Decarbonize Faster – Empower your Business

Diesel generators used to be widely deployed for powering battery systems; however, over time, the idea of using diesel generators as a primary or back-up power supply has become less favorable due to the challenges linked to their reliability, availability, high operational and maintenance (O&M) costs, and their significant environmental impacts. In the context of powering off-grid battery systems, key features such as the economic, environmental, and social sustainability of battery systems are critically important. Hence, methods using renewables coupled with sustainable energy storage solutions are now receiving much more attention.

A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity through an electrochemical reaction, not combustion. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined to generate electricity, heat, and water. Fuel cells are a clean, efficient, reliable, and low noise source of power. Unlike batteries, fuel cells do not need to be periodically recharged, but instead continue to produce electricity as long as a fuel source is provided. Unlike combustion-based power generation, fuel cells provide virtually emission-free power, and when using fuel generated from renewable sources such as biomass, fuel cells offer a solution close to 100% carbon neutral.

RENEWABLE FUELS

RENEWABLE FUELS

Advent’s fuel cells are fuel-flexible. We can use methanol and natural gas now, eMethanol and other renewable fuels like liquid sun and liquid wind tomorrow.

NEXT-GENERATION

NEXT-GENERATION

Advent fuel cell: Any fuel. Anywhere. Resilient to pollution, humidity, extreme temperatures.

ESG FIRST

ESG FIRST

Ideal for the developing world. Hydrogen at 1% of the delivery and storage cost.

PROFITABILITY

PROFITABILITY

High efficiency and lower fuel costs.

Why Fuel Cells – Benefits & Advantages

Environmental: Unlike diesel generators, fuels cells do not produce combustion and therefore there are no NOx, SOx, or particulate emissions from the unit. So the fuel cell provide clean energy. Our fuel cell technology is designed for compatibility with other energy generation technologies, especially renewable technologies.

Low-costs: Compared to existing technologies and over the lifetime of the unit, cost savings can be obtained. This includes: maintenance, transport and disposal. In cost-per-unit-of-energy terms, hydrogen or methanol as a carrier to hydrogen compares favorably with both gasoline and diesel.

Efficiency: An Advent fuel cell system is dimensioned according to the exact needs of the customer and it run at a very high efficiency no matter if it is delivering 30 % of its capacity or 100 %. The electrical efficiency rate of a fuel cell is typically 42%.

Reliability: In many cases, fuel cells are able to offer higher reliability and MTBF (Mean Time between Failures) and there is no degradation of capacity over time. Also, fuel cell units have very few moving parts which reduces the need for regular maintenance.

Fuels: The majority of systems operate on hydrogen (in this instance the only emission is water), which can be generated from renewable sources (electrolysis) or from reformed hydrocarbons (methanol, propane, ammonia and natural gas).

High Temperature Tolerance: Unlike batteries, fuel cells do not degrade at extreme temperatures and their range can be between –20 C up to +50 C.

Scalability & Integration: Fuel cells are provided as either standalone unit similar in size to a small refrigerator (for applications like base stations) or can be inserted in cabinets with variable capacity. Fuel cells are fit for outdoor as well as indoor applications.

Autonomy: Fuel cells are able to operate as long as there is available fuel, so storage onsite can be established according to runtime required.

Remote Monitoring: Advent fuel cells can be fully monitored from one central location alerting the operator as to when the system is in use and how long before refueling is required to ensure no downtime.

Space Requirements are low: Fuel cells running at high temperatures are easier to cool, which eliminates the need for spaceous cooling systems.

Small Footprints and Low Noise: Fuel cell systems operate with low noise and vibration meeting regulations for low environmental impact.

Understand Fuel Cells – FAQ

Below are some of the most frequent questions related to fuel cells – their origin, purpose, use, pros and cons.

