PCBFC: The Difference Maker

PCBFC: The Difference Maker

Bramble Energy’s technology is revolutionary when compared to traditional hydrogen fuel cell constructions. Traditional fuel cells fall broadly into two camps, the first is the original construction using graphite based plates, the second are the metal plate types (typically coated stainless steel). Bramble Energy adds a third type to this list with a printed circuit board (PCB) construction, we call it PCBFC.

It is often mistakenly assumed that the high costs of traditional hydrogen fuel cell technologies today is caused by the catalysts used, which are typically platinum group metals. While it is true that Platinum is an expensive raw material the reality is that not much is used in current fuel cell materials and the amounts used are only decreasing as new electrode constructions are developed. At mass production volume, say 500,000 vehicle sized systems per year, the catalyst does indeed become a more significant piece of the pie but the industry is a long way away from producing that volume and a solution for making hydrogen fuel cells more competitive with traditional power sources is needed today at current volumes, this is something that drives us at Bramble Energy with the realisation that the high costs are predominantly a result of the materials and constructions used in the fuel cell stacks.

The ambitious goal behind the creation of Bramble Energy’s PCBFC technology was to solve the inherent cost issues of traditional fuel cell technologies by using globally standardised materials and manufacturing techniques during its construction. This meant identifying and utilising a fully established supply chain with a preexisting capacity to supply gigawatts of fuel cells: The PCBFC.

Simplicity is the main advantage of the PCBFC technology.

Rather than simply an alternative plate technology, the functions of the PCB also include the compression system, current collectors, endplates, gas seals and liquid seals in addition to the bipolar plate. This means that in a stack there are significantly fewer components, thus radically simplifying the supply chain.

The PCB industry has revenues of >$60bn annually and PCB’s are ubiquitous, they are in everything from phones to satellites. The inherent characteristics of our patented manufacturing route is the building block behind Bramble Energy’s costs leadership at even low volumes.