easy fueling with technical methanol, high winter suitability or cost-effectiveness of Ecoport 800 already address the needs of these customers. Taken together the concept for the product Ecoport 800 shows a very good market fit.
Specific adaptions to increase the life expectancy and the stability in different environments have been brought on the way to transfer the prototypes into stable running and robust products. Part of this development is a control system that allows remote monitoring and control. Also measures to improve the winter use like insulation has been successfully introduced. At the same time a new building part has been developed that allows the operation in dessert climates. A testing environment has been built up and a detailed plan for applications tests have been elaborated.
To assure the methanol supply of customers, containment and tank solutions have been analyzed. The challenge is to find solutions that allows handling of methanol for private end customers. Here we have a very promising solution that is commercially available to us. Still the development of own solutions is an option to improve handling, safety and mass market adaptability.
Part of the project is also to reduce system costs. This has been started by exchanging high priced components against more economic solutions. Also measures to reduce the assembly time has been taken as a first step to transfer the current manufacturing into a low volume production. Part of these measures is the transfer of handcrafted parts into out-of-tool parts and the construction of these. For low priced MEA production Siqens has set up tests and a test stand. The project partner Danish Power Systems (DPS) already was successful in optimizing their production for Siqens demands and will deliver MEAs in the second period of the project to Siqens.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

With Ecoport 800 Siqens aims at implementing a new industry standard for power on demand. Fuel cell generators before have specific advantages like clean, noiseless and maintenance free operation. Siqens will add to these economical aspects by reducing operations costs and CAPEX. By this means an alternative to combustion engines (diesel or gasoline generators) will be created. With currently more than 62 GW installed power worldwide in 2015 diesel gensets are strongly taken part in the exhaust of climate-damaging gases. In addition, the high noise generation locally leads to high disturbance of humans and the environment. With upcoming responsibility for environmental issues which more and more will be considered even in emerging markets loud, polluting and inefficient diesel genset will no longer be accepted. This is a chance for Siqens concept of a noiseless, clean and affordable fuel cell system. On the other hand Siqens could help to initiate a transition by being a spearhead in technology for off-grid power. In many application Ecoport 800 will serve as an ecofriendly and reliable back up for regenerative sources like wind and sun. Therefore, Siqens regards itself as enabler of photovoltaic in off-grid applications. These PV-hybrid use will increase the ecological impact over and above the single use of Ecoport 800.

Related information

Record Number: 186616 / Last updated on: 2016-07-14