A fuel cell is a device that produces electricity through electrochemical conversion reactions. Hydrogen and oxygen are converted directly into electricity, water and heat in the process. Compared to an engine, there are no moving parts, hence reduced mechanical wear, vibrations and noises. Compared to a battery, a fuel cell does not require a recharging cycle, as long as the gasses needed for electricity production are continuously added and as long as fuel is available.

Christian Friedrich Schoenbein, a German-Swiss chemist, invented the fuel cell in 1838. Almost simultaneously, in 1839, a Welsh scientist, William Robert Grove, developed the “gas voltaic battery”. The functional fuel cell was born. Since then, the world has changed, and fuel cells are an important technology in land, sea, air and space applications.

We make High Temperature Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (HT-PEM) fuel cells. HT-PEM fuel cells are similar to LT-PEM fuel cells, but operate at higher temperatures (150-180 degrees Celsius). Our fuel cell units are integrated with fuel reformers.

The exhaust from a methanol fuel cell system is hot air and CO2. When using green methanol, hydrogen is produced from renewable sources like wind or solar power and the CO2 for the methanol is captured from the air or from industrial production.

A single fuel cell consists of a membrane electrode assembly (MEA) and two flow plates distributing the feed gasses correctly onto the fuel cell electrode. A single fuel cell typically has an operational voltage below 1V. In order to obtain practical voltages, the fuel cells are stacked, effectively series connecting cells to an assembly; a fuel cell stack. The scalability of the stacks makes it possible to customize and modularize them.

Both fuel cells and batteries utilize electrochemical reactions to produce electricity. However, upon discharge, batteries are changing the state of their electrodes, depleting the amount of electric capacity they can deliver; requiring a charging cycle to reset the state of the battery or a discard. Fuel cells can continuously produce electricity as long as they are supplied with fuel. Keep the fuel cell fueled, and you keep the electricity coming.

Advent Technologies A/S uses High Temperature PEM systems (HT-PEM). But there are also various other types of fuel cells based on different technologies. Here’s a selection of the most significant fuel cell technologies.

Low Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC)
Operating Temperature: Around 50-100 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: 40-60%

PEMFCs operate at a relatively low temperature, have high power density, and can vary output quickly to meet shifts in power demand. In applications where quick start-up is required, such as automobility, PEMFCs are well-suited. PEMFCs can be scaled from several watts to several kilowatts and into larger systems. They’re fuelled with hydrogen gas, methanol or reformed gas. PEMFCs can be applied for a variety of commercial applications within telecommunication, data centres and residential markets, to auxiliaries.

High Temperature PEM (HT-PEM):
Operating temperature: 100-200 degrees Celsius. Advent’s fuel cells operate at 150-180 degrees Celsius.
Electrical Efficiency: 40-60%

HT-PEM fuel cells are similar to LT-PEM fuel cells but operate at higher temperatures. HT-PEM are often integrated with fuel reformers, thus allowing a wider variety of fuel quality. HT-PEM fuel cells are ideal for commercial use, e.g. as range extenders for electric or hybrid vehicles. System cooling and heat rejection is often more convenient due to the higher operating temperatures.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)
Operating temperature: 60-130 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: Up to 40 %

DMFCs are also PEM fuel cells, but instead of being fuelled by a gas, they are fuelled directly by a methanol/water mixture. There are some advantages by direct utilization of the liquid fuel, for example the possibility of using passive supply of fuel or air, avoiding balance-of-plant power losses, and also using the fuel flow stream as a cooling system. Typical drawbacks are inherently low efficiencies requiring very large cooling surfaces, hence making them mostly relevant in the low power range.

Alkaline Fuel Cell (AFC)
Operating Temperature: Around 23-70 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: 60-70 %

AFCs were some of the first fuel cells developed and were used on space missions in the 1960s to provide both drinking water and electricity. AFCs are easily poisoned by small quantities of CO2, for which reason they’re primarily employed in controlled aerospace and underwater environments.

Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell (PAFC)
Operating Temperature: Around 150-200 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: 36-42 %

PAFCs utilize the great proton conductive abilities of phosphoric acid and can also operate using reformed hydrocarbon fuels or biogas. They’re considered the “first generation” of modern fuel cells and the first type to be used commercially. The PAFCs are usually used for stationary power generation but can also be used for large vehicles.

