Pirelli joins fuel cell team

Pirelli Labs of Italy and Alberta Research Council (ARC) have signed a joint agreement to develop ARC’s micro solid oxide fuel cell technology.


Pirelli Labs of Italy and Alberta Research Council Incorporated (ARC) have signed a joint agreement to develop ARC’s micro solid oxide fuel cell technology.



The one-year agreement will focus on applying Pirelli’s patented process which enables a hydrocarbon-based fuel to be supplied directly into ARC’s fuel cell stack to simplify its design.



According to a statement, a number of advantages will be realised by combining the two technologies, including the absence or need for a fuel processor and a lower operating temperature for the fuel cell unit.



Potential applications for the fuel cell include as a backup power supply in remote telecommunication centres for oil and gas well instrumentation as well as a power source for cathodic protection to protect pipelines from rusting.



Both technologies are covered by patents and their combination opens the way to the creation of the stack devices with power up to 1000 W, with advantages such as fuel versatility, an increase of an electrolyte surface area per volume unit and very fast start-up times. These characteristics are said to be fundamental for applying micro solid oxide fuel cells devices in non-traditional applications.



As part of the agreement, both organisations will send researchers to each other’s labs to conduct research and ARC will support a student research position at Pirelli Labs in Milan, Italy.