National Physical Laboratory

Measurement for fuel cell technology

NPL has opened a new testing division to focus on fuel cell research, solve some of industry's most pressing problems and accelerate the development cycle. Fuel cell technologies have been hindered by an absence of specific measurement capability.

Saving fuel

Fuel cells are a pollution-free way to generate energy. They work like a battery to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and heat, with water as a waste product. Fuel cells have the potential to replace batteries and engines as power sources for vehicles, phones, laptops and residential power grids.

NPL and industry are focused on the three fundamental problems facing fuel cells: cost, durability and the need for a refuelling infrastructure. Working with leading fuel cell developers, NPL will address knowledge gaps about temperature distribution, catalyst activity and degradation in solid oxide and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells.

NPL will give industry measurement and modelling tools to characterise fuel cell performance in a number of environments. Using the data, manufacturers can speed up development of an infrastructure and supply chain for this emerging market.

Find out more about NPL's research in Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Materials

Last Updated: 10 Jan 2013
Created: 12 Nov 2010