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC)
Operating Temperature: Around 650 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: 50-60 %

Due to the high temperature levels at which MCFCs operate, methane and other light hydrocarbons in these fuels are converted to hydrogen within the fuel cell itself. The primary disadvantage of MCFCs is durability. MCFCs are ideal for large stationary power and CHP applications, and are available as commercial products.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)
Operating Temperature: Around 1,000 degrees Celsius
Electrical Efficiency: 50-60 %

The high temperature allows the SOFC to reform fuel internally. However, the significantly high temperature results in a slow start-up process and requires significant thermal shielding to retain heat and protect personnel, which might be acceptable for utility applications, but not for transportation. SOFCs are best suitable for large stationary applications.

Fuel cells are used in many ways. In the 1960s, fuel cells were used for space travel, and since the 1990s, fuel cells have been developed for commercial and industrial purposes. Fuel cells are used as auxiliary power units (APU), for stationary backup power, as primary traction power or as range extenders for electric vehicles, and for distributed power generation, e.g., on boats, ships, trains or in smaller hubs and microgrids. Finally small consumer electronic applications exist where fuel cells power mobile phones, laptops, hearings aids, etc.

Fuel cells are renewable if the fuel used is a renewable energy source. When fueled by green methanol, fuel cells must be regarded as renewable energy as it is CO2 reduced.

Currently, we don’t offer fuel cells for residential consumer use. Our systems are available for industrial, governmental and business use.

Our fuel cell systems can be installed from scratch in less than a day. In case of system failure or repairs, a unit can be replaced in less than 15 minutes.

It takes less than 15 minutes to replace a fuel cell unit. Replacement of normal consumable spare parts takes around an hour.

Clean power for your application

We make ht-pem fuel cells that convert hydrogen and other renewable fuels to electricity. Any Fuel. Anywhere. Low-cost, fuel-flexible, resilient fuel-cell technology. We manufacture the core MEA component, we license to Tier1 and major manufacturers the next generation of fuel cell technology and we have a range of fuel cell systems and products on-the-shelf ready for your application.

Telecommunications

Fuel cell systems are ideal for remote locations and in telecommunications as they have a high degree of reliability, excellent part load characteristics and high efficiency.

Automotive

Fuel cells have zero NOx, SOx, and no particle emission. A vehicle with an integrated fuel cell provides high energy efficiency (greater range) and flexibility (fast fueling) as well as clean driving (net-zero carbon emission when powered by renewables).

Aviation

We develop HT-PEM fuel cells (1kW to 100s of kWs)
based on renewable fuels and hydrogen that fit the needs of drones, air-taxis, eVTOLs, and aircraft auxiliary power systems. 

Maritime

We have demonstrated fuel cell technology as a safe, clean and efficient alternative to today’s diesel gensets in marine use. We have also demonstrated how hydrogen for fuel cells, in the form of methanol, can be safely and efficiently stored on ships.

Defense

Our cutting-edge technology allows for a quiet solution that uses liquid fuel, is easily transportable and provides uninterrupted electrification of your military needs.

Construction

Reliable and green deployable power solutions are important, especially in a time where emissions, noise and co2 is on top of the agenda.

Auxiliary Power

Methanol fuel cell systems are suited for applications with continuous power or where supplemental power is needed.

Critical backup

For critical backup power, methanol fuel systems from Advent Technologies are a perfect match.

Transitioning to clean power?

Our standardized product lines fit most application needs. For customized power output, our systems are fully scalable.
Your case for clean, cost-optimized and efficient energy is our case, and we support it all the way.

Contact us

16 years

of experience in research and the commercialization of fuel cells

+150

patents issued (or pending)

+1,000 

Fuel cells deployed world-wide

LET US TOGETHER PROVIDE CLEAN AND RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR THE WORLD